team

NASPAA Staff

NASPAA Staff Members

  • Laurel McFarland

    Executive Director NASPAA

    Laurel McFarland has served as Executive Director of NASPAA since 2005. She brings a wide portfolio of previous experience: management of accreditation and quality assurance; professional experience in the economics of higher education and the strategic positioning of institutions in higher education; academic work in economic policy history; and active involvement in local government and nonprofit ventures.

    She holds degrees in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and in graduate economics from Oxford University. At NASPAA, she has been responsible for:

    • Directing NASPAA’s accreditation and quality assurance efforts, including a once-a-decade standards revision in 2007-09.
    • Promoting the MPA and MPP in a crowded graduate marketplace through extensive research and marketing efforts; 
    • Advancing public service through partnerships with other organizations, including projects to reform the Presidential Management Fellowship and contributing to the annual Public Service Recognition Week. 
    • Enhancing NASPAA’s leadership position in international public affairs education, through such efforts as the Conference on International Quality in Public Affairs Education, held in Dubai and Sharjah in 2007.
    • Spearheading an advocacy effort to reform the federal hiring of graduate students.
    • Overhauling data collection and establishing a data warehouse effort in public affairs education in order to enhance understanding and competitiveness of the sector. 

    Above all, Laurel possesses a great respect and enthusiasm for public service and the role schools of public affairs can play in changing the world. 

  • Martha Bohrt

    Director of Global Accreditation and Strategic Projects

    Martha is is responsible for supporting the accreditation process and implementation of NASPAA’s Accreditation Standards, including managing the training of site visitors. Martha came to NASPAA with extensive experience in public service at the local, state, and international levels. Prior to joining NASPAA, Martha served as the City Manager's Fellow in Norfolk, VA. In this role, she managed a variety of programs dedicated to increasing environmental resilience in the Hampton Roads region of Southeast Virginia. Her professional experiences also include work with the Texas State Senate Natural Resources Committee, AmeriCorps, and U.S. and Mexican diplomats. She holds degrees from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas.

  • Stacy Drudy

    Data Center Director

    Stacy is responsible for managing NASPAA's Public Affairs Education Data Center, the authoritative source of data in public affairs education. Stacy previously spent four years on NASPAA's accreditation team, and began her tenure at NASPAA as a graduate intern. Stacy completed an MPA at James Madison University.

  • Leigh Anne Elliott

    Events and Education Manager

    Leigh Anne is responsible for NASPAA’s  Annual Conference and other events. She brings over 10 years of professional experience in event management and donor relations roles with nonprofit institutions. Leigh Anne earned an MPA at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington.

  • Supriya Golas

    Director of Simulation Education

    Supriya directs NASPAA's various simulation learning initiatives such as the annual Student  Simulation Competition as well as global workshops on case writing and utilizing simulations in the classroom. 

  • Peter Green

    Director of Finance

    Peter is responsible for the financial, budgetary, and human resources functions at NASPAA. He is also the staff liaison to NASPAA's Nonprofit Section and provides support for the Finance committee. Peter earned a Master's in Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Heather Hamilton

    Chief Accreditation Officer

    As the Chief Accreditation Officer, Heather has responsibility for academic quality and development. She directs accreditation efforts with the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), a specialized accrediting body dedicated to quality assurance in professional graduate education in public affairs and public policy. She completed a Master’s in Public Service and Administration at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

  • Monchaya Lekuthaiphan

    Director of Web Services and Office Manager

    Monchaya is responsible for managing the NASPAA office, directing all inquiries, and maintaining the NASPAA website. 

  • David Marshall

    Director of Membership Development

    As Director of Membership Development at NASPAA, David is charged with building productive relationships with deans, directors, and faculty members, and matching them to NASPAA's initiatives and professional development opportunities. Additionally he engages with professional staff at our member schools including directors of admissions, career placement, and marketing/communications. This has improved participation from all of NASPAA’s schools, but especially selective schools, small schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). He also manages the onboarding of new member schools. He also recruits and manages NASPAA’s committees and sections, including NASPAA’s award selection committees. In his role as Director of Membership Development, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA). Currently, David is working to create a new NASPAA initiative called NASPAA PhD Pathways, which seeks to encourage and support students of color and those from underrepresented backgrounds to seek doctorate degrees in public affairs/policy/administration and become professors. Finally, David manages the operations of the Pi Alpha Alpha honor society as an ad hoc committee of NASPAA.  David brings a variety of professional experience to NASPAA including undergraduate college admissions, government relations, and management consulting. David completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He earned a Master's of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a Master of Arts in Advertising also from the University of Texas.