Meet our Alumni at the Nov. 5th Open House

Posted in News Story

This is the second in a series of interviews on the faculty and alumni of the Center.

We hope you will join us to meet these alumni and many others at our Open House for the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program on November 5, 2014.  For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

John Sims

John Sims is the Deputy Director of Career Transition at Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), a nonpartisan veterans advocacy organization. His role involves helping veterans transition from the military to the best fitting job and lifestyle post service. He attended the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program during the Summer session of 2013. For his capstone management project, John created a strategy for Veteran and Military Service Organization Engagement.

What attracted you to the certificate program? 

When I attended the program, I was preparing to retire from the Army after 26+ years. My neighbor, a retired GU professor, recommended the program as not only a great way to learn about nonprofit management, but to begin to establish a network within this sector. While the program undoubtedly kick-started my career and expanded my knowledge base in the sector, it was the small group size and interaction among students, all of whom come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, that made the program so special. Additionally, this is a program that requires you to think, interact with others, and produce results — the same skills that you will need when working in a nonprofit organization.

What was the session in which you learned the most?

While every session provided exceptional learning and development, my personal favorites were discussions of leadership, strategy, and communications. All three of these topics go hand-in-hand and require you to create a vision, think strategically, and implement creatively. I think that these are the three essential aspects to running a successful nonprofit; if you get these aspects right, your organization is set.

How did attending the certificate program benefit you? 

The Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program was critical to my personal career transition last year. Much of the success I’m enjoying in my current (and first) job after the military I owe to this certificate program. I arrived at MOAA understanding the inter-relationship between the board of directors, leadership, and staff and the importance of communications in achieving our common goal.  As a result, I was able to more quickly come onboard and become a productive member of the team—something I would not have been able to do as quickly or effectively without the Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership’s help.

Carmen Cochrane

Carmen Cochrane is the Delivery Executive and IT Program Manager for AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). As Delivery Executive, she manages organizational change, negotiations, and volunteer management. As the IT Program Manager for a $30MM Volunteer Technology Modernization Program, she is implementing a new Salesforce Platform for the Association’s 65,000 dedicated volunteers and AARP operational staff. She attended the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program during the Summer session of 2014. Her capstone management project was a primer for Executive Directors of organizations on Data Considerations for Nonprofit Program Evaluation.

What attracted you to the certificate program? 

As a Delivery Executive for AARP, a fundamental part of my job is to truly understand the nature of the nonprofit work that we do for our mission.  Most of my career has been spent in the for-profit sector, so what I had learned about nonprofits prior to the Georgetown University Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program had been limited to the work I did for the AARP Association. I went looking for an accredited post graduate program where I could get a holistic view of the nonprofit domain and learn from other people who currently work in the nonprofit sector.  I found both in the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program.

What was the session in which you learned the most?

I thought the Strategic Planning Session was fantastic.  I walked away from that session with a much better understanding of the strategic planning lifecycle as well as how to develop a Strategic Plan, an essential for every nonprofit. The instructor, Michela M. Perrone, Ph.D., is very knowledgeable, having spent many years working on nonprofit strategic planning activities; I learned much from both the course curriculum and her ‘real life’ experience.

How did attending the certificate program benefit you and your organization? 

I now have a much better and well-rounded understanding of the nonprofit domain. Nonprofits can be complex entities; and the knowledge and understanding gained in this Program is helping me better navigate the landscape. I not only gained a deeper understanding of the nonprofit space from the excellent instructors in this Program; but I also benefitted by learning from other colleagues who participated with me.

Troy Adkins

Troy Adkins oversees membership and engagement work at Independent Sector (IS), a leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations committed to advancing the common good. He attended the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program in the Summer of 2009. For his capstone management project, he developed a Member Engagement Strategy by creating a Volunteer Information and Orientation Guide for IS.

What attracted you to the certificate program? 

At the time I attended, I was still fairly new to the nonprofit sector.  I had gained solid understanding of my areas of responsibility but wanted to understand more about all areas of nonprofit management, particularly how each of those areas worked together to accomplish a mission. The program offered a quick, proven method of gaining a solid knowledge base across areas of nonprofit management.

What was the session that you found most enjoyable?

All of the sessions were memorable in their own ways but the role play during the negotiation session was my favorite. It stands out in my mind as a fun moment but also one that provided a good lesson in how to work toward your end goal strategically.

How did attending the certificate program benefit you? 

While my organization benefited from the knowledge I took away from the program, I’ve personally benefited from the connection to the network of students who went through the program before and since I attended.  There are amazing people from all areas of the sector doing great work in organizations in this network.  This is where the value lies for the program!

Additional Alumni to Meet on November 5th

Mark Anthony Jackson

Associate Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer

Premier Athletic Performance Association


Brigitte Pribnow Moore

Executive Director

Young Playwrights Theater


Takita Mason

Director of Development

Public Paul Charter School