(616) 238-2011 [email protected]


About Me

Dr. Chris R. Surfus (they/them/theirs) is the Founding President of The Surfus Foundation, an LGBTIQ+ public policy advocacy and research foundation in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. They are a seasoned nonprofit executive with more than 14 years of experience leading tax-exempt entities.

Dr. Surfus previously served as the President of the American Society for Public Administration’s Michigan Capital Area Chapter and as a Past Chairperson of the ASPA LGBT Advocacy Alliance Section. They served as a Faculty Specialist I of Public Administration at Western Michigan University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration in the 2022-23 academic year. In the 2021-22 academic year, they were a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability in the NIDILRR federally funded Advanced Rehabilitation and Research Training (ARRT) program where they focused on intersectional disability research on employment during COVID-19. While at UNH, they published in three Scopus Q1 journals – the APA’s Rehabilitation Psychology, Journal of Disability Policy Studies, and the ASA’s Statistics and Public Policy – and a group paper on caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have presented their research at more than 25 conferences in the field of public administration, public policy, and on public health topics. Research areas of interest include LGBTIQ+ policy, disability research, environmental justice, COVID-19, and innovative research methodologies.

Dr. Surfus earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Public Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration. They are currently purusing a Master of Public Health.

Dr. Surfus is currently seeking positions within the field of public administration and hopes to secure a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Public Administration position. Please refer to their LinkTree at https://linktr.ee/surfus for an updated Curriculum Vitae and full Portfolio.