Yuan Daniel Cheng

Visiting Assistant Professor

(812) 855-9254
Room Number:
SPEA 458


  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2017
  • M.A., Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 2013
  • B.S., Environmental Science, Zhejiang University, China, 2010


  • SPEA V362 Nonprofit Management and Leadership


Yuan “Daniel” Cheng earned his master's in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and his Ph.D. in Public Affairs from IU SPEA.

He is an affiliated researcher at the Human Dimensions Lab and the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University. His research agenda focuses on a range of theoretical and managerial questions lying at the nexus of polycentric governance, government-nonprofit relationships, coproduction, and the distributional and performance implications of cross-sectoral collaboration, often with a substantive focus on urban sustainability.

His recent research examines the processes and consequences of nonprofits becoming important players in determining and supporting public service provision in the context of parks and recreation services in large U.S. cities.

Cheng has earned awards from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, the Ostrom Workshop, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and the Center for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania.


  • University of Pennsylvania’s Nonprofit Leadership Summer Doctoral Fellowship, 2017
  • Pi Alpha Alpha Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration, 2016
  • Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Doctoral Fellowship Award, 2016
  • Adam Smith Fellowship, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2014-15
  • The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop Fellowship, Indiana University Bloomington, 2013-14

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