Shena Ashley, a former vice president at the Urban Institute, expanded the Center on Nonprofit and Philanthropy’s policy research and programmatic initiatives through visionary leadership and strong financial management while maintaining an active portfolio of rigorous academic scholarship. For more than 20 years, the center has been a critical resource for credible, nonpartisan, and accessible data and insights on nonprofit and philanthropic activity in society. In addition to policy research, the center provides technical assistance and philanthropic advisory services to advance more effective and equitable nonprofit and philanthropic practice.
Before joining Urban, Ashley held academic positions in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, where she taught courses on the nonprofit sector and quantitative research methods and advanced a research agenda focused on grantmaking effectiveness and nonprofit management. At the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site, Ashley was director of research and policy and developed innovative tools for community engagement in performance measurement.