The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Elizabeth Schmidt

Head shot of Professor Betsy Schmidt
Professor of Practice
School of Public Policy

Office: 

220 Thompson Hall

Phone: 

(413) 577-2396

Elizabeth (Betsy) Schmidt is a professor of practice, specializing in nonprofits, social enterprises, and solutions-based policy analysis. She currently teaches two graduate school courses, Nonprofit Law and Management and Social and Environmental Enterprises, and two undergraduate courses, Making a Difference: Policies and Strategies for Successful Social Change and Catalyzing Change: Creating and Operating a Nonprofit.

Prior to UMass, she was at George Mason University, where she taught nonprofit and social enterprise courses, directed the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and ran a master’s program in social entrepreneurship. She has also taught at Vermont Law, William and Mary Law, and Marlboro College’s MBA for Sustainability program. In addition to academic positions, Schmidt has practiced law, consulted with nonprofits, and worked directly for nonprofit organizations in legal and management capacities. Among her accomplishments were the creation and development of a data licensing program at GuideStar and a distance learning program at Colonial Williamsburg.

Schmidt writes in the areas of nonprofit governance, accountability, policies, and ethics. She also writes about the legal framework for social enterprises. In addition to several articles, she is the author of Nonprofit Law: The Life Cycle of a Charitable Organization, 2d ed. (2017).

She has an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton and a law degree from Stanford University.

Research interests: 

nonprofit law, nonprofit management, social enterprise