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Maxwell / Moynihan / Transnational NGO Initiative

Practitioner Engagement

Our research and educational activities are grounded in practice and the perspectives of TNGO leaders inform our work. The practitioner engagement component of the Transnational NGO Initiative consists of three programmatic activities.    

Moynihan NGO Fellowship Program

The Moynihan NGO Fellowship Program annually provides one senior NGO leader with the opportunity to be in residence at the Maliha Khan (center), Former Director of Impact, Care USA; Christian Pagé (left), Research Associate; Tosca Bruno-Van Vijfeijken (right), Co-Director, TNGO InitiativeMoynihan Institute for two weeks for intellectual 'rest and recreation' away from their daily operational duties. Fellows undertake research on an organizational challenge they face in their organizations and which matches the research interests of our team. Leaders are matched with student volunteers who provide extensive research support in advance of their visit. In the past, the TNGO Initiative has hosted the (now former) CEO of ActionAid International (AAI) Ramesh Singh, Vice President of World Relief Meredith Long, Founder and former Executive Director of MWENGO Ezra Mbogori and CEO of Plan International USA Ahuma Adodoadji. Our fellows for 2009-2010 included the Secretary General of CIVICUS Ingrid Srinath and Senior Director for Campaigns of Amnesty International Colm O'Cuanachain. Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) was our Fellow in 2011. In March 2012, we hosted Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA. In March 2013, we hosted Dr. Uygar Ozesmi, Regional Director of Eastern Europe and West Asia, Change.org. To view a list of all former Program Fellows and their information click here

The Transnational NGO Leadership Institute

The Transnational NGO Leadership Institute was created in 2010-11 to provide a safe space for candid peer-to-peer sharing and learning around leadership preparation, transition and succession issues. Earlier, the TNGO Initiative had convened workshops in the Adirondack Mountains in 2006 and in Washington, DC in 2007 in order to consult NGO practitioners about the design of its Practitioner Engagement component. In 2008 we co-hosted a pilot TNGO Leadership Forum focusing on governance issues together with Ramesh Singh, then CEO of ActionAid International, and Sam Worthington, President of InterAction. For more information on the Leadership Institute, please click here.

Customized Leadership Development Programs

The TNGO Initiative also offers customized leadership development training to senior TNGO leaders on three broad areas - leading self, leading others and leading organizations. Some of the topics covered include understanding personal leadership styles, dealing with conflict, collaborative leadership skills,leading and managing organizational change processes, and leading organizational culture change. The TNGO Initiative has offered customized training to organizations including ActionAid, Amnesty, Greenpeace, Oxfam and Population Council. For more information on customized leadership development offerings, please click here.


Tosca M Bruno-VanVijfeijken at Keyston Accountability workshopThe TNGO Initiative also offers workshops and panel discussions at practitioner conferences such as INTRAC, the CIVICUS World Assembly and the InterAction Annual Forum. Practitioner engagement activities have been developed in conjunction with the Maxwell School's Executive Education Program, which is the first university program in the United States dedicated solely to providing professional training and development for public and not-for-profit managers. It provides professional development opportunities leading to the Executive Masters of Public Administration and an increasing number of certificate programs. The program can also develop customized credit and non-credit programs for NGO leadership and staff.

 Faculty and staff are also available for advisory services for NGO clients focusing on governance, leadership and effectiveness challenges. Researchers recently completed a strategic evaluation of Plan International Guatemala's transition toward a rights based approach, for example. You are welcome to read our Capacity Statement.

For more information about the practitioner engagement program, please contact Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken (tmbruno@maxwell.syr.edu; phone +1.315.443.5073).