Texas Tech University

Nathaniel S. Wright, Political Science Professor, TTU, Arts & Sciences, Associate Dean

Nathaniel S. Wright, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Nathaniel S. Wright, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, received his B.A. and Master of Public Administration from Binghamton University (2005, 2006) and Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Kansas (2014). In his most recent role, he has served as Texas Tech University's director of the Master's of Public Administration program. Dr. Wright is a recognized expert in grant writing, board and leadership development, and strategic planning whose work has appeared in leading nonprofit and urban policy journals. Dr. Wright's capacity building approach combines strength-based executive and board coaching designed to bring out authentic, adaptive, strategic leadership and innovative approaches to enhancing organizational performance and program outcomes. He is the recipient of the 2019 President's Emerging Engaged Scholarship Award and received the Top 20 Under 40 award from the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce in 2017. Prior to coming to Texas Tech University, he served as the city planner for the city Binghamton, N.Y., and as a county planner in the Broome County Department of Planning and Economic Development, where he represented the City of Binghamton's Planning Department and other city and county agencies such as the Zoning Board of Appeals, the City Planning Commission, and the Broome County Council of Governments.

Currently, Dr. Wright's research centers on the role that social advocacy organizations play in creating sustainable neighborhoods, and more generally on issues related to nonprofit performance and accountability. He has received external grants with other researchers from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and has published work in Nonprofit Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Journal of Urban Affairs, American Review of Public Administration, Psychiatric Services and Sustainability. His new book, entitled Performance and Public Value in the Hollow State: Assessing Government–Nonprofit Partnerships, identifies challenges nonprofits encounter in their roles as government partners, and challenges that government organizations face in holding them to account for outcomes. Importantly, this volume is a part of the “Successful Public Governance” series by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dr. Wright's passion for volunteering and helping nonprofit organizations in powering their purpose is evident in the extensive list of nonprofits he has assisted since arriving to Lubbock in 2015. Currently, Dr. Wright serves on the board for the Lubbock Area United Way, Ballet Lubbock, Open Door, The Texas Boys Ranch, Covenant Health Foundation, and serves as the Development Chair for the 100 Black Men of West Texas.

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Nathaniel S. Wright, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, TTU, Political Science Professor

Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives
College of Arts & Sciences
Texas Tech University


  • Public Administration

Research Interests:

  • Nonprofit management and the role that social advocacy nonprofits play in creating sustainable neighborhoods.
  • Research specifically addresses how internal management practices and environmental conditions influence nonprofit performance and organizational capacity.

Selected Publications:

 Hardback Performance and Public Value in the ‘Hollow State’, book jacket


  • B.A. and Master of Public Administration: Binghamton University (2005, 2006)
  • Ph.D. Public Administration: University of Kansas (2014)

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