A-Z Index

Dr. Thomas Vansaghi '91

Dr. Thomas Vansaghi '91


St. Louis, Missouri

Current City

Kansas City, Missouri

Northwest Foundation Board Member

Board member since 2022

Board Involvement

  • Governance Committee


  • Ph.D. Political Science; University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2008
  • M.S. Public Administration; Univeristy of Missouri-Columbia, 1996
  • B.S. Government; Northwest Missouri State University, 1991


  • Associate Professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Director of Strategic Planning; William Jewell College (Liberty, Missouri)


For more than a quarter of a century, Dr. Tom Vansaghi has served in a variety of senior-level positions in public service, higher education and the nonprofit sector. He began his career as a volunteer on a gubernatorial campaign (Mel Carnahan in 1992) that led to a series of leadership roles in Jefferson City, Missouri where he worked in state government with the Office of the Governor and Missouri General Assembly. He was recruited to Northwest Missouri State University in 1999 to lead the government relations, strategic planning, marketing, public and community relations and later an urban/suburban community college district in 2004. In 2013, he was appointed as the executive director of an international association of primary care physicians dedicated to promoting the triple healthcare aim of enhancing the patient experience, improving the health of the population and reducing costs. In 2015, Dr. Vansaghi became a tenured professor of nonprofit leadership at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. At Jewell, he engages undergraduate students in critical thinking to prepare them to pursue meaningful lives leading nonprofit organizations. He also serves as the director of strategic planning for the college. He has served as a senior fellow at the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership where he teaches graduate seminars and courses on nonprofit fundraising since 2010. 

His wife, Lisa Vansaghi, is an M.D. and the executive medical director at Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. They have twin sons, Ben and Jack, who attend Rockhurst High School.

Why are you "forever green"?

"My experience at Northwest Missouri State University as a student and later as a vice president of college and community relations shaped the trajectory of my personal life and career. Northwest gave my education, unparalleled leadership experiences, mentors and lifelong friendships. Dr. Hubbard remains a close personal friend, mentor and trusted advisor. Without him steering me back to the University as a professional in 1999, I would not have found my home in higher education and in teaching. This has become my life's work and without Northwest, I would be somewhere else living another life."