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Melissa Mathews

Dr. Melissa Mathews is an assistant professor of public administration in the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration. Dr. Mathews’s research agenda, teaching interests, and service commitments are motivated by her experiences in professional practice. She has led nonprofit organizations as an executive director for more than ten years, conducted workshops for nonprofit boards and staff, and she continues to provide consulting support to inform nonprofit governance and management practices.


Ph.D., Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of Minnesota

M.P.A., Master of Public Affairs, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Research Interests

Dr. Mathews’s research contributes to and is informed by nonprofit theory and practice, civic engagement and public participation, and the nonprofit sector and civil society. Her research examines the governance and management of nonprofit organizations with a focus on board and executive director dynamics, and the role of nonprofit organizations in fostering civic participation. Dr. Mathews also analyzes the extent that nonprofit organizations enact governance processes that promote democratic governance.


Mathews, M. A. (2021). Understanding the roles and contributions of neighborhood organizations in civic governance. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.

Mathews, M. A. (2020). Nothing about us without us: Community development as human resource development. Human Resource Development International.

Mathews, M. A. (2020). Toward an understanding of civic engagement capacities within a municipal civic participation system. The Social Science Journal.

Mathews, M. A. (2019). The embeddedness of nonprofit leadership in civic governance. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 31(1), 201-212.

Mathews, M. A. (2019). Betwixt and between the board chair and executive director: Dyadic leadership role perceptions within nonprofit organizations. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 9(3), 282-300.

Hahn, H. J., & Mathews, M. A. (2018). Learning behaviors as a linkage between organization-based self-esteem and in-role performance. Journal of Management & Organization, 1-16.