Teresa (Teri) Behrens, Ph.D.

Executive Director

If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life.” – John W. Gardner

Hire Teri as a Speaker

Teri is available to speak on a variety of topics related to the sector and philanthropic practice.


Teri Behrens joined the Johnson Center in 2009 and currently serves as the executive director. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of The Foundation Review, the peer-reviewed journal on philanthropy published quarterly by the center. Teri is focused on embedding equity in the center’s work, building bridges between funders and nonprofits, and creating new career pathways in the sector.

Previously, Teri was the director of evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, providing leadership for the foundation’s overall evaluation program. Her early career included roles in a nonprofit organization, state government, and private consulting. Teri holds a doctorate in psychology from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from Case Western Reserve University.

Teri’s intellectual and research interests include boundary-spanning organizations, interorganizational relationships and time-limited foundations. Outside of work, her interests include biking, yoga and euchre. She splits her time between Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, where she lives with her husband.

Related Articles
Thu March 31
Volume 13, issue 4 of The Foundation Review focuses on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can be used as tools for community leadership.
Tue February 15
Teri Behrens reflects on her time at the Johnson Center and announces she will retire as executive director in 2022.
Thu January 20
The Foundation Review, volume 13, issue 3 shares some exciting research and insights about community engagement, innovation, and disruption.
In the Media
Thu March 3
Nonprofit trends in 2022: Technology will be a double-edged sword
Source: Crain's Detroit Business
Fri February 18
Johnson Center defines trends for nonprofit sector
Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal
Thu February 17
Johnson Center head to retire
Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal
Wed February 16
Teri Behrens, head of GVSU philanthropy center, to retire
Source: Crain's Detroit Business