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Department of Public Administration & Policy


  • SPA: Public Administration
    Ward, Room

    Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu

Mailing Address

DPAP Advisory Board

The linking of theory to practice is an essential element of our approach to graduate education for MPA and MPP students. Our faculty’s academic and practical experiences help us to determine what our graduates need to be successful in their careers in public service. However, we also draw from the expertise of a diverse advisory board of accomplished practitioners who are leaders in their fields. They represent national professional associations, government organizations, research organizations, consulting firms, and policy areas of interest to our students.

Collectively, these public service leaders bring perspectives from federal, state, and local government levels in the U.S. and from public, private, nonprofit, and international sectors. In the process, they alert us to evolving challenges, issues, trends, and opportunities in their areas of expertise that help keep our curriculum and programs fresh, relevant, and dynamic. Our advisory board members alert us to the skills, knowledge, and values critical in the current professional environment; provide real-world projects for our courses; and identify internship and career employment opportunities in their areas of expertise. We are honored that the following public, private, and nonprofit leaders have agreed to serve a three-year term on our board:

David C. Bowen, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. David Bowen is currently deputy director for global health policy and advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role, he has responsibility for interactions between the foundation and governments worldwide. He was formerly chief health counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy and staff director for health of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions where he served through the successful enactment of health care reform legislation. In 1999, Dr. Bowen joined the staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as a Congressional Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. From 2000 to 2002, he held a joint appointment as a visiting fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bowen received his undergraduate education at Brown University and earned a PhD in neurobiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Jennifer Chandler, National Council of Nonprofits

Jennifer Chandler has over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector at all levels: as a program volunteer, board member, senior staff member, and legal advisor. As vice president and director of Network Support and Knowledge Transfer for the National Council of Nonprofits, she focuses on connecting networks of local, state, and regional nonprofit associations with resources that build their capacity to support and serve close to 24,000 member organizations nationwide. Prior to joining the National Council in July 2009, she served as senior counsel and director of Special Projects for the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits understand and control risk. Jenny’s role with the center included designing training tools and presenting workshops on topics ranging from fundraising risks to good governance. She is the author of numerous articles on risk management topics and two texts on personnel practices for nonprofits, including--coauthored with Melanie Lockwood Herman Taking the High Road: A Guide to Effective and Legal Employment Practices for Nonprofits, 2nd Edition (2006).

William (Bill) Eggers, Deloitte

William Eggers is global director of the Public Sector Industry, Deloitte Research and executive director of Deloitte’s Public Leadership Institute. In these roles, he is responsible for research and thought leadership for the Public Sector practice at Deloitte which provides consulting services to public and private organizations worldwide. Mr. Eggers is a former appointee to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Performance Measurement Advisory Commission and the former project director for the Texas Performance Review/e-Texas initiative. His book, Governing by Network, was honored with the Academy of Public Administration’s 2005 Louis Brownlow Award for the best book on public management. In addition, his book, Revolution at the Roots, won the 1996 Sir Anthony Fisher Award for the book making the greatest contribution to the understanding of the free economy during the past two years. He is a former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the former director of Government Reform at the Reason Public Policy Institute. Bill Eggers is also a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Margaret (Peggy) Focarino, U.S. Patent and Trade Organization

Peggy Focarino is currently deputy commissioner for patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She was appointed to this position in September of 2009. Prior to that, from January 2005, she was deputy commissioner for patent operations. She coordinates and provides training to patent professionals and technical support staff in patent practice and procedures, use of automated systems, and budget and performance planning. The deputy commissioner for patents also provides administrative oversight for examination-related trilateral and international projects. Ms. Focarino received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in 1993 for her work as a supervisory patent examiner and the Department of Commerce Silver Medal for leadership in 2010 for leading a joint union and management task force that developed and implemented the first significant changes to the patent examiner work credit system in more than 30 years. In 2010, Peggy Focarino was a recipient of American University’s Roger W. Jones Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership.

Jonathan Foley, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Jonathan Foley is director, Planning and Policy Analysis, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In that role, he manages a team that provides advice to the director of OPM on human resource management policy, the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, health reform, and workplace wellness. From 1999 through 2008, Mr. Foley worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Health assessing health system performance and developing and implementing primary health care policy. His prior experience included developing and managing public health and primary care programs in the state of Maryland, consulting on hospital financing in Sierra Leone, and managing a community health center in the state of West Virginia. Jon Foley graduated with a master's degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and received his BA from Colgate University.

Jerry N. Johnson, National Forum for Black Public Administrators

Jerry Johnson is General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which provides water and wastewater service for 1.8 million metro area residents. His prior service includes General Manager of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DCWASA) for 12 years, where he guided the authority from an unrated agency to one with a double A+ credit rating in two years. He developed long-term capital and financial plans, a comprehensive rate strategy, and led resolution of major operating and regulatory agency issues. Public/private partnerships, infrastructure planning, and organizational development are among Johnson’s areas of expertise. He has also served the City of Richmond as Deputy City Manager, Director of Public Utilities, and Director of Community Facilities. He was also the General Manager for the Metropolitan Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau. Other prior appointments include Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Alexandria, Virginia and Senior Planner for the City of Charlottesville, Virginia. He holds degrees from Ferrum College, Virginia Tech (Urban Affairs and Economics), and has completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.

Janice R. Lachance, Special Libraries Association and U.S. Office of Personnel Management

As CEO of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), Janice Lachance is spokesperson and global ambassador for its 11,000 members working in 75 countries on five continents. She is former director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) under President Clinton, and member of the Joint Board of Directors and chair of the CEO Advisory Board of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and The Center for Association Leadership. Prior to becoming director of OPM, Ms. Lachance was the agency's deputy director (1997), chief of staff (1996-1997), and director of communications and policy (1993-1996). Previously, she served as director of communications and political affairs and policy advisor for the American Federation of Government Employees (1987-1993). After leaving OPM in 2001, Ms. Lachance transitioned to a management consulting practice specializing in strategic planning, communications, human resources management, and organizational transformation for membership and nonprofit organizations. She is also a fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Theodore (Tad) McGalliard, International City/County Management Association

Tad McGalliard is director of sustainability initiatives at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Founded in 1914, ICMA is the premier local government leadership and management organization in the world. The Center for Sustainable Communities is ICMA's research, outreach, and technical assistance hub at the intersection of effective local government management and environmental sustainability efforts. The center is the home for a number of currently funded projects, including the National Brownfields Conference, the Solar America Communities Outreach Partnership, and the Local Government Environmental Assistance Network. Prior to joining ICMA, Tad worked with Cornell University’s Center for the Environment in a variety of capacities. Previously, he served as the assistant director of Cornell’s Work and Environment Initiative, an applied research program focused on eco-industrial development and labor involvement in organization-wide environmental improvement.

J. Christopher Mihm, U.S. Government Accountability Office

J. Christopher Mihm is the managing director of the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) Strategic Issues Team. He leads GAO's work on government-wide, longer-term, broader issues designed to support the transition to a more results-oriented and accountable federal government. Strategic Issues addresses such topics as strategic planning and performance management, budgeting and the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook, human capital management and civil service reform, intergovernmental issues, federal tax policy and administration, oversight of the Recovery Act, and the U.S. Census. Mr. Mihm is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of its Board of Directors.

Helga Muller, The World Bank

Dr. Helga Muller is chief administrative officer of Public Sector and Governance at the World Bank. The World Bank, a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world, pursues its mission to fight poverty and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, and building partnerships in the public and private sectors. In contributing to this mission, Dr. Muller presently specializes in financial management and nonprofit issues in Eastern Europe and the Central Asians regions, with a focus on financial and private sector development. Previously, she served in the same capacity for the Africa region. She earned her PhD in economics at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Scott Pattison, National Association of State Budget Officers

Scott Pattison is the executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) in Washington, DC. Founded in 1945, NASBO serves as the professional organization for state budget officers of all 50 states and U.S. territories. He is chair of the ITIB's Finance and Audit Committee. Before joining NASBO, he served for four years as Virginia's State Budget Officer. Prior to that, he headed the Regulatory and Economic Analysis section of the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. He also served on the Virginia Debt Capacity Advisory Board, College Building Authority and Performance Management Advisory Committee. Mr. Pattison is a principal with the Council on Excellence in Government and also serves on the board of Old Dominion University. He holds a bachelor's degree from George Washington University and a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Katherine Peters, GovernmentExecutive.Com

After 15 years as senior correspondent at GovExec.com reporting on management and policy issues in the Defense Department and other agencies, as well as federal agencies’ use and oversight of energy, Katherine Peters is the executive editor of the magazine’s Nextgov.com feature. Government Executive in its print incarnation is a biweekly business magazine serving senior executives and managers in the federal government's departments and agencies. Launched in 2008, Nextgov quickly grew to be the largest federal IT website in traffic and consistently leads the competition in its velocity and depth of coverage of federal technology issues. Before joining Government Executive Media Group, Ms. Peters worked as an associate editor at Army Times and as a writer and technical editor at both IDC Washington and EDS.

Sheila Zedlewski, The Urban Institute

Sheila Zedlewski is director of the Income and Benefits Policy Center (IBPC) at the Urban Institute, which houses about 20 research associates who evaluate the generation and distribution of income. Her areas of expertise include: work support programs, state spending for low-income populations, poverty, welfare reform, food stamp policy, child nutrition programs, and engagement of older adults. She is a specialist in the areas of income transfer policy, employee benefits, aging, and the use of micro-simulation to forecast and analyze income transfer and health benefits policies. Ms. Zedlewski directs and participates in projects evaluating trends in employment-based retiree health insurance and the effects of government programs on poverty. She has participated in a wide variety of projects focused on retirement policy and the needs of the elderly in the 21st century, including projections of the number and characteristics of the elderly population in 2030. In addition to her leadership of the IBPC, she is a widely published author on these topics. Ms. Zedlewski earned an MPA degree from American University with a specialty in urban affairs/economics.