Senior Executive. Author. Academic. Consultant.
Pat Libby is a change management consultant to nonprofits and philanthropies. She has served as a CEO, academic, board member, and consultant to innumerable nonprofit organizations and foundations. Her firm helps organizations hone their strategy and structure, advance their position, find the right leaders, and better connect to the communities they serve. Never incremental in approach, Pat seeks to bring about transformational change in organizations and systems.
For 14 years until July 2015, Pat served the University of San Diego as the founding director of The Nonprofit Institute, creating nonprofit-focused graduate programs, a research center and community education programs serving hundreds of people and organizations each year. The Institute is frequently cited as one of the nation’s premier academic centers dedicated to advancing the work of third sector organizations. In creating the Institute, Pat realized a vision for an academic center that would interweave research, theory and practice.
Pat's extensive executive management experience also includes eight-years as President/CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. While there she transformed a financially bankrupt organization into a nationally-recognized model for statewide CDC associations, leveraging nearly $200 million for Massachusetts community development efforts in the process. The organization remains a national leader in the community development field.
Pat is the author of several books. The Empowered Citizens Guide (Oxford University Press, 2022) is a “how-to” book that provides new and experienced advocates with the tools they need to make change in their communities. The Lobbying Strategy Handbook, second edition (Oxford University Press, 2021), is an engaging resource for students who are seeking a simple blueprint for learning how to take part in the legislative process. The book contains multiple case studies of how students have used Pat’s 10-step lobbying model to pass laws. In addition, Pat is co-author, with Laura Deitrick, of Cases in Nonprofit Management (SAGE 2017), and is a contributing author in Technology, Activism and Social Justice in a Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2018), John McNutt, editor.
A Boston native, Pat holds a graduate degree in Urban Planning from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Sociology from Tufts University.
In 2017 Pat received the inaugural “Libby Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership." This award is presented annually by the University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Institute.
The award is for exceptional work in promoting the values of tzedakah and tikkun olam, Hebrew phrases that respectively mean “righteousness” and “repairing the world.”
Pat Libby interviewed by Mike Gellman
"Pat’s success in Massachusetts propelled her to national leadership in the field and community developers around the country began to create CDC associations of their own in order to replicate Pat’s success in Massachusetts.
Twenty years later, MACDC continues to flourish because of the financial, organizational, human resource and structural foundation she built – indeed much of how we operate today can be traced directly to the policies, procedures and strategies that Pat initiated. Not only did Pat build MACDC up from next to nothing, but she built it to last."
President and CEO, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations
In 2002 USD Professor of Practice Pat Libby had a vision for the nonprofit sector in San Diego and beyond. Pat created vibrant graduate programs, an endowed research center and an institute serving hundreds of nonprofits in our region and throughout the world. Her work at USD was truly remarkable and we were so fortunate to have her work with us for 14 years.
former Dean, University of San Diego
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
The Empowered Citizens Guide
10 Steps to Passing a Law that Matters to You
For years, Pat Libby has been teaching everyday citizens how to pass laws. Most of them knew next to nothing about the legislative process when they got started, yet many surprised themselves by passing a law on their first try. The Empowered Citizens Guide provides an easy, 10-step framework that breaks down the legislative process into bite-sized pieces. For those who are passionate about creating change in their communities, cities, or states this book provides a simple recipe to make a difference.
Use code: ASFLYQ6 to purchase The Empowered Citizens Guide for the discounted price of $17.47.
The Lobbying Strategy Handbook
10 Steps to Advancing Any Cause Effectively
The Lobbying Strategy Handbook shows how students with passion for a cause can learn to successfully influence lawmaking in the United States. The centerpiece of this book is a 10-step framework that walks the reader through the essential elements of conducting a lobbying campaign. The framework is illustrated by three separate case studies that show how groups of people have successfully used the model. Undergraduate, graduate students, and anyone interested in making a difference, can use the book to guide them in creating and conducting a grassroots campaign from start to finish.
Order the second edition of The Lobbying Strategy Handbook.
Cases in Nonprofit Management
A Hands-On Approach to Problem Solving
Case Studies in Nonprofit Management by Pat Libby and Laura Deitrick is designed to teach students how to think critically, hone their decision-making skills, and learn to apply leadership and management principles that are essential for any nonprofit professional. The cases provide students with insight into the nature of nonprofit management sector, illustrating the role of key concepts such as leadership, risk management, financial management, advocacy, marketing, and grantmaking in nonprofit organizations.