MPA Program Faculty




Continuing Faculty


Larry Geri has been a member of the faculty at Evergreen since 1994.  Prior to switching to academia he was an analyst and manager with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, based in Washington, D.C. His primary role was to provide management advice for the Department’s plant and animal protection programs in Mexico, and Central and South America.  He has regularly taught the first and second year core courses in the MPA program plus a wide variety of electives, including public policy, energy policy, nonprofit management, grantwriting, organizational development, and international organizations. His primary research interest over the last several years has been how public policy can hasten the adoption of renewable sources of energy.  His other interests include nonprofit management, organizational development, and international organizations.  He is the co-author (with David McNabb) of Energy Policy in the U.S: Politics, Challenges and Prospects for Change and has published journal articles on a variety of topics.  Larry holds a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California, along with an MPA from the George Washington University and a BA in Economics from the UW.  Between 2002 and 2006 he was Director of the MPA program. Larry was a Fulbright Scholar in Chile during fall 2013, where he taught a course on sustainability and comp, teed (a research project on the country's electricity system).    He is a past president of United Way of Thurston County and provides guidance to many local nonprofits on evaluation, performance measurement and strategic management.  He tries to get outdoors as much as possible in his off hours, preferably with his wife Rachel.

Amy Gould is a full time continuing faculty member at Evergreen and has taught here since 2005. She earned her B.A. in Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon as well as an M.S. in Public Affairs, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Arizona University. As a former Special Projects Manager in transportation, her research areas include management style and leadership, trust within public service, public policy, and gender studies. She is the author of Social Differences & Management Styles: A Study of Conformity and serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Public Administration, Evergreen Chapter.

Cheryl Simrell King has been teaching in MPA programs for over 25 years.  She was trained as an experimental psychologist and worked as a regulatory and strategic marketing researcher before pursuing a full-time academic career. Like most Evergreen MPA faculty, she is a generalist and teaches across the MPA curriculum.  Most of her scholarship and community-based work is in the area of citizen engagement and transformational practices to improve governance and government.  This area has led her, of late, to sustainability and design thinking as portals to transforming governance.  In particular she is interested in how we shape public spaces to build and sustain communities.  She is co-author of one book (Transformational Public Service: Portraits of Theory in Practice) and editor of two (Government is Us: Public Administration in an Anti-Government Era and Government is Us, 2.0) as well as author and contributor to many articles published in academic and trade journals.  She serves on editorial boards of journals, reviews manuscripts for journals and publishers, and served in leadership positions in related professional organizations.  Locally, she serves as a Board member of a foundation that supports regional parks, arts and culture organizations and is an Art Ambassador for the City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation Department, leading waterfront public art tours in the summers.  She also serves as an assistant coach for Thurston County's Specialized Recreation and Special Olympics swim team.  

Michael Lane joins the MPA Program this year as a full time continuing faculty member and a lead faculty member in the Tribal Governance Concentration.  He is from the Menominee Nation, and is married to Sharon Heta who is Tuhoe, Ngati Pukeko and Nga Puhi.  They have three daughters aged 22, 16 and 16 and a 2 year old grandson. He has been involved with Indigenous peoples issues since The Longest Walk in 1978, in areas such as fishing rights, water rights, protecting sacred sites, sovereignty issues and self-government issues, treaty rights and inter-Indigenous relationships.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, a Juris Doctor from Arizona State University, a Masters of Indigenous Studies (1st Class Honors) from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and is completing his dissertation, titled Indigenous Sovereignty through the Lens of Indigenous Advocacy in the Indigenous Studies PhD Program at Trent University. He has significant experience in community capacity building and strategic planning, organizational policies and procedures, quality management systems, government/governance analysis, contract compliance, and public interest advocacy.

Doreen Swetkis is a full-time member of the faculty in Evergreen's MPA program.  Previously, she was a visiting professor at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University (Ohio) and received her doctorate from the Levin College in 2009.  Her dissertation topic examined the relationship between residential property tax abatement programs and change in Ohio's urban neighborhoods. She has taught several courses in urban studies, public administration, and nonprofit administration.  Doreen has several years of experience as a practitioner in the non-profit sector, including serving as the associate director of development & research for a Cleveland fair housing organization.  Doreen is published in the Journal of Genetic Psychology, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Housing News Service, and the Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory. She is co-author of The 21st Century American City: Race, Ethnicity and Multicultural Urban Life, and author of an article in the text entitled, Policy Makers versus Citizens: Implications of Competing Values when Crafting Public Policy. She sits on the board for Nature Nurtures Farm, a local nonprofit organization.

Adjunct Faculty

Marc Baldwin is Assistant Director, Forecasting and Research for the Office of Financial management for the State of Washington.  He was Governor Gregoire’s economic development policy advisor after being an Assistant Commissioner at the Employment Security Department.  He was head of the division that included legislative affairs and the labor market information staff.  He was an assistant director of the AFL-CIO Policy Department in Washington, DC before moving to Olympia.  He has a BA from Oberlin College, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from MIT.  He has taught in various capacities at Evergreen, primarily in the MPA core.  He is the father of an unusually bright and creative daughter.

Stephen Buxbaum has more than thirty years of management experience in the non-profit and public sectors focusing on community and economic development programs and policy. His background includes extensive work on farmland preservation, sustainable agriculture and water conservation beginning in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. He has worked at local, state and federal levels of government both in Washington State and Washington, D.C. As an executive manager for the state of Washington, he oversaw financing of hundreds of affordable housing, community facilities and public works projects. During his career he has managed some of Washington State’s most successful grant and loan programs, including the Housing Trust Fund and the Community Development Block Grant program. In 2005, he received a fellowship to attend Harvard University's program for senior executives in state and local government. In 2006, he was appointed to chair the Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness. Now, in addition to managing his consulting business, he teaches part-time for Evergreen's Masters of Public Administration Program. In November 2009 he was elected to serve on Olympia, Washington’s City Council. He was elected by his peers to serve as Olympia’s Mayor Pro Tem (Deputy Mayor) from April 2010 to December 2011. He was elected Mayor of Olympia in the 2011 General Election and assumed office on January 3, 2012 (term ending December 31, 2015).

Kelly Croman has worked in Indian country for more than 18 years in the roles of Tribal Attorney, General Counsel, and CEO.  As CEO, Kelly managed a diverse portfolio of tribal enterprises.  As General Counsel, she was a member of the executive team overseeing a $100 million portfolio that included commercial and industrial real estate holdings, as well as a marina and several gas stations, including the largest Shell station in the United States.  As a Tribal Attorney, Kelly has focused on governmental relations, tax, economic development, gaming, and employment issues.  Kelly has served on numerous tribal and intertribal boards and commissions, and currently serves as the Chair of the National Intertribal Tax Alliance.  She is a past Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Indian Law Section. Kelly has a Master’s in Public Administration (1994) from The Evergreen State College, and a Juris Doctor (1997) from the University of Washington School of Law, where she graduated with honors. In her free time, Kelly is an avid surfer, cyclist, and former national long-distance boomerang record holder. 

Marla Beth Elliot received her M.F.A., in Drama, from the University of Washington in 1978.  Her expertise fall under performance, voice and community studies.  Marla offers a popular Public Speaking course that serves MPA students in many professional capacities.  Outside of teaching, Marla enjoys:  voice, performance skills, performance studies, music, theatre, volunteer management, community studies, shape-note singing, arts in community, law and justice.

Karen Fraser has a wealth of elected official experience in state and local government in Washington State.  At present, she is serving her 21st year as a Washington State Senator, being elected from the 22nd District, the State Capital area.  She chairs the Senate Democratic Caucus, has served 20 years on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, many years on the Senate Rules Committee, and in the past has chaired Senate committees relating to environment, energy, water, parks and recreation, pensions, and more.  Prior to serving in the Senate, she served four years as a State Representative. Before becoming a state legislator, she held elective office in Thurston County for 15 years, including Thurston County Commissioner, and Lacey Mayor and City Council Member.  She has been an active member of a variety of state, regional, and international legislative organizations.  In addition to her own campaigns, she has worked on many local, state, and national candidate campaigns and multiple ballot issue campaigns.  She has received many forms of recognition for her legislative work.  She enjoys helping students broaden their knowledge about, and improve their ability to engage in, legislative and related policy-making processes.  She has a Masters in Public Administration degree from the Graduate School of Public Affairs (renamed Evans School) at the University of Washington.


Paul Horton is a leadership and strategy coach and community development and organizational change professional with 23 years of leadership-level experience working with the public, private, tribal, and non-profit sectors. He is committed to harnessing diversity, building community, fostering shared responsibility, and working across boundaries to implement collaborative approaches to organizational change. Paul specializes in using participatory leadership practices to build social capital and improve community and organizational outcomes.  Paul co-founded and was the managing director or executive director of the non-profit, Climate Solutions from 1998 to 2007. He was the director of sustainability for the engineering firm, David Evans & Associates and Principal of Paul Horton Consulting Group, LLC. He is currently a partner with the mission driven consulting firm The Athena Group. Paul received his undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College.  He received his Masters of Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability from Sweden’s Blekinge Institute of Technology and he holds a Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

Tina Kuckkahn-Miller works extensively in fund development, arts administration, Indigenous arts and cultures.  She currently works with the Evergreen Longhouse and the arts.  Tina will be teaching the Managing Cultural Organizations and Programs course.  Tina expands her talents and interests to Federal Indian law and policy, non-profit management, and cultural centers.

Heather Moss


Amy Leneker has held a number of leadership positions in state government. She currently works for the Department of Labor & Industries as the Assistant Director for the Government Affairs & Policy Division.  Prior to working for L&I, Amy served as the Director of Government Relations at the Employment Security Department. She has held senior policy and legislative roles for a number of other state agencies and also spent six years as a legislative staffer in the Senate.  Amy is a proud Geoduck, holding both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Evergreen.   She and her husband Corey have two children (and one incredibly clever Labradoodle) and make their home in Olympia. 


Doug Mah is the immediate past Mayor of the City of Olympia, Washington (2008-2011). During his total 10 years on the City Council (2001-2011) he served on numerous inter-jurisdictional governing boards such as the LOTT Clean Water Alliance and regional Transportation Policy Board. Doug also enjoyed a 23-year career in State Government (1989 -2012) with appointments in the Governor’s Office of Financial Management, Department of Corrections, Department of Information Services, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer as research analyst, policy analyst, budget manager, and technology program manager. Doug holds a B.A. in sociology/criminal justice and a M.A. in sociology/demography from Western Washington University.  Doug is currently owner of Doug Mah & Associates, a management and public affairs consulting firm.  Clients include public, private and non-profit organizations.  Doug is active in the community and serves on the board of directors for the Thurston County Food Bank, Washington State Employees Credit Union, and Capital Medical Center.  He is also a member of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce and the Gateway Rotary Club of Thurston County. 


Steve Marshall received his PhD at Gonzaga University and has more than 32 years of national and international business, government, and higher education experience grounded in a firm understanding of teaching methodology. He led worldwide training for Citibank and nationwide training for MetLife, and currently delivers multi-year leadership and professional development training to the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia. Steve is the author of Competent Leadership, wrote eighteen leadership and professional development courses, and taught employees in the U.S., Australia, England, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Poland, and Singapore. His domestic and foreign travel, multicultural experiences, and personal relationships with people of many nationalities have resulted in substantial experience and expertise in working across cultural differences.


Sen. John R. McCoy represents the 38th Legislative District, which includes the Everett, Marysville and Tulalip communities of Snohomish County. John served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 1981 after accumulating a great deal of training in computer operations and programming. John worked as a computer technician in the White House from 1982 to 1985. In 1994 he returned to Tulalip to help bring the community into the digital world and build what is now the Quil Ceda Village Business. He is a state and national leader on diverse, important issues involving broadband, alternative energy and K-12 education. John and his wife, Jeannie, make their home in Tulalip. They have three daughters, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Sylvie McGee is a master grant writer. Over the past 22 years as a consulting grant writer, she has obtained over $72 million for capital, operations and special projects needs for clients, which include non-profit organizations, housing authorities, school districts, city and county departments, community coalitions, and health care providers. She is an active member of the Puget Sound Grantwriters’ Association, and both for PSGA and for public and private organizations, she provides professional development for both new and senior grant writers. Her desire to help communities with accessible and affordable housing, enough food for everyone, healthy families, schools that are vibrant places of learning, and neighborhoods where people feel connected and engaged with each other, is what drove her into social work in her 20s.  It is still what motivates Sylvie today as a grant writer and consultant.


Naomi Nightingale has been a longtime advocate for social change in the LA area.  Her passion for restorative justice was the driver for her research and dissertation, African American Men Who Gave Voice to the Personal Transition from Criminality to Desistance.  Naomi also has a long and rewarding career in public and governmental organizations with over 30 years of experience.  Over the span of her career, Naomi has worked in education, transportation and human resources.  The city of Palm Desert even proclaimed her retirement date as Naomi Nightingale Day, in appreciation of her service. Naomi is currently managing her own business in leadership and change consulting where she lives in Venice California with her children and grandchildren.


Grace O’Conner is a nearly life-long Olympia resident.  She is an assistant attorney general for the state of Washington, where she defends a variety of agencies against employment actions.  Grace did her undergraduate work at Bates College in Lewiston, ME, where she created an interdisciplinary major across English Literature and Political Science, with a minor in Women's Studies.  She graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2005, where she was a teaching assistant for a second-year Constitutional Law section, president of the Women's Law Caucus, and authored the journal comment, Her Body is a Battlefield: The Applicability of the Alien Tort Statute to Corporate Human Rights Abuses in Juarez, Mexico, 40 Gonz. L. Rev. 503 (2005).  Grace has worked as a law clerk for two state Supreme Court justices, the Honorable Bobbe J. Bridge (Ret.) and the Honorable Debra L. Stephens, assisting the judges in their decision-making process.  As an assistant attorney general, she has also represented the Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Early Learning, advocating for the state in numerous administrative hearings, as well as working with agency staff to draft agency rules, among other duties.  Grace is active in Thurston County's local civil legal aid organization, and enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons, as well as reading fiction, in her spare time. 

Michael (Dave) O’Leary was the 2014 recipient of the Washington City / County Management Association Program Excellence Award for Innovation. This award was given in acknowledgement of Dave’s many years of successful work resolving challenging financial problems – mainly related to our recent recession.  In the Summer of 2015 Dave was selected to teach at the Beijing University of Political Science and Law. The subject of the class was community building. Dave taught Chinese students lessons in starting a new city from scratch. Dave has worked for 16 years in Washington as a chief executive or chief administrative officer at two different cities. He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Boise State University in 1998, and previously earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Boise State in Social Science – Education Option.  Dave has been married to wife Sally since 1971. They have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. They live in Shelton.

Pam Peters Pam Peters has been a member of the faculty at Evergreen since 2007.  She is currently the Director of Human Resources for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.  Her background includes extensive work in Public Administration where she has worked for Federal, State, County, City and Tribal Governments giving her a unique perspective in policy development and management perspectives.  Prior to her work in Human Resource Management Pam worked in the Environmental Sciences as a Water Quality Analyst where she worked to monitor businesses for industrial waste. She currently manages her own Human Resource consulting business providing human resources consulting and training services to Tribes and the Public Sector.  Pam graduated with a Masters of Public Administration from Evergreen in 2006 and was a member of the second cohort to complete the Tribal Governance Program.  Pam is an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma.     

Rhys Roth is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure at Evergreen State College. Rhys co-founded and helped lead for over 15 years the non-profit group Climate Solutions.  He specialized in programs to bring together economic development and environmental benefit, including “Harvesting Clean Energy” working with the agriculture and rural development communities, and “Poised for Profit in Clean Energy” working with the technology and investor communities.  In 2013 he was honoured as a “Sustainability Trailblazer” by the Sustainable Path Foundation.  More recently, Rhys returned to his alma mater, The Evergreen State College, to lead the College’s new Center for Sustainable Infrastructure to help bring innovation, new tools, and sustainability excellence to infrastructure planning and investment in the Pacific Northwest.  He authored the Center’s inaugural report, “Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions,” in November 2014.

Jenny Serpa currently teaches in the MPA Program at The Evergreen State College and at Northwest Indian College – Nisqually Site. Jenny is interested in research, as well as policy and systems analysis, particularly related to education and health systems. She has focused on access issues and solutions in her education, career, and advocacy work. Jenny has a passion for community-based research and service. She is the founder and manager of Hawkheart Consulting LLC, a company which offers non-profit start up assistance, non-profit administrative services, and grant writing services. During her career, Jenny has worked at the Seattle Indian Health Board, one of the 34 Urban Indian Health Organizations, and it’s Urban Indian Health Institute, one of the 12 Indian Health Service Tribal Epidemiology Centers serving the Urban Indian population across the United States. Jenny's keen knack and love of research has earned her a Mary Gates Research Scholarship & Best Honors Thesis at the University of Washington (BA) and the Sue Crystal Fellowship for capstone research (MPA - Tribal). Jenny has guest lectured at the University of Washington, The Evergreen State College, and Concordia University.


W. (William) Webb Sprague is a data analyst working for the Washington State Department of Health and Social Services (DSHS), in the division of Research and Data and Analysis. He completed his Ph.D. in 2013, with a dissertation on age and sex specific demographic forecasting using advanced methods in from linear algebra. He is also a GIS technician and
 an open source software user, advocate, and programmer.

Eden Teachout is the Senior Lean Consultant with the WA State Dept. of Enterprise Services. As a Lean Practitioner, Eden facilitates the Office's adaptation of Lean thinking, tools, and techniques. She also facilitates strategic planning, analyzes data, and coordinates the state's performance and development planning and evaluation program.

Emeritus Faculty

Prior to his retirement, Alan Parker served as Director of the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute at Evergreen and a Member of the Faculty in the MPA Program. Among other positions, he was President of the American Indian National Bank (1982-87) and Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (1977-81 and 1987-91). 

The central focus of Linda Moon Stumpff’s work is the exploration of local and indigenous knowledge and values as they are expressed through participatory governance institutions.  Her work is environmental protection and planning takes a broad focus with international study and practice.  Joining the National Park Service in 1976, she served as a Chief Ranger until 1991 when she moved to the National Forest Service to take on broader duties as a manager and planner.  Linda completed undergraduate work in International Relations and Forestry at the University of California, Berkeley and furthered her studies mid-career earning a doctorate from USC’s School of Public Administration and Regional Planning.  Her current work at Evergreen includes writing and editing case studies for the Enduring Legacies Program and working on research in forest and fire ecology.  She continues to publish mainly in environmental journals and she is working on two books.