Springer, David W. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., Florida State University
  • MSW, Florida State University
  • B.A., Florida State University
Research Areas
  • Philanthropic, Nonprofit, and Community Leadership
  • Mental Health Policy, Philanthropy, and Practice
  • Criminal and Juvenile Justice
Teaching Areas
  • Finance, Management and Leadership (including Nonprofits)
  • Development Policy

David W. Springer, Ph.D., LCSW, is director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service and a university distinguished teaching professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, with faculty affiliations in social work and psychology.

He began his career as a clinical social worker, completing his Ph.D. in social work from Florida State University and joining the faculty at UT in 1997. Dr. Springer has served in numerous leadership roles at UT, including interim dean of the LBJ School (2021) and associate dean for academic affairs and graduate advisor of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work (2001–11), where he co-founded and directed the Inter-American Institute for Youth Justice. He is the faculty mentor for LBJ students interested in nonprofit management, philanthropy and community engagement.

Dr. Springer and the RGK team prepare the next generation of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. His research and teaching coalesce around collaborative leadership to promote mental well-being and resilient communities. In addition to his seminars at LBJ, he teaches a freshman signature course, "Designing a Happy and Meaningful Life," where students examine living with intention and purpose. Dr. Springer's university-wide teaching awards include the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award, and selection into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Dr. Springer is a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research. He has been named to the Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50, and named Social Worker of the Year, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Texas Chapter/Austin. The British Journal of Social Work named him one of the 100 most influential social work journal authors, and the Florida State University College of Social Work named him a distinguished alumnus in social policy and administration.


NewsMay 3, 2022
CONNECT Community Showcase celebrates program impact in the community

On Thursday April 21, graduate students, community members, UT faculty and staff, and other supporters attended the CONNECT Community Showcase event at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. For the first time since its beginning in 2019, participants in the CONNECT program gathered to learn about the impact current and former CONNECT fellow work has made on organizations that have a data challenge.

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NewsDecember 8, 2020
LBJ School policy leaders craft solutions for a resilient future

Twenty-nine LBJ School authors have come together to craft interdisciplinary and resilience-based policy solutions, published in one toolkit called Resiliency in the Age of COVID-19. This toolkit comes as researchers from across The University of Texas at Austin continue to offer first-of-its-kind groundbreaking research and discovery in the fight against COVID and its long-lasting impacts on public health, business and the future of governance.

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FeatureDecember 8, 2020
Cultivating Community Resilience Through Nonprofit Connections

The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, an academic and research center in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, recently released the Austin Area Sustainability Indicators annual Austin Futures Report focused on community and climate resilience. In it, researchers posed the question: "Instead of normalizing and valorizing herculean efforts of historically disadvantaged communities, how can resilience interrogate and change inequitable societal structures?"

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