Jesse Lecy
Jesse Lecy
Senior Research Associate
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Jesse Lecy is the Director of the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS),a Senior Research Associate, and a Data Scientist at the Urban Institute. He is also an Associate Professor in Public Affairs at Arizona State University where he teaches courses in management, statistics, program evaluation, data science, GIS, and urban policy.

His research focuses on managing public and nonprofit organizations for sustainability and impact. His work examines the life cycle of nonprofits and NGOs including the entrepreneurial and start-up process, environmental conditions that support scale and sustainability, and dimensions of competition that lead to organizational decline or failure. A central theme in the work is how the dynamics of economic markets for grants shape nonprofit behaviors and impact program quality. He also examines how public and nonprofit sector organizations conceptualize, measure, and report on effectiveness.

Jesse has worked actively to promote open science in academics and data science in the public and nonprofit sectors. He is a co-founder of the Nonprofit Open Data Collective, Data Science for Public Service (DS4PS), and the ARNOVA Data and Analytics Section. He recently launched a new M.S. in Program Evaluation and Data Analytics at Arizona State University, a data science degree tailored to a social science audience that was designed to meet the growing demand for these skills in the public sector. He is part of a team that has been funded through the Public Interest Technology University Network to build a data science consortium for public affairs.

Jesse received a bachelor’s degree in Peace Studies and Theology from the University of St. Thomas, an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in Social Science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Prior to graduate school he worked in humanitarian relief and economic development in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Research Areas
Nonprofits and philanthropy
National Center for Charitable Statistics data