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The Helfat Fund for Faculty Development Initiative

The generous gift from Jonathan and Robin Helfat established the Helfat Faculty Development Fund creating faculty development grants available to one or more faculty members within SPA. These grants will support faculty activities to advance SPA’s visibility, forge partnerships with important organizations, and/or supports a faculty member in sharing their work more broadly with the scholarly and policy communities. Faculty members will submit written proposals for a Grant to the Dean of SPA; proposals will be considered based on their potential to enhance SPA’s visibility, forge partnerships with important organizations, and/or supports a faculty member in sharing their work more broadly with the scholarly and policy communities. This initiative will help to continue SPA’s trajectory of success and support our excellent faculty.

Apply for Helfat Funding

SPA faculty members can apply for funding through the Helfat Fund for Faculty Development Initiative in order to share their expertise more broadly.

Apply Here


Jon HelfatJonathan Noel "Jon" Helfat (SPA/BA '68) is a partner at Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen PC, specializing in corporate bankruptcy. While studying political science at AU, Mr. Helfat was a member of the Men’s Basketball team and Tau Epsilon Phi. As an alumnus, he was previously a member of the President’s Circle Council and chair of the John Fletcher Hurst Society, a giving society through the annual fund that supported academics, student financial aid, and operational costs.

Mr. Helfat currently serves on the board of directors for the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation and the executive committee for the Commercial Finance Association. He is a member of numerous professional associations, including the New York Bar Association, Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, American Bar Association, and American Bankruptcy Institute.

Mr. Helfat formerly served as a leadership council member of the Commercial Finance Association Education Foundation, the vice president of the Knickerbocker Cup Foundation, and the president of the Port Jewish Center in Washington, New York.

In addition to his undergraduate degree from AU, Mr. Helfat holds a JD from the University of Louisville and an LLM in corporate law from New York University.

He is married to Robin E. Helfat, a homemaker. The couple resides in Sands Point, New York. They have two adult children, Joshua N. Helfat and Benjamin D. Helfat.

In August 2006, Mr. Helfat pledged the funds to create SPA’s first endowed professorship, the Jonathan N. Helfat Distinguished Professor of Political Science, through the Helfat Faculty Development Fund. Dr. Karen O’Connor, founder and director emerita of SPA’s Women and Politics Institute, currently holds this position.

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Past Event: 20 Years after 9/11

The School of Public Affairs and the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy program held this campus-wide event to recognize the 20th anniversary of September 11.

Keynote address by Peter Bergen, vice president for global studies & fellows at the New America Foundation; CNN national security analyst; Co-director of the Center on the Future of War at Arizona State University.