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Don Tharpe


Dr. Don I. Tharpe‘s career as an association executive and management spans more than 30 years. Tharpe served as Chief Operations Officer of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Dr. Tharpe also served as President & CEO of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation, as President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Council on Foundations, and Executive Director of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). He served in interim leadership and senior positions with other associations. Before his career in association management, Tharpe was employed at the Missouri State Department of Education.

In addition to Dr. Tharpe’s extensive leadership and management background, he has consulted for a number of nonprofit organizations, written numerous articles on association management, and served on the board of several nonprofit organizations. Dr. Tharpe currently serves as a board member for The United Way of the Bluegrass and is a member of its finance committee. He is also a member of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission and a current member of Murray State University’s Board of Regents.

Dr. Tharpe is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), a former vice-chair of its board of directors, and an ASAE Fellow (FASAE).

Tharpe is a graduate of Murray State University (KY), where he received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Dr. Tharpe received the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Murray State University as well as the 2018 African American Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic & State University in Blacksburg, VA.