Donald Harkins

Don has worked in virtually every capacity in a nonprofit organization— service provider, program manager, division director, CEO, consultant, and Board member. Across his career, Don’s experience includes 37 years in managerial roles and 24 years of senior management experience. He spent the last 15 years of his career as the CEO of a nonprofit provider of rehabilitation services, the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City (RIKC). Each year, RIKC worked with over 2,500 children, adults, and seniors with disabilities through programming in six western Missouri and eastern Kansas locations. Early in his career, Don was a frequent peer reviewer of federal grant applications. Currently, Don is a semi-retired nonprofit executive search consultant with the Moran Company in Leawood, KS.

During his 15-year tenure as CEO of RIKC, Don was actively involved in state-wide trade and professional associations and provided legislative advocacy on behalf of the agency’s services and clientele. In 2015 Don was recognized as one of Kansas City’s “Heroes in Healthcare” for RIKC’s outpatient services leadership. Don has had extensive experience in working with a broad cross-section of human service agencies and leaders. He is a past President of both the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (a state-wide trade association with over 80 members) and the Association of United Way Agency Executives (which represented 100 United Way funded agencies).


  • M.A., Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Missouri – Columbia (1986)
  • B.S., Psychology, Centre College, Kentucky (1977)

Teaching Area

Nonprofit management

Research Interests

  • Employment outcomes of persons with disabilities
  • Strategic planning in the nonprofit environment

Service Work / Board Affiliation

  • Strategic planning for both the University of Kansas Medical Center’s MS Achievement Center and Disability Inc., Greater Kansas City
  • Board of Directors for The Whole Person, Inc. Kansas City, MO

Professional Memberships

  • Past Board Member of the United Way of Greater Kansas City
  • Past Member of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals
  • Past Board member and President of the Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities

Awards / Professional Accomplishments

  • Missouri Rehabilitation Association Stevinson Career Achievement Award
  • Kansas City Heroes in Healthcare Award