Karen E. T. Garrett
Chief of Communications, Marketing and Membership
PA TIMES Managing Editor
Karen E. T. Garrett began working for the American Society for Public Administration, the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration, in October 2015, where she serves as the Chief of Communications and Marketing. She brings to the position more than 10 years of association management expertise, most recently serving as Senior Director of Marketing for the Direct Selling Association, a 105-year-old trade association representing companies that distribute products away from a fixed retail location. Ms. Garrett is responsible for all of ASPA’s communications and marketing activities and website administration, as well as serving as the managing editor of PA Times magazine and PA Times Online.
Her career began at the Direct Selling Association in 2001, where she served in administrative capacities before being promoted to a variety of management roles within the communications department. Her primary duties included database and website management and administration, message strategy and delivery, product sales and graphic design. During her time there she promoted and supported more than 10 annual conferences, each attracting more than 1,200 attendees, and transformed the association’s annual Capitol Hill fly-in event from less than 100 participants to more than 450.
Ms. Garrett graduated from American University with her BA in literature in 2001.
Conference Manager and Member Services Specialist
As Conference Manager, Amy is primarily responsible for the management, coordination, and logistical aspects of the annual conference education sessions, and works as the liaison with the program committee in the selection of conference sessions. She also works with the ASPA Director of Professional Development in providing general conference support, and works with the development and execution of ASPA’s webinar sessions. She previously worked as a consultant to ASPA for nine years.
Before coming to ASPA, she worked as the Director of Meetings and Education with the American Staffing Association. She has worked for and with various trade and non-profit associations, as well as state government projects. She brings seventeen years of conference, education and nonprofit experience to ASPA.
As the Member Services Specialist, Amy provides chapter and section administrative support, event registration, database quality control and reporting, and assists with committee and leadership assignments.
Amy has a B.B.A. degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Portland. She is a board member of Komen Montana, and is active with various community organizations including Family Promise, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
William P. Shields, Jr.
Bill Shields became ASPA’s Executive Director in January 2014. He brings to the position more than 15 years of management experience in the non-profit sector, most recently as Vice President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the nation's leading public policy organization dedicated to ensuring that people with the lowest incomes have affordable and decent homes. In this role, he was responsible for the organization’s operational, financial, membership, outreach and fund development functions.
For more than a decade, Shields held senior management and research positions at the National Academy of Public Administration, a congressionally chartered organization established to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable and transparent organizations. As Vice President and Director of Communications, he worked extensively with the Academy’s 500 elected Fellows, the nation’s top leaders in the study and practice of public administration. He served on research teams studying organization and management issues at the 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.
Shields also served as Director at the Chief Executives Organization, a non-profit organization of 2,000 chief executives around the world, and in the Executive Office of the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. He received his M.A. in Government and B.A. in Journalism from American University, where he has been an Adjunct Professor since 2000. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and daughter.
Professional Development & Events Director
Asmait Tewelde joined ASPA in September 2015 as the Professional Development and Events Manager. She brings with her seven years of experience in meeting coordination, online training and professional development. Prior to joining ASPA, Asmait was at the International Economic Development Council, coordinating numerous professional development training forums, as well as four conferences, annually. Prior to IEDC, she was a contractor at the Department of Labor and in the education nonprofit sector. Ms. Tewelde also served as an AmeriCorps Member from 2008-2009, teaching English as a second language to adult learners. Asmait holds a BA in English Literature from Michigan State University.