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Delegation from Georgia Visits Northwestern to Learn about Best Practices in NGO Management

Delegation from Georgia Visits Northwestern to Learn about Best Practices in NGO Management

Northwestern’s Office of the Vice President for International Relations recently hosted a delegation of 13 NGO professionals from Georgia, in a visit aimed at exploring best practices in the management of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The trip was organized by the Congressional Office for International Leadership in Washington, D.C, and led by Executive Director at The Center for Discovery Learning, George Palamattam.

The group of professionals spent an afternoon at Northwestern, where they engaged with faculty and staff to learn about NGO leadership and transparency best practices. The delegation learned from Northwestern experts about nonprofit governance and partnerships, as well as academia’s role in collaborating with NGOs to address sustainability and energy challenges.

Northwestern’s Ambassador-in-Residence for International Studies & Slavic Languages and Literature, Ian Kelly, welcomed the group to campus, stating that the university was excited to host NGO professionals who are working to advance human rights and civil society in Georgia. Kelly emphasized the importance of supporting NGOs as vehicles for social change.

Clinical Professor at the Kellogg School of Management Liz Livingston Howard took the delegation through a presentation on nonprofit governance and partnerships. Livingston Howard, who is also the Executive Director of the Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management, discussed why and how to build strong partnerships between the nonprofit, corporate, and public sectors, for successful collaboration. According to Howard, there are 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, which make up 10% of the nation's workforce.

Mike McMahon, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, showcased the institute’s research-NGO collaborations, such as with the World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy.​ McMahon illustrated how collaboration between academics and NGOs can help address sustainability and energy issues.

The visit proved to be enlightening for both the delegation and Northwestern. The delegation gained useful insights on NGO best practices in the United States, while Northwestern benefited from strengthening its global engagement and expanding its network of contacts in Georgia.