Dr. Tracy D. Connors, Ph.D. Captain, USN (Ret)
Captain Tracy D. Connors, USN (Ret.), graduated from Jacksonville University (AA), the University of Florida (BA), and the University of Rhode Island (MA), followed by graduate study in public communications (University of Maryland), and human resource development (Bowie State University).
In 2013 he was awarded the Ph.D. Degree (with Distinction) in Human Services at Capella University with a specialization in Management of Nonprofit Agencies. His dissertation is entitled, “Towards a Theory of Self-Renewed Excellence for Philanthropic Organizations, Defining and Validating Management Constructs Associated with Organizational Performance Improvement.”
In December 2013, Dr. Connors delivered the Commencement Address for JU’s Fall graduation (See “Help yourself by helping others...”). At that time, Jacksonville University President Tim Cost conferred an Honorary Ph.D. in Leadership Excellence on Dr. Connors to recognize his “unsurpassed publication record” in the field of charitable-philanthropic organization management, and his “distinguished U.S. Navy service.” In addition, President Cost conferred the University’s first Honorary Associate of Arts Degree to recognize Dr. Connors’ tenure as a JU Student from 1957-1959, during which he was a member of JU’s first Soccer Team and President of the JU Chorus.
In its Resolution honoring Dr. Connors, the Board of Directors noted that he has more than four decades of successful executive leadership experience with public, private and charitable organizations. “Dr. Connors has served as an executive or board member with numerous charitable organizations whose public purposes focused on quality-of-life improvements in such areas as arts and cultural enhancement, emergency services advances, youth development, and civic and community improvements. He is one of America’s foremost authorities on nonprofit organization management, and published the groundbreaking Non-Profit Organization Handbook (1980) and The Volunteer Management Handbook (1995), the first works of their kind in the field of charitable-philanthropic management.”
The resolution cited his publication of “numerous books, particularly in nonprofit organization management, compiling an unsurpassed publication record in that field.” Since publishing “the first nonprofit management handbook in 1980,” he “continued to advance the field of charitable-philanthropic organization management through seven subsequent handbooks, including the first handbook in volunteer resource management.”
Dr. Connors has published eight major handbooks for nonprofit organization management since the first such handbook in 1980, and the first volunteer resource management handbook in 1995. The Second Edition of the Volunteer Management Handbook was published in 2011.
He has also published two major military history works: Baited Trap, the Ambush of Mission 1890 (2008,) and Truckbusters from Dogpatch, the Combat Diary of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in the Korean War (2006). He served as Editor, Leading at the Strategic Level (Browning), the new strategic leadership text published by National Defense University (2012).
His civilian career includes senior management positions with private and public sector organizations, including serving as Chief of Staff for Congressman Charles E. Bennett and as Director of Satellite Learning Services for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
From 1985 to 1999 he served in a variety of highly responsible positions for the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, and six Echelon I and II Navy commands in the National Capital Region prior to his Navy retirement in 1999.
His personal military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (six awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal, in addition to various service awards.
Since publication of his Nonprofit Organization Handbook (McGraw-Hill) in 1979, the first such management publication in the field, to the present, Nonprofit Handbook: Management Third Edition (John Wiley & Son), the largest and most comprehensive management handbooks in print for nonprofit organizations have been those he prepared.
In addition to Truckbusters From Dogpatch and Baited Trap, The Ambush of Mission 1890, his other publications include:
- Volunteer Management Handbook, Leadership Strategies for Success (2nd Edition), John Wiley & Sons, 2011
- Nonprofit Handbook: Management (Third Edition + Annual Supplements), John Wiley & Sons, 1990-2001
- Flavors of the Fjords, Co-authored with Faith R. Connors, BelleAire Press, 1996
- Volunteer Management Handbook, John Wiley & Sons, 1995
- Nonprofit Organization Handbook (Second Edition), McGraw-Hill, 1979, 1985
- Dictionary of Mass Media & Communication, Longman, 1982
- Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations, AMACOM, 1982
Periodical publications in national news media and trade press, includes: U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine, All Hands Magazine, Surface Warfare Magazine, Direction, Navy News, Navy Wire Service, International Defense Images, Public Affairs Communicator, and National Productivity Review.
Captain Connors began Truckbusters as a memorial to his uncle, 1st Lt. Archie Connors, a Mustang pilot with the 67th Squadron. During a daring rescue mission to extract a downed Navy pilot deep in enemy territory on 25 June 1952, Lt. Connors was killed in action. The tribute to his uncle has grown into a much much comprehensive history of the 18th Wing in the Korean War.
Serving as Officer of the Deck (underway), USS F. D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). During over three years and two deployments to the U.S. Sixth Fleet aboard the Roosevelt, Connors was a division officer qualified in bridge, quarterdeck and CIC watch standing. During his final 18 months he served as Assistant Navigator, General Quarters and Sea Detail Officer of the Deck underway.
LT Connors (center) during on-board Press Conference, USS Liberty attack incident, serving on the CINCLANTFLT Public Affairs Staff, Norfolk. During his tour of duty at CINCLANT Fleet, he was heavily involved in command efforts to respond to such international stories as the USS Liberty attack, the USS Forrestal flight deck fire and the loss of USS Scorpion. He also prepared the command’s first directive and policy statement on command internal relations, including initiatives to improve morale and esprit de corps.
Congressman Charles E. Bennett (right) saying goodbye to his former Chief of Staff. Bennett, the third senior Member of Congress at the time, was Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee and Chairman of Florida’s Congressional Delegation. Connors also served as Executive Secretary for the Florida Congressional Delegation.
Standing a bridge watch, USS Saipan (LHA-2), during NATO operations in Norway.
CDR Connors presents a Naval Order of the United States award to Admiral Arleigh Burke, USN-Ret. Prior to the commissioning of USS Arleigh Burke, Connors served as Public Affairs Officer for Admiral Burke during preparations for the construction and commissioning of USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51).
CDR Connors frequently led public affairs teams during NATO North Atlantic operations. (Left) While serving as a Director of an Allied Public Information Center (APIC) during NATO operations in Northern Norway.
Captain Connors briefs Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig while reviewing progress on the LIFELines initiative. Connors inaugurated the Quality of Life Broadcast Network, a worldwide partnership that produced and aired quality of life programming. He served as the senior military officer for the LIFELines initiative that was launched in 1999 to provide, worldwide, information and electronic access to Navy and Marine Corps support services.