Date: September 7, 2022

CONTACT: Shara Szott, Chief Solutions Officer,

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Names Interim President for a Planned Leadership Transition

KANSAS CITY, MO – After more than 17 years of leadership at the national organization, Susan Tomlinson Schmidt, CNP, is stepping down as President of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance effective September 30, 2022. Ms. Schmidt first served on the Board of Directors before joining the national staff in January of 2013. During her tenure, the Alliance completed a large-scale transition from a place-based, higher education program to a more diversified credential program that serves as the centerpiece of a lifelong learning strategy. This expansion has given the Alliance a greater reach to accomplish its mission of strengthening the social sector with a talented, prepared workforce.

Schmidt expressed her appreciation to the board and team that she has served at the Alliance. “I am so very proud of the work that our teams have accomplished over these 10 years. The board of directors, our many alumni, our staff, our funders, and our program partners have made this job never feel like work for me. I remain deeply committed to improving the quality of the nonprofit workforce, but I am certain that now is the time to hand over the reins of our organization to a leader with a different perspective and fresh energy.”

Don Munce, Chair of the Board of Directors, also shared his appreciation for Schmidt’s work and his enthusiasm for what is next. “Ms. Schmidt has been a pillar during a season of change for the Alliance. Her leadership through the advent of numerous new programs and the uncertainty of the pandemic was exceptional. We look forward to watching her shine in her next role.”

Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, PhD, CNP, will serve as the Interim President while the board determines who will be the organization’s next chief officer. Dr. Norris-Tirrell joined the Alliance team in 2015 and is currently the Chief Learning Officer. In this role, Dr. Norris-Tirrell was instrumental in developing the technology, courses, and content that created the organization’s shift to a virtual service delivery model. “I am pleased to continue the work of the Alliance in this new role. We have a strong team and positive culture to begin this new phase.”

The Board of Directors will continue their planning to process to finalize a strategic direction before the end of the year. This strategy will inform the search for the next President, which is expected to begin early in 2023.

About the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance

For more than 70 years, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance has helped nonprofit professionals perform better in their jobs. We change the world by ensuring that nonprofit organizations have the talented workforce needed to fulfill their missions. Our programs develop individual leaders so that their organizations are stronger and more effective in turn. The Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential and Leaderosity, our hallmark talent development programs, lift the quality of life in all communities by building social sector leaders ready for the challenges of today’s world. Learn more about our work at or by following us on LinkedIn and Instagram.