Maggie Mello and Paul C. Light Panelists at ASPA’s Annual Conference

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Volcker Alliance’s Associate Director Maggie Mello and Nonresident Senior Fellow Paul C. Light joined panels at the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) Annual Conference. The five-day conference – which took place place from March 8 through March 12 in Washington, DC – gathered over 1,000 practitioners, scholars and students to connect theory with practice in civil service. The event focused on four critical areas: public finance, infrastructure, social equity, and public service. These four issues impact the lives of citizens every second of every day and “transcend geographic boundaries, sectors and levels of government.” Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivered the closing address.

Maggie Mello, Associate Director, joined the No Time to Wait panel on March 10. The panel centered on the workforce crisis in public service, identifying the critical hiring, recruitment, and retention issues that must be addressed immediately. The panelists also looked at how the federal government has responded to the recommendations providing solutions for these issues.

No Time to Wait
Date and Time: Sunday, March 10 from 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Full Description: Whether recognized or not, today’s federal civil service is in a state of dysfunction that is creating a genuine national crisis—and one that must be solved immediately. Our country needs a public service workforce that is equipped to do the people's work, managed effectively and structured to support our country for generations to come. How do we get there? The National Academy of Public Service's "No Time to Wait" reports, released in 2017 and 2018, identified specific problems and provided thoughtful solutions. Recommendations on the table include flexibility in support of mission; replacing job specifications with a competency based, talent-management model; reinforcing merit-system principles; leading from the center; and transforming the federal government's human capital backbone. What has been done with these recommendations since they were put in front of Congress and the administration? This panel will look at that question and more. Every day this problem goes unsolved, our national crisis will only get bigger and more intractable. We truly have no time to wait.

Thelma Hite-Harris, Project Director, NAPA

Panelists (more to come)
Anita Blair, NAPA Fellow
Maggie Mello, Associate Director, Volcker Alliance
Peter Warren, U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Nonresident Senior Fellow Paul C. Light presented during the Elliot Richardson Lecture on March 10. The panel took place after the lecture delivered by University of Southern California Dean Jack H. Knott, and panelists discussed challenges in public administration and democracy. During the plenary, the Elmer Staats Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service was awarded to Nancy Kingsbury (U.S. Government Accountability Office).

Elliot Richardson Lecture
Date and Time: Sunday, March 10 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Full Description: Join us for this lecture as Knott reflects on the joint histories of ASPA (celebrating its 80th anniversary during this year's conference) and University of Southern California (celebrating its 90th anniversary throughout 2019). This plenary will also include a panel discussion with Knott and his colleagues as they look at historic challenges throughout public administration.

Jack H. Knott

Paul C. Light, professor of public service at New York University
Shelley Metzenbaum, founder of The BETTER Project

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