Samantha Balbier, executive director of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, has been named director of Pitt's Institute of Politics and Elsie Hillman Civic Forum. She replaces Terry Miller, who retired earlier this year after serving the Institute for more than 25 years.
“(Balbier’s) record ... clearly reflects a deep commitment to the strength, health and vibrancy of our home region, which is central to the new leadership roles she will be assuming,” said Mark Nordenberg, Pitt’s chancellor emeritus and chair of the Institute of Politics.
Balbier will begin her new role in early January. The Institute of Politics provides a neutral forum for elected officials and other civic leaders to develop policies in areas important to the region. The Elsie Hillman Civic Forum promotes civic engagement among Pitt students.
At the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, Balbier established a series of public policy education sessions about the state budget for the nonprofit sector through partnerships with elected officials. The organization provides education and advocacy services to more than 450 member organizations from across a 12-county region.
Balbier earned undergraduate degrees from Mercyhurst University and her masters of social work degree from Pitt, with a focus on community organizing and an emphasis on public policy. During her graduate school work at Pitt, she first developed a connection to the Institute of Politics through her faculty advisor, Moe Coleman, its founding director. She received the 2018 Outstanding Alumni award from the School of Social Work earlier this year.