Kevin D. Ward, PhD

PhD, Public Affairs

Director, BA in Public Affairs
Associate Professor

Phone: 206-296-5438

Building/Room: Casey 210-18

Kevin Ward CV (PDF)


Expertise: Kevin Ward is Associate Professor and Director of the Public Affairs program at Seattle University.  With a career spanning public policy, nonprofit advocacy, and national service, Kevin’s expertise focuses on the intersection of the public and nonprofit sectors.  His work examines how nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and policymakers work together to create sustainable, lasting change. 

BPA and MPA:   In the Bachelor of Public Affairs program, he regularly teaches Policy Analysis and sometimes Senior Synthesis.  He teaches two required courses in the MPA program including The Policy Process and Capstone in Public Service.

Why I enjoy teaching in the BPA and MPA programs: “I teach courses that emphasize the process of defining problems, formulating or considering solutions, and making recommendations.  In every class, I am energized by the issues that students choose to explore, and ultimately the solutions they propose.  My students give me hope because I know they are working to address some of the most pressing issues facing our communities.”   

Publications and media: Kevin’s research interests include national service programs such as AmeriCorps, nonprofit lobbying and advocacy, and motivations of public and nonprofit employees. His research has appeared in Public Administration Review, Policy Studies Journal, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, American Review of Public Administration, International Public Management Journal, and several other top public administration journals. His Google Scholar profile can be found here.  His essays and op-eds on national service have appeared in the Seattle Times and Huffington Post.

Student interest areas: Kevin particularly enjoys working with students on their culminating capstone projects in the MPA and BPA programs.  He aims to help student produce their best work.  He also enjoys discussing post-graduate national service opportunities, e.g. AmeriCorps, with undergraduate students and recent alums. 

Brief bio: Shortly after his undergraduate studies, Kevin Ward served two years in the national service program AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, which was a transformative experience.  He has held several positions with nonprofit organizations in Colorado.  He has worked as a researcher on large grants with the RAND Corporation and the Urban Institute. He holds a Ph.D. and MPA from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois.