Richard M Clerkin PhD

ProfessorMPA Director

Picture of Richard M Clerkin PhD


Richard M. Clerkin, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Executive Director of the Institute for Nonprofits at NC State University. He teaches classes in public administration and nonprofit studies at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. His research interest focuses broadly on understanding why people voluntarily contribute to the common good. In particular, he studies motivations for public service and public benefiting activities. The Changing Philanthropy Project, explores the impact of geographic mobility and regional philanthropic traditions on 1) the volunteering and donating behavior of individuals and 2) the ability of nonprofit organizations to adapt to these changes in their community. A related new stream of interdisciplinary research is examining the philanthropy of the Lebanese Diaspora to understand the trends in giving and volunteering among Lebanese immigrants, and to understand what motivates or discourages Lebanese immigrants to donate their time, skills and money to organizations and causes in their country of residence or in Lebanon. In a new stream of public administration research, he seeks to build on his work in the leading public administration textbook, Public Administration Understanding Management, Politics, and Law in the Public Sector by empirically testing the normative separation of powers theory that drives the managerial, political, and legal approaches to Public Administration that underlies the textbook. His research has been published in journals such as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, VOLUNTAS, Public Administration Review, American Review of Public Administration, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Armed Forces & Society. As executive director of the Institute for Nonprofits, he leads a team of professional staff and students to be a community where ideas, resources, and support are devoted to strengthening the capacity of nonprofit and social sector organizations in NC and beyond through research, education and engagement.