Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Public management; nonprofit and NGO management; civic engagement and public participation; collaborative governance; local government

Personal profile

Yuan (Daniel) Cheng is an Associate Professor, Chair of the Leadership and Management area, and the Director of Graduate Studies for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Professor Cheng also serves as a McKnight Presidential Fellow at the University of Minnesota and the Managing Editor for Public Administration Review (PAR).

Professor Cheng's research is focused on a range of theoretical and managerial questions lying at the nexus of governance, government-nonprofit relationships, co-production, and the distributional and performance implications of cross-sector collaboration. He is particularly interested in how government agencies, nonprofits, and citizens interact in joint public service provision, and the performance implications of alternative service provision mechanisms. In close collaboration with governmental and community organizations, Dr. Cheng is currently embarking on new research directions to better understand the implementation of evidence-based practices in government, the policy impacts of academic research, and how to design more inclusive public sector grant-making programs.

Professor Cheng has received many awards and recognitions for his work, including the Felice Davidson Perlmutter Best Paper Award of the ARNOVA Theory, Issues, and Boundaries Section, The ARNOVA Emerging Scholars Award, and the E-PARCC Best Collaborative Public Management Teaching Simulation Award. His Public Administration Review article on the changing role of nonprofits in public service provision is listed as the Highly Cited Public Administration Review Article and Web of Science Core Collection Highly Cited Paper. His work has been supported by the Ostrom Research Award, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs Faculty Interactive Research Program, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Research Fund, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Professor Cheng received his BS in Environmental Science from Zhejiang University in China where he was also a Morningside Scholar. After one year of service in rural China for two Chinese NGOs, Daniel came abroad and obtained his MA in Philanthropic Studies and Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Public Affairs, Indiana University

… → 2017

MA, Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University

… → 2013

BS, Environmental Science, Zhejiang University

… → 2010


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
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