Dr. Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger

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Dr. Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger is Vice-President for Planning and Strategy and Chief of Staff at Bridgewater State University (BSU). Previously she was a professor in the Department of Political Science/Public Administration at BSU and the founding chair of the sustainable MPA program at Presidio Graduate School.

Dr. Leuenberger is Turkish-American and was born in Istanbul, Turkey. Her academic work primarily centers on the intersection between social justice and sustainability. She has served in a number of human services and non-profit leadership roles in her early career, including working as child protective services worker and supervisor and as a mediator. She has partnered with over one hundred non-profit and non-governmental organizations on strategic planning and organizational development and has completed a number of international projects, including in the UAE and in Jordan.

Dr. Deniz Leuenberger is deeply committed to liberal arts education and the foundation it provides for critical thinking and social equity. Her mission is to lead through informed, ethical, and data-informed practice in higher education, guided by stakeholder engagement, by research and outcome-centered decision making, achieved through commitment to student success and social justice, and through emphasis on sustainably, developing the assets, resources, strengths, and skills of coworkers and community partners.



Sustainable development, Strategic planning, Public sector economics, Public goods theories, Public budgeting and finance,  Non-Profit and Non-Governmental (NGO) agency management, and  Health and human services delivery



Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Concentration: Public Sector Economics, Budgeting and Finance

Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Concentration: Human Services Delivery

Midland College
Majors: Sociology, English, History

Certificates:    Harvard Graduate School of Education

Institute for Educational Management

Women in Education Leadership

Seminar on Advancement Leadership

Certificate:     HERS Wellesley Leadership Training Institute

Certificates:   Parsons School of Design at the New School

Design Leadership for Business

  • Design Thinking Fundamentals
  • Economic and Social Context of Design
  • Design Leadership and Management
  • Design Innovation for Sustainable Business
  • Futures and Foresight

Healthier Materials and Sustainable Building

  • Materials and Human Health
  • Building Products and Chemistry
  • Healthier Materials Design and Specifications
  • Executing a Healthier Project

Certificate:    UMass-Amherst

Core Arts Management

  • Introduction to Arts Management
  • Creative Economy and Placemaking
  • Arts Fundraising
  • Cultural Policy and Advocacy

Credit Courses:    University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education

History of Art and Architecture (Total 22.5 USA Credits/ 90 CATS UK)

  • Islamic Art and Architecture
  • Art Nouveau Across Europe
  • Modern Art
  • The Impressionists
  • The Culture of the English Country House
  • Western Architecture
  • Italian Renaissance Art 1400 to 1500
  • Vikings: Raiders, Traders, and Settlers
  • Ancient Egypt



Bridgewater State University 

Vice-President for Planning and Strategy, June 2018 to current;

Chief of Staff , July 2015 to current

Interim Vice-President Division of Community Outreach and Engagement, December 2020 to August 2021, June 2022 to current;

Interim Vice-President of External Affairs, January 2016 to June 2018

Professor, Department of Political Science – Public Administration Program, 2005 to 2015
* Faculty Director of the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement
* Coordinator of the Center for Sustainability- 2010 to current
* MPA and Political Science Internship Coordinator- 2006 to current
* Program Director of the Global Education and Leadership Program – Center for Legislative Studies- 2006 to current
* Faculty Director of the Institute for Regional Development – 2007 to 2009

Presidio Graduate School

Master of Public Administration in Sustainable Management, 2009 to 2011
* MPA Chair
* Sustainable MPA Curriculum Designer
* Faculty