College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Nonprofit Leadership

May 2014 Newsletter


    Seattle University Master of Nonprofit Leadership

    Newsletter, May 2014 


    We are looking forward to welcoming 250 friends of MNPL to our 20th Anniversary Celebration on May 21.

    We have much good news to share in advance the event, including the announcement of the three winner of the 2014 Learn, Lead, Change Alumni awards.

    Looking forward to celebrating this - and all of you - next week.

    With gratitude,

     Maureen Emerson Feit, PhD

    Learn, Lead, Change, Award Winners


    Ray Li, MNPL 2001 

     Ray LiRay Li, will receive the LEARN award for his dedication to nonprofit education, and using knowledge to improve the world.  Ray has served in many professional roles, including Director of Strategic Initiatives for Neighborhood House, a local King County social service agency serving low-income, refugee and immigrant communities and Assistant Director of Development for the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Red Cross.  From 2010-13, Ray was an instructor for the UW Fundraising Management Certificate Program.Ray was invited to build a new program for international giving for the University of Washington, and now serves as Director for International Advancement. Ray has been on the boards of Northwest Development Officers Association (NDOA) and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Washington, serving terms as president of both organizations.

     By doing this, Ray has demonstrated his dedication to engaging and educating the next generation of fundraising professionals. In 2010, he was recognized with the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award.  As a member of the MNPL Advisory Committee, Ray has served as a mentor who encourages students to be curious, persistent and innovative in service of their ambitious goals to change the world. 


    Cheryl Sesnon, MNPL 2002 

     Cheryl SesnonCheryl Sesnon was selected for the LEAD award because she exemplifies courageous, values-driven leadership.  Cheryl is the Executive Director at Jubilee Women’s Center, a program for women transitioning out of homelessness. Prior to coming to Jubilee, she served as the Executive Director of Washington CASH (Community Alliance for Self-Help), a microfinance and microenterprise training organization. From 1994 to 2000, Cheryl acted as the Executive Director of FareStart, a job training program for homeless men and women – and Jubilee partner. Following FareStart, Cheryl spent seven years as a consultant and trainer for nonprofits, working locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2009 Cheryl received the Aubrey Davis Award for Progressive Leadership. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier.


    Diane Narasaki, MNPL 1998 


    Diane Narasaki will receive the CHANGE award for her demonstrated passion for social justice, her focus on addressing the underlying causes of inequity and injustice.  Diane is the Executive Director of Asian Counseling & Referral Service. She is skilled at engaging diverse communities to collaborate and mobilize to take action for a more just and humane world.  Diane has been a notable leader in bringing about political empowerment for the Asian Pacific Islander community in Washington State. The ACLU of Washington gave Diane its 2012 William O. Douglas Award, which is given for outstanding, consistent, and sustained contributions to the cause of civil liberties over the last 30 years.  She currently co-chairs the Seattle Community Police Commission.

    This month, President Obama announced his intent to appoint Diane to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to advise the White House on engaging AAPIs across the country. Diane’s life has been governed by her passion for social justice.


    Welcome Peter Drury

    Peter DruryRaising the funds to achieve our missions is one of the most essential aspects of our work, but often the most challenging.  And our organizations are feeling it, particularly with high turnover and long vacancies in the position of development director.  How, then, do we develop new strategies and perspectives that lead to us to greater sustainability?

    Students in MNPL will get to explore this question when Peter Drury joins the MNPL faculty this summer. Peter is known for asking hard questions about nonprofit sustainability, and pushing the field to view fundraising through the lens of leadership.

    Peter brings extensive experience to the classroom.  He is currently Director of Strategy for Splash, a field-changing water relief organization, and was formerly Development Director at Sightline Institute and Principal with DZO Strategists.  He has a deep commitment to service, and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees for Puget Sound nonprofits, including MultifaithWorks, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Art With Heart, EarthShare of Washington, the Northwest Girlchoir, and several Parent-Teacher Associations.

    Peter is known for encouraging nonprofits to combine rigorous financial analysis, ongoing strategic thinking, and consistent care and attention to donors and constituents.  He has spoken across the United States to share his “Beyond Cash” Fundraising Management Dashboard.  He is Past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Washington, and frequent speaker at AFP International.

    Peter has taught extensively nonprofit leadership, strategy & fundraising courses at the University of Washington.  He holds a Master of Divinity from Yale, an MSW from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from Seattle University.

    Peter is looking forward to returning to Seattle University as a teacher of fundraising, and a mentor and coach for the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

    New Report: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy

    ReportPhilanthropy NW released Vision and Voice, a study produced in partnership with MNPL and the D5 Coalition, that explores how foundations can build an internal culture that addresses diversity, equity and inclusion. It includes findings from interviews with 23 regional foundation leaders and an in-depth exploration of a unique peer cohort we facilitated, consisting of 10 leaders who met on an ongoing basis to discuss and support each other in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations. To find the full report, please visit: