Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

April 27, 2022

ASPANet.org | PA TIMES.org

Interested in placing an ad in The Bridge? Contact Mrvica Associates for more details!

Public Service Recognition Week Begins Next Week!

National Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), an annual opportunity across the United States to pay tribute to public service employees, begins next week! We are excited to see a number of ASPA Chapters are hosting events in honor of PSRW, including:

  • May 2: Sacramento Chapter 40th Annual Awards Dinner
  • May 4: Rhode Island Chapter 11th Annual Public Service and Leadership Conference
  • May 4: Evergreen Chapter Public Service Awards Program
  • May 5: Greater Houston Chapter: 2022 Public Service Award Ceremony
  • May 18: New Jersey Chapter 2022 Awards Ceremony
If you are a member of any of these groups, make sure you join your Chapter in honoring your public servants—and, of course, anyone can participate in the virtual events, so feel free to join the celebrations! Find more information on our online calendar.

You do not have to attend one of these events to honor your public servants! From letter-writing campaigns to social media posts to op-eds in your local newspapers, there are plenty of ways to show public administrators at the local, state and federal level that their work is valued. If you need help getting started, here are some sample social media posts you can use and a coloring sheet if you want to send a visual thank-you or get some kids involved! (Thanks to the Partnership for Public Service for some of these tools!)

However you choose to get involved next week, make sure you show your hard-working public servants—who have been demoralized over time and moreso in the past couple years—that you value their efforts. Make plans now and spread the word with your network!

For the public servants reading this message, we hope you enjoy a fulfilling PSRW and you know how much the American Society for Public Administration—all 8,000 members—appreciates you! Thank you for your service!

If you are affiliated with an ASPA Chapter or Section hosting an event that is not on the list above, please let us know so we can include you on future lists!


E-Learning at Your Fingertips

ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming.

KeepingCurrent: Implementing President Biden’s Management Agenda
May 4 | 1 p.m. EDT
In Partnership with ASPA's Center for Accountability and Performance

President Biden released his proposed fiscal year 2023 budget in late February, accompanied by his management priorities—both government-wide and agency-specific. The administration had spent the past year developing detailed strategic plans, performance plans, learning agendas, cross-agency priority goals and agency level priority goals, all publicly available via performance.gov. While OMB is central to the development and approval of these plans, there were a number of teams working across agencies to pull them together, coordinated via a team at GSA. During this webinar, we will speak with the head of that team about this ambitious agenda.

John M. Kamensky, Moderator, Emeritus Fellow, IBM Center for The Business of Government
Lauren Stocker, Associate Director, Office of Shared Services and Performance Improvement, General Services Administration

KeepingCurrent: Disability Policy and Administration in South Asia: A Call to Action for Academics and Practitioners
In Partnership with ASPA's South Asian Section for Public Administration
May 5 | 10 a.m. EDT

Disability is a cross-cutting issue but numerous factors affect the mainstreaming of disability as an integral dimension of policymaking and administration in South Asia. This webinar will explore academic and practitioner perspectives on disability policy and administration in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and South Africa. Speakers will assess the current climate for disability policy and administration in the region and examine the impediments to effective disability policy, programs and services.

Shakila Dada, Professor and Director of the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa
Prachi Deo, Founder and Executive Director, Nayi Disha, A nonprofit organization serving individuals with disabilities, Hyderabad, India
Nilika Mehrotra, Professor, Center for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Binendri Perera, Lecturer, Department of Public & International Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nandhini Rangarajan, Moderator, Associate Professor and Director of the MPA Program at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
Sharin Shajahan Naomi, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Head of the Core Program of the Asian University for Women, Dhaka, Bangladesh

From the Archives

KeepingCurrent: Getting Serious About Intergovernmental Data Sharing in Times of COVID-19
COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of being able to share data quickly between levels of government, but this does not come easy. Our presenters offered case studies that provide insights and recommendations that may be helpful in guiding your city, state or federal agency on ways they can undertake data sharing initiatives.

ASPA's Bookstore Gains New Editions!

ASPA’s 2022 Annual Conference included two book signings: Our Own Worst Enemy by Tom Nichols and Gimme Shelter by Bonnie Stone. We have extra signed copies of each book for sale on our website. If you're interested in expanding your library with these must-reads, now is your chance to purchase a copy of either book!

Our Own Worst Enemy ($20)

Over the past three decades, citizens of democracies who claim to value freedom, tolerance and the rule of law have increasingly embraced illiberal politicians and platforms. Democracy is in trouble—but who is really to blame?

In Our Own Worst Enemy, Tom Nichols challenges the current depictions of the rise of illiberal and anti-democratic movements in the United States and elsewhere as the result of the deprivations of globalization or the malign decisions of elites. Rather, he places the blame for the rise of illiberalism on the people themselves. Nichols traces the illiberalism of the 21st century to the growth of unchecked narcissism, rising standards of living, global peace and a resistance to change. Ordinary citizens, laden with grievances, have joined forces with political entrepreneurs who thrive on the creation of rage rather than on the encouragement of civic virtue and democratic cooperation. While it will be difficult, Nichols argues that we need to defend democracy by resurrecting the virtues of altruism, compromise, stoicism and cooperation—and by recognizing how good we've actually had it in the modern world.

Trenchant, contrarian and highly engaging, Our Own Worst Enemy reframes the debate about how democracies have ended up in this dire state of affairs and what to do about it.

Gimme Shelter ($20)

Now and then, there really is good government. Bonnie Stone spent 40 years in New York City and social services-oriented not-for-profits. She doggedly and ingeniously tackled some of New York's most urgent issues, particularly chronic homelessness. Undaunted, Stone negotiated choppy waters, working with the expert, the difficult, the skeptical, the next-to-impossible, the determined and the inspired.

Gimme Shelter has a cast of characters as colorful and varied as the city itself. There are big stories of apparently insurmountable odds, surmounted-and smaller stories of people who with dedicated help were able to beat terrible odds. At a time when government is viewed as ineffective or even as a saboteur of people's best interests, Gimme Shelter reveals how the men and women who work for the City of New York can bring positive change to the lives of its citizens.

Your Taxes at Work

While federal spending has always been an issue of importance, large legislation packages have dominated the news for the past two years as Congress has worked to fight a pandemic, pay for overdue infrastructure and fund other important societal needs. These discussions have taken on increasingly partisan messaging, some of which has stolen the focus from the big picture of the federal government's budget.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation recently released this blog post outlining the 10 largest budget functions in the federal budget in 2021, serving as a helpful reminder of our government's biggest spending priorities. The top three? Income security (including things like SNAP, TANF and COVID relief); social security; and health (including Medicaid and CHIP). Click on the button below to learn more about what is on this list.

And Then What Happened?

Those who followed the Trump administration's efforts to make significant adjustments to the federal civil service (no, this isn't about Schedule F) may remember efforts on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move two of its agencies outside Washington, DC: the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

As GovExec recently reported, not only were both of these efforts rocky, to say the least, but also significant short-cuts were taken to expedite the moves without appropriate data to support the decisions made.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently conducted an evaluation of the process and found that the USDA's internal system to recommend actions was discarded in an effort to focus entirely on the cost benefits associated with the move.

Read the full article by clicking below.

2022 Transatlantic Dialogue Takes Place This June!

The 16th Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD16), an annual conference bridging scholarly communities on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, will take place June 9-11, 2022, in Roskilde (Denmark). Co-sponsored by ASPA, the European Group for Public Administration/International Institute of Administrative Sciences and Rutgers University, we are pleased to join with our European counterparts to support this event and the scholarly communities it enhances.

Under this year's theme, “Strategic Management of Public Sector Transformation in Turbulent Times: Enhancing Collaborative Governance and Co-creation of Public Value," TAD16 will organize a broad range of workshops led by pairs of American and European scholars:

  • Building capacities for collaborative governance and co-creation through strategic management
  • Enhancing public performance through interagency and cross-sector collaboration
  • Public innovation through networks of public and private actors: theory and practice
  • Improving the performance of contracts, procurement and public-private partnerships
  • Co-creating public value outcomes with citizens and voluntary organizations
  • Public leadership and motivation in public value production
  • Designing institutional platforms and arenas for collaborative governance and co-creation
  • Political leadership and policy entrepreneurship in a turbulent world of collaborative governance
  • Democratic legitimacy and accountability in collaborative governance arrangements
This event also will feature several keynote speeches, a roundtable discussion of public governance responses to COVID-19 and a fun social event. More details will be provided as the schedule evolves.

All registrations are due by May 10, 2022. Find more details on the TAD16 website and we'll look forward to seeing you in Roskilde in June!


Tips and Resources

Data from Friends and Strangers Show Where You Are
Movement patterns of people you know contain 95 percent of the information needed to predict your location.

Pandemic Decisionmaking Is Difficult and Exhausting. Here’s the Psychology That Explains Why
People tend to dislike uncertainty and risk—two things that are hard to avoid completely during a pandemic. That’s part of why it can feel especially draining to make even small decisions these days.

Interesting Federal Social Media Accounts You May Not Know About
Federal agencies have come a long way from the bureaucratic rules that often hampered effective social media use.

Four Women Who Shaped Modern Retirement
Stories of pioneers in creating the federal government’s retirement safety net, and reaping its benefits.

Staring at an Image of Yourself on Zoom Has Serious Consequences for Mental Health—Especially for Women
Mirrors, selfies and knowing other people are looking at you all cause people to think of themselves as objects. Video calls are all three in one and are likely increasing the harms of self-objectification.

In the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity


Members in the News

ASPA members are in the news in a variety of ways. If you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.

Five Ways to Overcome the Hiring and Retention Crisis Without Raising Pay
By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene

Study: Burnout Is High in the Public Sector, Especially among Workforce Minorities
An article profiling a study out of University of Southern California, Sol Price School, featuring ASPA member Bill Resh.

The Volcanoes That Are Defining Today’s Federalism
By Don Kettl

Class of 2022: Whitney Brown Excels through Dedication to Public Service and Her Community
A profile of VCU MPA student and ASPA 2022 Founders' Fellow Whitney Brown.

Welcome New ASPA Members!
Click here to view the most recent new ASPA members!

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals and other updates:
  • 2022 SECOPA Call for Proposals
    The program committee for the SECOPA meeting in Lexington, Kentucky (September 30 – October 1, 2022) invites participants to offer papers and presentations on all topics of public administration, but particularly encourages proposals dealing with the many ways public administrators across agencies, sectors and levels of government build and promote community. Recent events—even those only peripherally related to the pandemic—have heightened public awareness of the importance of community in all its forms. As the hallmark of our profession, public administrators rely on technical expertise to identify and address the needs of our communities. No stranger to collaboration or conflict before the Age of COVID, public administrators now face new and more intense challenges in providing public goods and services as we are battered and bolstered by the forces of politics. Public administration research and practice have consistently emphasized mechanisms of accountability as important tools to combat negative images and document the positive impact of public agencies. We rely on evidence from research and practice to develop and utilize management tools to help eradicate corruption and build trust while meeting public needs. The challenges of the pandemic were exacerbated by a divisive and highly partisan political environment, drawing additional attention to the importance of technical expertise and ethical competence in public service. For more than 50 years, practitioners and academics have come together at the Southeast Conference for Public Administration to address the challenges and celebrate the impact of public administrators. For SECOPA 2022, we once again issue the call to academics and practitioners to provide research and reports to assist public administrators at all levels as they build community through the collaborations and conflicts that characterize practice. If you have questions, please contact conference chair Matthew Howell, or visit the website. All proposals are due by May 1, 2022.

  • Editor in Chief Search: Public Administration and Development
    Public Administration & Development is a long-running journal dedicated to publishing the best research in the field. For more than 50 years, it has been reviewing and assessing the practice of public administration at the local, regional, national and international levels. It gives special attention to investigations of the management of all phases of public policy formulation and implementation which have an interest and importance beyond a particular government and state. The journal is looking for two new editors in chief who will relish the opportunity to develop the journal in line with the discipline, with the changing publishing landscape, and will be able to work together to bring different perspectives to the journal. All applications are due June 1, 2022. Click here for more details.

  • 2022 NECoPA Call for Proposals
    The Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) is intended to provide educational opportunities for scholars, practitioners and others interested in public service in a collaborative environment by educating all on current issues, research and practice in public and nonprofit organizations. This conference will be NECoPA’s 13th year of bringing together scholars and practitioners from the northeast region, the United States and internationally. This year's theme, "Public and Nonprofit Administration in a Hybrid-Connected 21st Century," recognizes that the events of the last two years accelerated the pace at which both our professional and personal lives have become intricately intertwined with technology, as we live and work in a hybrid—virtual and in-person—world. Public and nonprofit administration has been tasked with adapting and navigating public programs in this world to ensure they continue to be delivered in an effective, efficient, economical and equitable manner. All proposals are due by July 31, 2022. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.



Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)


American Society for Public Administration
1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036

Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.