Patricia Strach

Yvonne D. Harrison, PhD

Assistant Professor
Specialization: Public Management

Department of Public Administration & Policy

111 Milne Hall | 518-442-4001

Curriculum Vitae | Office Hours

About Professor Harrison

Yvonne Harrison is an Assistant Professor in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY. Yvonne came to Rockefeller College from the Center for Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Management at Seattle University, in Seattle, WA where she supervised the capstone research project and taught courses in nonprofit governance and information management in government and nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Harrison has conducted three international research investigations into the role and impact of chairs of nonprofit boards of directors as well as two national research studies exploring the impacts of information and communications technology (ICT) on the management of volunteer resources in Canada’s nonprofit sector. Her current research examines the performance of nonprofit boards of directors and the efficacy of an online tool to increase governance effectiveness through the practice of self-assessment. Other research interests include the adoption and effective use of modern information and communications technology (ICT), strategic partnerships and alliances, and leader, group decision-making, and organizational effectiveness.

In 2009, Yvonne was nominated for Best Paper of the Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action for her paper (with Vic Murray) on The Role and Impact of Board Chair Leadership. In 2007, Yvonne completed an Academic Service Learning Fellowship where she specialized in developing community-based research tools within academic service learning experiences. In 2002 she won the J. E. Hodgett’s Award for best article in English in the journal, Canadian Public Administration, for Partnering to Produce Electronic Government (with John Langford). She holds a BS in Nursing, a Master of Public Administration and PhD in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. Yvonne is the author of a number of peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, research reports, and other publications.

In the fall of 2009, Yvonne and co-investigator from the University of Victoria, B.C. Canada, Vic Murray, were awarded a research grant of $8,500.00 from the Institute for Nonprofit Studies, Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to develop the Board Check-Up, an on-line board effectiveness survey application (BESA) designed to a) conduct research on the issues that challenge the effectiveness of nonprofit boards and b) to increase the capacity of boards to conduct technical assessments of their performance. In 2011, Yvonne was awarded $10,000 from the University of Albany Faculty Research Award Program (FRAP) to upgrade the BESA software to allow a longitudinal research investigation.  This research award allowed boards to assess their performance on an annual basis. In 2012, Vic and Yvonne developed a practical guidebook of the symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments for the range of problems boards face in the nine dimensions of board effectiveness assessed in the Board Check-Up. The purpose of the book is to help boards process results and make decisions to improve board effectiveness. In 2013, Yvonne was awarded a $6300.00 grant from the University at Albany to upgrade and extend the software to include an impact study. This research, which tracks changes in governance practices and the effectiveness of the board's decision-making process, tests theories about board self-assessment and change. It also provides boards with a visual tool to track and compare their performance to other boards. See to access this free online community-based governance research and development project. 

Selected Publications

Harrison Book Jacket Harrison Book Jacket Nonprofit Governance book
  • Harrison, Y. D., Murray, V. & Cornforth, C. (2013). "The Role and Impact of Chairs of Nonprofit Boards", Chapter 4 in New Perspectives on Nonprofit Governance, Cornforth, C., and Brown, W. Editors, Routledge, UK. 
  • "Crisis or Opportunity" article from Austrailian Aging, June 6, 2012
  • Harrison, Y.D., Murray, V. and Cornforth, C. (2012). “Perceptions of Board Chair Leadership Effectiveness in Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations”, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Online first DOI 10.1007/s11266-012-9274-0
  • Harrison, Y. D. and Murray, V. (Summer 2012). “Perspectives on the Leadership of Chairs of Nonprofit Organization Boards of Directors: A Grounded Theory Mixed-Method Study”, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Special Governance Issue, 22 (4).
  • Harrison, Y. Global Washington (July 2010). “Global Development through Aid, Partnerships, Trade and Education: Recommendations from Global Washington”,
    Policy Paper, Task Force Contributor.
  • Harrison, Y, Kostic, K, Toton, S, & Zurek, J. (June, 2010). Globalizing Social Justice Education: The Case of the Global Solidarity Network Study eBroad Program, Journal of Internet and Higher Education, 13 (3), pp. 115-126.
  • Harrison, Y. (2009), “Optimizing the Potential for Information and Communications Technology in Nonprofit Organizations”, Chapter 12 in Murray V. The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada, Toronto: LexisNexis, Butterworths, pp. 429-464.
  • Harrison, Y. and Murray, V. (2007). Bridging the Effectiveness Divide in ICT Use: The Case of Volunteer Recruitment in Canada. Chapter 5 in Cortes, M & Rafter, K, Nonprofits and Technology, Chicago: Lyceum Books, pp. 68-84.
  • Harrison, Y & Lidman, R. (April 2007). “Modernizing the Aid Relief Supply Chain through Information and Communications Technology (ICT): The Case of the Impact of Donated Aid for Healthcare in Honduras, The Journal of Information Technology in Social Change.
  • Harrison, Y & Murray V. (Summer 2007). “The Best and Worst of Board Chairs”, The Nonprofit Quarterly, Volume 14, No. 2, July, pp. 24-29.
  • Harrison, Y. (2004). “What Influences the Use and Effectiveness of Information and Communications Technology?” Canadian Journal of Volunteer Resources Management, 12 (2), pp. 17-19.
  • Langford, J. and Harrison, Y. (Winter 2001). "Partnering to Produce Electronic Government: Challenges for Public Administrators", Canadian Public Administration, Volume 44, PP. 292-416.