Nicki Nabasny, EdD, is the founder and principal of Beleza Advisors, a boutique consulting firm focusing on strategy and vision, leadership, and executional excellence in higher education. Prior to founding Beleza Advisors, Nicki spent more than 20 years advancing higher education institutions as a senior administrator, strategist, fundraiser, and communications professional. She has served as chief of staff, chief innovation and strategy officer, associate dean for development and executive director of communications at two of the top ten U.S. universities. She also led development for two schools and campus-wide donor relations and prospect discovery at a premier Jesuit university.
Nicki founded Beleza Advisors in 2021. Clients include Yale University, University of Chicago, Fordham University, Roberts Wesleyan University, Eastern Illinois University, and St. Clement Parish. Projects with these partners include strategic planning, developing mission, vision, and values statements, redesigning leadership structures, team building, and executive coaching.
Prior to founding Beleza Advisors, Nicki was chief of staff and chief innovation and strategy officer at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She partnered with the dean, faculty, and other senior leaders to transform the staff organization and innovate the admissions function, resulting in significant budget savings and the most diverse MBA class in Kellogg’s history. Previously, Nicki spent eight years at the University of Chicago at the Harris School of Public Policy and the Office of the Provost. While serving as chief of staff to the Provost, she oversaw a large-scale effort to reimagine PhD education among other projects. Nicki managed Harris’s development operations during the two most successful fundraising years in the school’s history.
Before moving to Chicago, Nicki spent eight years at the University of San Francisco, where she worked in university advancement overseeing fundraising for the School of Management and School of Nursing, in addition to managing the University’s donor relations and prospect discovery teams. Nicki holds a BA in Spanish and BS in political science from Santa Clara University. She earned a master’s of nonprofit administration (MNA) from University of San Francisco and a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from University of San Francisco, where her dissertation focused on higher education leadership, exploring the pathways of female, non-academic university presidents. She joined PRG as a senior associate in 2023.
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