Skip to Main Content
Maxwell School
Maxwell / Moynihan

TNGO Updates

Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

Annual Leadership Institute to take place in May - leadership training for international NGO leaders seeking top NGO positions

 Permanent link

Moynihan logo  TNGO logo 



Preparing to make a leadership “leap”? 


Potential leaders focused on obtaining top transnational NGO leadership positions and executives building a succession plan for their organizations should carefully consider this critical question.

The Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University is pleased to announce the second annual Transnational NGO Leadership Institute. This specialized “leap” program offers leadership training for up-and-coming international NGO leaders seeking top NGO positions. Global professionals from all regions, sectors and organizational sizes are invited to attend a cost-effective, intensive and interdisciplinary program May 21 - 25, 2012, in upstate New York. Institute attendees transitioning to top leadership positions will be provided with state of the art knowledge about NGO leadership, competency and talent development approaches, as well as strategic and analytical skills. The program will allow participants to examine their personal leadership style, expand specific competencies and roles, network with peers and experts, and benefit from practical applications tailored to their needs.

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is the premier public affairs professional school in the United States (US News and World Report 2009 ranking of American public affairs graduate schools). Maxwell’s Executive Education Program was the first university-based program in the United States dedicated solely to the purpose of leadership training.

By participating in the Institute, you can expect to:


 Understand the effect of your leadership style.
The Institute provides an initial leadership assessment for each attendee. Participants will be able to gauge the impact of their leadership style when facing challenges and opportunities in their operating environment.

Expand and test specific leadership competencies.
Participants will examine five issues they are likely to encounter when making this leadership “leap.” Customized, proven and interactive learning approaches from Maxwell faculty and staff will be combined with the expertise of top NGO leaders who have made this leap, to look at the following topics: 


  • Leading in a Complex Context: the broader landscape of actors and issues; the impact of personal/individual leadership styles; management vs. leadership.
  • Organizational Governance: organizational change and design; board leadership
  • Collaboration and Crisis: communication, networks, partnerships, collaborative governance and leadership; leadership in crisis; leadership and stress
  • Politics and Power Relationships: symbolic leadership; advocacy
  • Strategic Decision-Making and Performance Management: resource planning, allocation and management. 


The five-day itinerary includes individual and group study, plenary sessions, group exercises and simulations, experiential creative activities and networking opportunities. Attendees will be encouraged to explore one of the beautiful lakeside villages located in the Finger Lakes region, during part of the program. Despite the rigorous schedule, participants will be given maximum time to network and build relationships with others facing similar challenges. 


Reaping actionable benefits.

As a companion to the five-day Transnational NGO Leadership Institute curriculum, Maxwell School researchers and executive education experts offer customized research for attendees, that provides them with insight into their specific leadership and organizational challenges. There will be opportunities before and after the Institute for participants to engage in collaborative conversations, information sharing, and networking via a dedicated website. 


What well-known NGO leaders say about the Leadership Institute:  

Our inaugural Transnational NGO Leadership Institute, offered in September, 2011, received excellent reviews: 


“Leaders of transnational NGOs are called upon to exercise influence on the key global issues of our times even as they manage large, complex organizations with accountability to a diverse range of stakeholders. I believe that this unique initiative from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University fills a critical gap in ensuring aspiring TNGO leaders acquire the knowledge, skills and orientation necessary to take on those challenging responsibilities.” 


Ingrid Srinath, CIVICUS 




In our complex global environment, strong, diverse leadership is essential to the success of the international movement to address global poverty and advance social justice.  The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is doing a great service by supporting rising leaders and building the talent pool.” 


  Lindsay Coates, InterAction 



The Leadership Institute is guided by the following Steering Group members: 


 Lindsay Coates, Executive Vice President for Policy and Communications, InterAction 

 Susan Hayes, CEO, ReSurge International, and Board Member, InterAction 

 Sherine Jayawickrama, Manager, Development and Humanitarian Relief NGOs, Hauser Center for Non Profits, Harvard University 

 Mark Sidel, Professor of Law, University of Iowa and President, International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) 

 Ramesh Singh, former CEO, ActionAid and Visiting Fellow, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University 

 Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General, CIVICUS 

 Adam Weinberg, President/CEO, World Learning 


Contact information 


Please join us! Open registration for the second annual Transnational NGO Leadership Institute begins on December 12, 2011. Please visit our dedicated Institute website (, where information on program content, training fees, opportunities for funding support, and testimonials from past participants are available. Please contact Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director for Education and Practitioner Engagement, Transnational NGO Initiative, or the Leadership Institute team, Maxwell School at Syracuse University at or  +1 (315) 443-5073 for more information.  


CEO of Proliteracy, the largest NGO advancing adult literacy, to give talk on how to reposition international NGOs for success

 Permanent link




The Transnational NGO Student Group is proud to present: 


 David Harvey 

Leading Out of Crisis: Strategies to Reposition an International NGO for Success 


Good governance and effective leadership are crucial to “turning around” an NGO in financial and programmatic crisis. The talk will address what defines effective leadership to promote organizational change. Mr. Harvey will also share real-world experiences of managing an NGO in a rapidly changing economic and social environment.



Harvey pic 

David Harvey is president and CEO of ProLiteracy, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the cause of adult literacy and basic education programs in the United States. Before joining ProLiteracy in 2007, he was founding executive director of the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families, a national training, research, and advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. He also was project director with the National Disability Rights Network, and began his career as staff assistant to U.S. Representative Sam Gejdenson (D-Conn.).







                        Lunch will be served 

Thursday, March 1 
12:30-2:00 pm 
Eggers 341 


NGO rankings: a bad idea poorly implemented

 Permanent link

The Global Journal has published an inaugural list of the “Top 100 Best NGOs.” David Algoso has a critique on the methodology (lack thereof) and the failure to recognize the immense sectoral differences. At best, one hopes the editors wanted to give us a list of a few NGOs they really liked and the ranking part then is simply a vehicle with no real value. But it is unlikely that this is the case, considering the response posted in the comments section by Jean-Christophe Nothias, the Editor of the journal. 

Unfortunately, such rankings matter, in particular since there are thousands of NGOs always looking for donations, and there are millions of donors trying to find a good investment for their good intentions. The Global Journal does a big disservice to both. First, it picks only one hundred among the many deserving organizations, focusing not on matching donors with appropriate 'causes,' but further contributing to high inequality and a concentration of wealth at the top of the nonprofit sector. Second, the ranking provides no meaningful informaiton about the organizations and their effectivness. Charity watchdogs have for some time struggled to rate not-for-profits and have for many years only focused on overhead spending. As we have argued elsewhere, financial efficiency is, at best, a weak proxy for effectiveness and, at worst, weakens the nonprofit sector significantly by forcing organizations to neglect organizational growth and engage in a 'race to the bottom.' 


Charity watchdogs, including Charity Navigator, are currently changing their ratings to include more meaningful information about individual organizations. This will still include financial data, but also provide more information about what organizations actually do. This is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the Global Journal seems to have missed this whole discussion.  


Just published: The Construct of Organizational Effectiveness

 Permanent link

The Construct of Organizational Effectiveness: Perspectives From Leaders of International Nonprofits in the United States, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, by George E. Mitchell.


George E. Mitchell is an assistant professor of political science and an affiliate of the public service management program at the City University of New York (CCNY). He is also a Moynihan research fellow at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, where he was a founding member of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. He currently specializes in international relations and nonprofit management and has written widely about organizational effectiveness, transnational NGOs, e-governance, and development finance.


Researching INGOs: Innovations in Data Collection and Methods

 Permanent link

International Studies Association Venture workshop, March 31, 2012, San Diego

organized by Elizabeth Bloodgood and Hans Peter Schmitz


1. Website for venture workshop, here.


2. ISA website on workshop grants

RSS Feed
<< February 2012 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      




Recent Posts