Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Fall 2020 Advisory

Find the latest information on SPS's plans for the Fall and University resources. COVID-19 Resource Guide.
Close alert

Cindy M. Lott

Associate Professor of Professional Practice; Academic Director, M.S. Nonprofit Management

Cindy M. Lott, Esq., serves as Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in Discipline for the Master of Science in Nonprofit Management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and teaches in that program, as well. Prior to her current position, she served as Executive Director and Senior Counsel to the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, and within that Program was the developer and lead counsel to the Charities Regulation and Oversight Project from 2006-2015. Currently, Lott is also a Senior Fellow at the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, working in conjunction with the Institute’s Tax Policy and Charities project. She develops and moderates a series of national convenings on state and federal regulation of the charitable sector and is engaged in research regarding regulatory capacity and enforcement at the state level. At Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, Lott teaches several courses addressing governance, ethics and the relationship of the nonprofit sector and government.

Lott is a frequent speaker at national conferences in the areas of philanthropic and nonprofit state regulation, compliance, management and governance.  Lott was selected as one of four members of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) and will serve 2015-2018. She also serves as a member of Independent Sector’s Public Policy Committee.

Lott served as Chief Counsel to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston and was Deputy Counsel to the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. She has worked at large firms in several major cities in the areas of employment, business litigation and compliance. She also served as Chief Counsel for Advisory Services in the Indiana Attorney General's office, as well as Section Chief for Administrative and Regulatory Litigation in that office.

Lott clerked for the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Indiana and Massachusetts.


  • NOPM PS5290: Role and Unique Nature of the Nonprofit Sector
  • NOPM PS515: Nonprofit Governance
  • NOPM PS5180: Ethics in the Nonprofit Sector


  • J.D., Yale University
  • B.A., Indiana University