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George Mason University
Schar School of Policy and GovernmentVisit Website
Alan J. Abramson is a Professor of Government and Politics in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Dr. Abramson is also Founding Director of the Schar School’s Center for Nonprofit Management, Policy, and Philanthropy, and a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute. In these several positions, he teaches, conducts research, and works with leaders on a broad range of nonprofit and philanthropic issues. For more than a decade, Dr. Abramson directed the Aspen Institute’s nonprofit and philanthropy program, overseeing the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund and other initiatives that helped to build the nonprofit research field in the U.S., strengthen nonprofit and foundation leaders, and deepen the understanding of policymakers about nonprofit activities. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Dr. Abramson was on the research staff of the Urban Institute, where he worked on a variety of domestic public policy issues. He is the author and co-author of numerous books and papers, and his work has twice won awards from the American Political Science Association. Dr. Abramson has served on many national and local nonprofit boards and advisory committees, and has been named among the 50 most influential leaders in the U.S. nonprofit sector. In 2015-2016, Dr. Abramson served as President of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the nation’s leading association for nonprofit researchers. In 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and in 2018-2019 he served as the first Visiting Scholar at Independent Sector. Knowledgeable about a broad range of nonprofit issues, Dr. Abramson’s major, current interests are: nonprofit-government relations; public policy toward social enterprise; the health of the overall nonprofit sector; and shared governance, the engagement of all three sectors – nonprofit, government, and business – in addressing social problems. Dr. Abramson received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and his B.A. from Wesleyan University.