For Immediate Release
April 14, 2009
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Transforming Government: New UM Public Policy Dean's Specialty and Passion
According to Kettl, who most recently authored the Next Government of the United States, the election of President Barack Obama and the convergence of global challenges such as the financial collapse and climate change make this an extraordinarily important and exciting moment to lead a public policy school at a major research university. These factors, he says, make Maryland's School of Public Policy (MSPP) exactly the right school to lead at this moment in history.
"If I were to design a school from scratch to meet today's unprecedented global challenges, it would look pretty much like what the Maryland School of Public Policy is now," Kettl says. "It's uniquely suited to grapple with the overwhelming policy challenges facing government. I'm enormously impressed by all the school has accomplished and where it can go."
Maryland's unique mix of strengths include what he calls its "perfect D.C. geography" - adjacent to the nation's halls of power, with just enough distance to maintain perspective; its extensive, interdisciplinary resources as the region's only major public research university, the school's focus on solutions to big issues and major policy challenges rather than on bureaucratic mechanics; an academic approach that seamlessly integrates domestic and international policy; and faculty with a tremendous mix of practical and academic experience and expertise.
"Government must change the way it does business or risk failure," says Kettl. "We're finding out all too clearly that there are no governance structures in place to handle problems on the scale of the banking crisis. The United States must get real smart, real fast or the U.S.'s leadership role in the world will be at risk."
"Our challenge as researchers and educators is to help inform policy-makers' decisions as they reshape government, and to prepare a new generation of leaders able to carry out these changes," he adds. "The University of Maryland's School of Public Policy is positioned exactly where the world is going."
"Some have called Don the leading government management scholar of his generation," says C. D. Mote, Jr., president of the University of Maryland. "He brings a dynamism and vision that will help lift the School of Public Policy to an even higher level of excellence and prominence."
UM Provost Nariman Farvardin announced Kettl's appointment today.
"Our School of Public Policy has created a unique position of excellence," Farvardin says. "To have a scholar of Don's stature and vision as dean will further energize a school that's already highly-ranked and highly-productive and help bring it much deserved recognition. His appointment has generated a great deal of excitement."
Both Farvardin and Kettl want to expand the school's partnerships and cross-disciplinary research with science, engineering, business and social science researchers on campus. For example, Kettl adds that he's already begun conversations with the dean of the university's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "With the policy issues surrounding the bank bailouts and the economic stimulus, this is a natural area for collaboration."
Kettl currently is a professor of political science and the Robert A. Fox Professor of Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution. He previously served as executive director of the Century Foundation's Project on Federalism and Homeland Security, and academic coordinator of the Government Performance Project for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Kettl's research focus is primarily on public policy and public management. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 25 books and numerous scholarly articles on public management, governance, tax reform and homeland security. Kettl holds four political science degrees from Yale University: B.A., M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D.
Kettl replaces former dean Steven Fetter, who has been appointed assistant director at-large of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with responsibility in the areas of energy, climate change, and nuclear weapons.
Fetter is one of several Maryland faculty members to assume top jobs in the Obama Administration. Two university faculty members also served as top officials in the George W. Bush administration.
Links to some Kettl articles
After the Stimulus Ends
Governing April, 2009
Heading for Disaster
Government Executive February 1, 2009
A Civil Service That Fails Today's Test
Washington Post, February 27, 2005
Environmental Governance: A Report on the Next Generation of Environmental Policy
After the Reforms
Government Executive, April 1998
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