You are here: American University School of Public Affairs Faculty William Shields

Back to top

No Profile Picture

View Resume (PDF)

William Shields Adjunct Professorial Lecturer Department of Government

William Shields
SPA | Government
Kerwin Hall ST06
Kerwin Lobby, Wednesdays 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (in season)
MA, American Government American University

BA, Journalism (magna cum laude) American University

Bill Shields became Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration, the largest and most prominent professional association for public service, in January 2014. During his tenure, he has significantly expanded ASPA’s professional development programming, strengthened its 60 local chapters and 30 subject matter sections, revitalized its operations and enhanced the quality of its communications. Shields has recommitted the Society to its core mission of advancing excellence in public service and made considerable inroads in partnering with like-minded organizations, both in the United States and abroad, on a wide range of activities.

Shields has 20 years of executive and management experience in the non-profit sector, including as Vice President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the nation's leading public policy organization dedicated to ensuring affordable and decent homes for the lowest income Americans. For more than a decade, he held senior positions at the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration, which assists government leaders build more effective and accountable organizations. As Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Communications, he worked closely with the Academy’s Fellows, the nation’s leaders in the practice and study of public administration. He served on research teams studying organization and management issues at the U.S. Departments of Defense, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation. He edited more than 50 Academy panel reports on issues ranging from federal compensation issues to FBI reorganization. He served in the Executive Office of the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island throughout the 1990s.

Shields earned his M.A. in Government and B.A. in Journalism from American University, where he has been an Adjunct Professor since 2000. In 2015, he received the School of Public Affairs’ Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Position. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and member of the governing board of NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement, the leading professional association for procurement professionals at the local level. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and daughter.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

  • "Putting Private Sector Experience to Work in the Public Sector: An Interview with Amman Mayor Omar Maani and Panama President Ricardo Martinelli.” Compass. 2009.

  • Introduction of Edward Blakely, Executive Director for Recovery Management, City of New Orleans. Elliot Richardson Lecture, American Society for Public Administration Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas. March 2008.

  • “Crime and Development in the Caribbean: An Investigation of Traditional Explanatory Models.” Co-authored with Richard R. Bennett. Crime Delinquency and Justice: A Caribbean Reader. Randle Publishers, Miami and Kingston, Jamaica. 2007.

  • “What’s Next: Now That the Campaign Is Over, Let’s Get Back to the Real Work of Improving Government Performance.” Co-authored with C. Morgan Kinghorn. Government Executive. 2004.

  • “Building on Strengths: Lessons from Comparative Public Administration Reforms: Country Reform Summaries.” Co-authored with J. William Gadsby. International Public Administration Reform: Implications for the Russian Federation. The World Bank, Washington, DC. 2000.

Media Appearances

In-Studio Guest, "2008 Year In Review." The Buddy Cianci Show. 630 WPRO-AM. Providence. 31 December 2008.