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Susannah Washburn

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Clinical Professor; College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program Director; Senior Advisor, DGI

Susannah Washburn directs the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program at the University of Maryland. Public Leadership students live together, explore the theory and practice of leadership, become social change agents through hands-on public service projects, and examine important social, political and economic issues.

Washburn is a clinical professor in the School of Public Policy teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses in leadership, philanthropy and social change, and is affiliated with the School's Do Good Institute. Washburn loves helping students develop their writing and analytic skills and discover and apply their leadership talents.

Prior to teaching, Washburn served in political appointments under both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency managing the AmeriCorps program. Washburn’s work focused on supporting youth development organizations, overseeing an agency making over $800 million in grants annually, and helping grantees improve their management. During the Obama Administration, Washburn helped launch the Social Innovation Fund and served as executive director of the White House Council for Community Solutions, a presidential council focused on youth employment.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Washburn speaks on national service, AmeriCorps, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, experiential learning, and leadership development at various conferences and student meetings.


• Georgetown University, MPP, 1998
• Wesleyan University, BA, 1993

Areas of Interest
  • National service; nonprofit management; social entrepreneurship; experiential learning; leadership development
3 Credit(s)

This course aims to inspire, teach and engage students in the theory and practice of public leadership from the local to the national to the global level. Students will learn and apply diverse approaches to leadership in a multicultural society while developing an understanding of key frameworks and practices necessary to foster collective action across private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Students will also explore and assess their own personal values, beliefs, and purpose as they develop their leadership potential. Finally, students will understand the leadership skills and challenges particular to their role as a future policymaker.
Schedule of Classes