Liz Shear


With a lifetime’s experience in nonprofit administration, governance and advocacy, Liz Shear is a “thinking partner” to persons, groups, teams, public and private organizations and communities.  Over the past 15 years Shear has worked with key organizational issues in the voluntary sector, the public sector and the music business.  Her specialties are systems design and development, governance, board leadership development, collaborative leadership, organizational development and executive coaching.

Shear also serves as faculty in the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Graduate Program at University of San Diego where she teaches nonprofit governance and collaborative leadership.  In 2009 she was selected by the Nonprofit Leadership and Management graduating students to receive the LASH Foundation Nonprofit Faculty Excellence Award.

Shear is the inventor and director of the University of San Diego annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium.  Its goals are to increase the knowledge about the newest thinking in nonprofit governance, improve the governance capability in nonprofit organizations, meet with other board leaders in a collegial environment,and increase positive community recognition of exceptional governance.

From 1970-1995, Shear's work supported systems for empowering youth, developing multi-ethnic leadership, strengthening families and developing communities with a focus on services to runaway, homeless and foster youth.  She and her team grew San Diego Youth and Community Services from a staff of 35 to 150 and a budget of  $750,000 to $6,000,000, creating systems and programs to fulfill her commitment to a just, sustainable and compassionate community.

She has also served as a volunteer, board member and public commissioner at the national and local levels.  Some examples of her involvement are United Domestic Workers Union, San Diego County Child and Youth Commission Task Force on Homeless Children of San Diego, San Diego Delinquency Prevention Commission, National Network For Youth, Western States Youth Services Network.  Indian Health Council AIDS Advisory Board, San Diego Commission on the Status of Women, National Guide Team for Community Youth Development and Tribal STAR.

Shear holds an MA in Leadership from New College of California with an emphasis on creation spirituality.  Her undergraduate work was at Pembroke College in Brown University, The Universite’ de Strasbourg and Monmouth University.