Maureen Emerson Feit, PhD
Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Program
Hoang Ngo, PhD
Graduate Program Coordinator
Senior Administrative Assistant
The MNPL Program is physically located in
Jefferson Building 401
E Jefferson St & 14th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
As a second-year student in the Master of Nonprofit Leadership (MNPL) program, Charlie Clark is completing his Capstone project this quarter. The goal that Charlie set for his project is to look at how organizations "bridge the divide between urban and rural communities when it comes to conservation work." Instead of pitting communities against one another, what does effective collaboration look like? For the Capstone project, Charlie wants to examine the process in taking environmental decisions out of the courtroom and put them into the hands of the communities that inhabit the wild spaces that we enjoy.
Charlie's project will allow him to build on his interest in making conservation more inclusive and representative. "I wanted to know how I can strengthen conservation efforts by making equity and inclusion foundational in my work," Charlie said. One of his main goals is to "examine the disparities which exist within conservation work." As Charlie observes, "the image of an environmental conservationist is often an urban, wealthy, white liberal." And Charlie also points out that this does not reflect "the communities who are most often on the front lines of environmental issues, including people of color, and low income, rural communities." Through the MNPL program, Charlie learned different ways to reframe the conversation around conservation work, so that communities directly affected by dam removal, culling disputes and industrial degradation can be the source for conservation solutions and not seen as the “other.”
The love Charlie has for the natural world and the reciprocal relationship between humans and the ecosystems has always been a driving force in his life. But it was the yearning to make a bigger impact as well as having a bigger picture of conversation work that made him apply to the MNPL program. "I knew that I wanted my future to revolve around this exchange, both in my personal life and in my career," he said. Charlie spent a decade working in the outdoor industry, guiding hikes and working in gear shops. During his time leading the Washington state environment grants and donations program at Patagonia
Seattle, Charlie met countless passionate individuals and nonprofit organizations that shared his values for conversation work. These connections inspired Charlie to learn more about the nonprofit sector, so that he could make a bigger impact through these organizations. In fact, he has been promoted to Director of Giving Programs at his current organization Miir, a certified B-Corp with 3% of its revenue dedicated to philanthropy, to fund projects around the world with lasting impact.
For parting words, Charlie would like to share with the incoming students that "great work can be done a little bit at a time." "Sitting down, even for 15-20 minutes, to jot down ideas or an outline for a paper can go a long way," he said. Charlie also would like to thank his mentor Richard Woo, Chief Executive Officer for the Russell Family Foundation, for helping him lead in an authentic way, and the Mid-Career Institute for Environmental Leaders (MIEL) for giving him the opportunity to connect with other environmental leaders.
Learn More about our current students here.
Thank you our community partners for giving our students the opportunities to apply what they've learned and served the nonprofit sector.
Sarah Tran will be co-teaching our Social Justice course with our Director Maureen Emerson Feit this summer.
Sarah is the Executive Director of the Nonprofit Assistance Center (NAC) – a people-of-color led organization whose mission is to support community organizations and funders to be strong partners in movements for social justice through coaching, peer learning, and collaboration. NAC is committed to serving communities of color, including the refugee, immigrant, low income, LGTBTQIA2, and other communities impacted by structural racism.
Sarah has spent over a decade working for racial justice, gender equity, and human rights both locally and internationally, however her roots in this work run much deeper coming from a Vietnamese refugee family. These experiences inform her deep and nuanced understanding of adaptive leadership, organizational development and change management, and movement-building. Through experiencing the barriers that keep communities divided and marginalized and youth and families from finding stability and opportunity – Sarah believes that we are strongest when we invest in the inherent wisdom and leadership of resilient communities and build solidarity across communities.
Rebecca Andrew Zanatta will be co-teaching the Fundraising course with Peter Drury this summer.
Rebecca, a Partner and Vice President with the The Ostara Group, has 20 years of experience building and stewarding strategic donor partnerships and serving in high-level leadership and advancement roles for organizations, including the Pacific Science Center, Washington State University Foundation, Friends of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and Alpha Phi Foundation.
Rebecca also has a deep understanding of how to plan, build and manage a diverse and successful major gifts plan, and how to develop and implement a realistic and focused strategic plan. She has consulted with nonprofits on various other of their fundraising strategies, including generational giving, social media and volunteer management programs. She will help our students define and segment their target audiences, share their stories well and help them succeed with their fundraising goals.
Learn more about our Faculty here.
Contact Hoang Ngo at email@example.com.