Steven Putansu is a "pracademic," who splits his time between being a senior social science analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the one hand, and academic research and teaching on the other. Steven specializes in evidence-based decision making, including political consequences of incorporating evidence, including from performance systems, into policy debates, research on leading practices for making evidence-based decisions, and applied work in a variety of policy areas. He received his PhD from American University in 2012 and his PhD Dissertation, Measured Words: Politics and Performance in the Federal Bureaucracy, examined the interplay between performance information, ideology, institutions, and interests in the decision making process.
At GAO, Steven has contributed to products on best practices for evaluating government programs, audit criteria, and frameworks for assessing performance systems, interagency collaboration, human capital, risk management, duplication, and fraud in the federal government. He has applied these and other frameworks in GAO engagements in a range of policy areas, including education, defense, international affairs, nuclear energy, project management, wildfire response, immigration, climate change, veterans affairs, freight rail, and traffic safety. His methodological contributions have ensured rigorous technical standards in hundreds of GAO performance audits, provided policymakers with high-quality information for overseeing federal programs, and ensured the best use of taxpayer dollars, helping contribute to over $260 billion in financial benefits for the federal government. For these contributions, Steven received an Arthur S Flemming award for Leadership and Management in 2017.