Garvester Kelley brings a blend of leadership experience to his new position as director of the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning.

Garvester Kelley

Kelley, who will assume the post in May, most recently served as senior vice president of sustainable practices at the Association for Enterprise Opportunity in Washington, D.C. In addition to doing pastoral work in Burkina Farso and Ghana, he also held the position of vice president of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and as senior project manager for public-private ventures.

“Gar is a leader in building community partnerships and future leaders through a collective impact approach,” says Simone Himbeault Taylor, associate vice president for student affairs.

Kelley says he plans to work with the Ginsberg team, Student Life leadership and key stakeholders to review, revise and execute the center’s strategic plan, deepen relationships with existing community partners and establish new ones, to increase the center’s impact in the community while continuing to provide service learning opportunities for students.

“I am excited to join the University of Michigan community. In so many ways this leadership opportunity draws on my many experiences across numerous sectors, my understanding of living and serving in different cultures, and the deployment of resources to improve the lives of our citizenry,” Kelley says.

Campus stakeholders who interviewed Kelley remarked on his strong interpersonal skills, results-oriented approach, and management style. His references spoke highly of his inclusive, collaborative style, Taylor says. Kelley says he has a lifelong commitment to community service and the empowerment of others.

“The Ginsberg Center staff looks forward to welcoming Gar to this leadership role. Throughout the interview process we were impressed by the breadth of his experiences, his collaborative spirit, his commitment to addressing community needs through innovative ideas and his desire to actively engage with all members of the university community,” says Kerin Borland, interim director of the Ginsberg Center and the director of the Career Center.

The Ginsberg Center seeks to enrich student learning, advance community priorities and inspire a lifelong commitment to citizenship through service, community partnerships and social justice education. It sponsors programs and services for students, helps faculty to develop engaged learning in courses and programs, and supports community collaborations locally and globally. The Ginsberg Center works closely with a variety of organizations on campus engaged in service and supports their missions in as many ways as possible.

Taylor says that after extensive internal and external reviews, the Ginsberg Center is pursuing an ambitious agenda emphasizing community impact and student learning.

It will reach across communities to address critical needs, support service-learning by assisting faculty seeking to use community engagement in their pedagogy, work closely with student organizations committed to community engagement, and support key student co-curricular programs, such as Alternative Spring Break and America Reads.

“Kelley’s skills and experiences with successfully working for change in diverse communities will serve him and U-M well to advance the mission of the Ginsberg Center,” Taylor says.

Kelley says he plans to identify collaborative opportunities across the university’s schools and departments, help the center build on its rich history and forge a new path in community service and learning here and abroad.