L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Randy Barrack

Randy Barrack


Email: barrackr@vcu.edu


  • Nonprofit and public financial management
  • Advocacy
  • Nonprofit governance, law and leadership 


B.S., Political Science, James Madison University
M.Ed., Administration and Supervision, Virginia Commonwealth University
Ed.D., Administration and Supervision, University of Virginia
Ph.D., Public Policy and Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University


Randy Barrack, Ph.D., Ed.D., has taught in the Master of Public Administration program at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2004. He teaches courses in financial management in government, financial management in nonprofits, public policy analysis, administrative law, nonprofit leadership and advocacy.


Barrack’s academic research in recent years has focused primarily on collaborative relationships in organization public policy advocacy. Additional research interest includes organizational ecology and the growth of the collaborative nonprofit sector affecting state legislatures.


Barrack is a professional administrator with extensive experience in association and foundation management, educational leadership and public policy. A former public school teacher and high school principal, Barrack has over three decades of experience as a chief executive officer of a statewide nonprofit, professional education association and foundation working with diverse stakeholders requiring strengths in visionary leadership, finance and budget expertise, legislative lobbying and training skills. He has proven success in developing and implementing policy through collaboration with state agencies and has designed, administered, and/or presented over 500 professional education conferences, workshops, institutes, webinars and train-the-trainer programs. His UVA doctoral research was on the effectiveness of services provided by the Virginia Department of Education. His doctoral fieldwork at VCU focused on the collaborative relationships in organization public policy advocacy.

After creating an educational leadership exchange program between Virginia and the United Kingdom working with nongovernmental educational leadership organizations and local governments, Barrack was invited in 1990 by the U.S. Information Agency and National Association of Secondary School Principals to travel to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to examine the impact of perestroika and glasnost on Soviet Education. He was again invited in 1991 to observe the public education structure – including all levels of education – of the People’s Republic of China. A focus of the onsite visit was China’s Compulsory Education law that took effect in 1986.

Barrack was appointed commissioner in 2015 to the AdvancED Accreditation Commission – now Cognia Global Commission.  The Commission is the school accreditation authority for Cognia, a global nonprofit working in over 80 countries, serving 36,000 institutions, nearly 25 million students and 5 million educators every day.