An expert on strategic planning, general management, and leadership, Kearns has presented more than 100 executive seminars, nationally and internationally, promoting ethical leadership in public and nonprofit institutions. Along with a Fulbright Fellowship to teach nonprofit management in Czech Republic, he has lectured in places like Taiwan, Indonesia, Macedonia, and Brazil.

Teaching and Research Areas 

Kearns' research focuses on these key areas: 

  • Strategic management 
  • Nonprofit management
  • Public administration

Select Publications and Funded Research

  • Kearns, Chrystal Alexander, Marina Duane, Evelyn Gardner, Lydia McShane and Erin Morse. "Thad Allen: Leadership in Crisis." Journal of Public Affairs Education, 2019. 
  • "The Leadership Portfolio Program: Teaching Leadership to Graduate Students." Teaching Public Administration, 2019. 
  • Private Sector Strategies for Social Sector Success: The Guide to Strategy and Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. Jossey-Bass, 2000. 
  • “From Adequate to Outstanding Performance: Lessons from Nonprofit Organizational Life Cycles,” Pittsburgh: The Forbes Funds, May 2006.

Awards and Honors 

  • Martin Luther King Leadership Award from the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh, 2015.
  • Wangari Maathai Humanitarian Award from Workforce Development Global Alliance, 2015. 
  • Donald Goldstein Teaching Award, GSPIA (six time winner, most recently in 2016) and Dean's Commendation for Teaching, GSPIA (16 time winner based on teaching evaluations). 
  •  Terry McAdam Best Book Award from the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, 2001. 

Consultancies and Public Service

  • Advisory Board, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, 1998 – present.
  • President and Project Coordinator, The Forbes Funds – formerly Copeland Fund, 2000-2003.

Other Academic Positions 

  • Founding Director, Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, GSPIA.