I am an Assistant Professor of Nonprofit and Public Management at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. I previously served on the faculty of DePaul University where I also directed the MPA program. My research focuses on the processes of innovation in government and nonprofit organizations, as well as other related issues involving cross-sector collaboration, social innovation, and public and nonprofit management in general. I also research in areas of diversity, inclusion, and social equity, and am engaged in a long term project focusing on indigenous leadership and governance in Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. I am also currently engaged in research on hybrid social enterprises including low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs), certified B Corporations, and benefit corporations, as well as projects examining work integration social enterprises and program related investments (PRIs). I teach graduate level courses in organizational behavior and management, social entrepreneurship, cross sector collaboration, and public management.
I have manuscripts published or forthcoming in Public Administration Review, Public Integrity, Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, Handbook of Decision Making (John Wiley & Sons), Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations (Sage), and Human Resource Management in the Nonprofit Sector: Passion, Purpose and Professionalism (Edward Elgar). I have lectured or presented my research in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom in addition to annual conferences of the Academy of Management (AOM), the Public Management Research Association (PMRA), the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the Public Finance and Budgeting section of the Western Social Science Association (WSSA), the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration (SECoPA), and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). I was previously a Summer PhD Fellow at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. In that same year, I received the ARNOVA Emerging Scholar Award and in 2010 was an ARNOVA Dissertation Fellow. I was elected to my first term on the ARNOVA Board of Directors in 2013, and will finish my service in that role in November 2019.
I am a seventh-generation native Arizonan of mixed Chicano, indigenous, and European descent, born in Safford and raised in St. Johns. Prior to my academic career, I was the Policy and Research Analyst for the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo) in Phoenix where I provided support to the Arizona County Attorneys’ and Sheriffs’ Association, Arizona Constables State Association, and also acted as interim director of the Arizona Constable Ethics Committee. As a registered lobbyist, I spent a significant amount of time at the Arizona State Legislature working with many individuals on policies concerning judicial, legal and law enforcement matters. Prior to joining AACo, I was part of an independent research and consulting team responsible for producing a major social impact assessment for Resolution Copper Mining. I have also held previous positions with the State of Arizona Government Information Technology Agency (now Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology), the Salt River Project, the City of Chandler (AZ), the late U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor, and was Director of Student Events for the 2004 Presidential Debate at Arizona State University.
I hold a Ph.D. in public administration and policy from the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs, a Master of Public Administration from the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs, and a B.A. cum laude in journalism and mass communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, also at ASU.