The University of Iowa

Paul Thelen, Director

Paul G. Thelen is the third director of the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center (LAWINRC) at the University of Iowa, ascending to that role in February 2018 after serving for two years as assistant director and one year as co-director.

Paul Thelen

Paul leads a team that provides a variety of direct services to over 500 nonprofit organizations each year, including engagement activities designed to produce positive outcomes based on advancing organizational leadership, strategy, governance, advocacy, fundraising, and beyond. His collaborations with private and public partners from across Iowa produce conferences, workshops, and lectures to over 1,000 participants annually. He is a highly sought-after speaker who delivers fast-paced, nonobvious presentations, with high-quality content that is valuable to professionals at all levels. Paul holds an adjunct faculty position at the Iowa College of Law where he teaches courses to the next generation of nonprofit leaders and counselors.

Paul is a sixth-generation Iowan who was raised on his family’s farm in Crawford County and graduated from Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll. He earned a BA and BFA summa cum laude from Creighton University, and he earned his law degree with distinction from the Iowa College of Law where he was a Law Merit Scholar. For two summers, Paul served as a counselor with the Philip G. Hubbard Law School Preparation Program. He taught theatre courses at Northwestern University while a graduate student, and he held positions as a mentor at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching and fellow at the Center for Leadership. Paul is a member of the Iowa Bar. He resides in Washington County.

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