Grant Rissler headshot

Grant Rissler hired as assistant professor of organizational studies

July 1, 2024

SPCS Faculty Update

Dr. Grant Rissler has been hired by the School of Professional & Continuing Studies as assistant professor of organizational studies. He joins the University of Richmond from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he most recently served as affiliate faculty in the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

The assistant professor of organizational studies is a new position designed to support existing SPCS programs in human resource management and nonprofit studies, along with a new organizational leadership concentration in the graduate liberal arts program.

Rissler’s social equity research explores the role of state and local governments, as well as nonprofit partners, in the integration of recent immigrants into their new communities. He studies public opinion toward immigrants and the intersection of the fields of public administration and peacebuilding. He’s published in the Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and State & Government Review among other journals, along with a book chapter on “the triple pandemic” of health, economic, and justice impacts on social equity for immigrants stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s presented dozens of conference papers, invited talks, and guest lectures related to his research interests.

He brings to the School more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit and higher education sectors where he’s held roles in communications, fundraising, policy analysis, and program administration. He is connected to the local Richmond community through his professional, research, and service interests, including service on several nonprofit boards. He’s served on the boards or advisory groups of Hope in the Cities, the Richmond Peace Education Center, Ten Thousand Villages - Richmond, and the Central Virginia chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

In the classroom, Rissler brings to the School recent experience at Virginia Commonwealth University teaching graduate-level courses in public administration, public sector leadership, and public policy and evaluation. He’s also recently taught undergraduate classes in social science and political science research methods along with skills and theories of effective leadership.

In making the decision to appoint Rissler, members of the selection committee noted that his deep ties within local Richmond communities, including nonprofits and public agencies involved in education, immigration, and conflict resolution, would enrich the School and its students. Additionally, his practical experience with an international NGO in different capacities, and with local nonprofits and academic institutions, suggests the possibility of developing partnerships and connections for students with a variety of stakeholder groups.

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in international relations, and a doctorate in public policy and administration, he’s earned a graduate certificate in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University and a professional certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through SPCS from the University of Richmond. He also participated in Virginia Commonwealth University’s 2018 Minority Political Leadership Institute.