Kevin P. Kearns, Ph.D.

Kevin Kearns is Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), University of Pittsburgh.  He is also the founder and Director of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, a program that promotes ethical leadership in public and nonprofit institutions. 

Kearns has published books and articles in leading research journals on topics of interest to government and nonprofit leaders including strategic management, nonprofit governance, revenue strategies, administrative ethics and accountability, and general management and leadership.  His articles have appeared in journals such as Public Administration Review, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Nonprofit Policy Forum, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.  His third book, Private Sector Strategies for Public Sector Success, was honored with the Terry McAdam Best Book Award by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.  In 2007 Dr. Kearns held a Fulbright Fellowship to teach nonprofit management in the Czech Republic. He has lectured on public and nonprofit management in Taiwan, Indonesia, Macedonia and Brazil.

Dr. Kearns won the 2005 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pittsburgh.  On six occasions, most recently in 2016, he has received the Donald Goldstein Teacher of the Year Award.  In 2015 Kearns received the Martin Luther King Leadership Award from the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh. He also received the 2015 Wangari Maathai Humanitarian Award from Workforce Development Global Alliance and the 2015 Jeff Mora Faculty Award from GSPIA.

Dr. Kearns has held a variety of leadership positions in higher education and philanthropy.  While on leave from the University of Pittsburgh (2000-2002), he served as President of The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of the Pittsburgh Foundation devoted to capacity-building in nonprofit organizations.  In that role he designed a new grant making and capacity-building strategy and launched the Alfred Wishart Award for Nonprofit Excellence. Dr. Kearns has served on the boards of directors of many nonprofit organizations.  He is actively engaged in national speaking and service to professional societies that are advancing the art and science of nonprofit management. He has conducted over 100 seminars for leaders from public, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. 

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Dayton and received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He is married with two adult children. In his free time he enjoys long-distance cycling and sailing on inland lakes.