Our Team

Dr. Don Tharpe


Dr. Don I. Tharpe’s career in association management spans more than 30 years. Tharpe served as Chief Operations Officer of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Dr. Tharpe also served as President & CEO of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation. Tharpe served as President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Prior to that appointment he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Council on Foundations. Dr. Tharpe was also Executive Director of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO).

For more than seven years prior to his work with ASBO, Tharpe held multiple senior positions at the American Vocational Association (AVA).

Prior to his career in association management Tharpe was employed at the Missouri State Department of Education.

In addition to Dr. Tharpe’s extensive management background, he has consulted for a number of non-profit organizations, written numerous articles on association management and served on the board of several nonprofit organizations.

He is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a former vice chair of its board.  As well, Tharpe is an ASAE Fellow.

Dr. Tharpe currently serves as a board member for The United Way of the Bluegrass and is a member of its finance committee. He also served as a member of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission.

Tharpe is a graduate of Murray State University (KY) where he received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Dr. Tharpe received the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Murray State University as well as the 2018 African American Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Tharpe is a current member of Murray State University’s Board of Regents and chairs its audit committee. He earned his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic & State University in Blacksburg, VA.   

Board Governance