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#SPA80for80: Dr. John Boyer, SPA/PhD ’89

Dr. John Boyer

After nearly 40 years of experience in healthcare, in both clinical and administrative settings, and in both public and private sectors, Dr. John Boyer continues to look fondly on his experiences at the School of Public Affairs. Indeed, he credits SPA with giving him the tools necessary to succeed in his professional life.

“I was able to immediately put so many of the skills and approaches to work, and bring the literature to bear on my day-to-day job,” says Boyer.

Boyer graduated from SPA in 1989, earning a PhD in public administration and public policy. Since that time, he has continued to stay in touch with his dissertation committee members, Neil Kerwin, James Thurber, and Laura Langbein. As a longstanding member of the SPA Dean’s Advisory Council, he also keeps connected with the university and other faculty such as Barbara Romzek and Bill LeoGrande.

Today, Boyer continues using the skills and knowledge earned at SPA. Since 1995, he has worked at MAXIMUS, a leading international provider of business services to government agencies in the areas of health care, child welfare, employment and education. A publicly traded company (NYSE: MMS), MAXIMUS is comprised of more than 13,000 employees worldwide, and assists individuals, children and families lead happier, healthier lives. During his tenure with the firm Boyer has led the Health Services practice, founded the MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy, and established MAXIMUS Federal Services, a wholly owned subsidiary, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for nine years.

Boyer now leads the MAXIMUS Charitable Foundation which, twice each year, awards cash grants to organizations across the nation that promote personal growth and community development. He is also the vice chair of the advisory board of Health eVillages, a non-profit organization that assists healthcare professionals practicing medicine in the world’s most challenging clinical environments by providing them with the latest in mobile healthcare technology. He is the treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, and he serves on the leadership council of The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, which last year awarded him their coveted Ripple of Hope Award.

Before joining MAXIMUS, Boyer worked in the Pentagon for six years as director, Health Services Financing Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). He also served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Medical Department for twenty-four years, in many clinical and administrative positions.

In addition to his doctoral degree from AU, he holds a master’s degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School, a master’s degree in nursing from New York Medical College, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Illinois State University.

Looking back on his first degree, Dr. Boyer laughs, “Now how many times have I really needed differential equations?”


“My education at AU was one of the best. In my later life—the career paths I chose—the AU experience was truly helpful. The School of Public Affairs truly enabled me to do a much better job in my work life.”