Pat Libby

Professor of Practice; Director of the Nonprofit Institute

  • Leadership Studies
  • M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Urban Planning

Pat Libby is a Professor of Practice at the University of San Diego’s (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She created and directs USD’S Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research which comprises graduate programs at the masters and doctoral levels, a research center, and comprehensive community education programs. The Institute is internationally recognized for its pedagogy that interweaves theory with applied learning. Since its inception in fall 2002, students have completed more than 800 consulting projects for nonprofit organizations throughout the world.

A Boston native, Pat has served as a senior executive, board member, and consultant to numerous nonprofit organizations since 1978. Prior to becoming an academic and consultant, she devoted her career to nonprofits serving economically disadvantaged people and communities in Massachusetts and California. Her last executive management position was as President/CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) which she developed into a nationally recognized model for community development trade organizations. Under her auspices, MACDC leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investment for affordable housing, commercial development and small business lending in economically distressed areas. Her experiences there led Pat to develop a strategic framework that she uses to teach students local and state lobbying. She is author of The Lobbying Strategy Handbook, (2012 SAGE Publications), that describes that framework. Several successful student-led legislative projects are profiled in the book.

A respected nonprofit pracademic, Pat has additionally taught nonprofit management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California San Diego, and at San Diego State University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tufts University and a graduate degree in Urban Planning from MIT.

Pat is a member of the National Ethics Standards Committee, Standards of Excellence Institute. The committee is charged with overseeing the national certification process of the Institute which offers an ethics and accountability credential.

Recent Publications:

The Lobbying Strategy Handbook shows how students with passion for a cause can learn to successfully influence lawmaking in the United States. The centerpiece of this book is a 10-step framework that walks the reader through the essential elements of conducting a lobbying campaign. The framework is illustrated by three separate case studies that show how groups of people have successfully used the model. Undergraduate, graduate students, and anyone interested in making a difference, can use the book to guide them in creating and conducting a grassroots campaign from start to finish.