Author Archive

Donald F. Kettl

Donald F. Kettl

Donald F. Kettl is professor emeritus at the University of Maryland and former dean of its School of Public Policy. He recently retired from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of many books, including Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America's Lost Commitment to Competence, The Politics of the Administrative Process, System Under Stress and The Next Government of the United States. Kettl is a two-time recipient of the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2008, he won the American Political Science’s John Gaus Award for a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and has held appointments at University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Donald F. Kettl is professor emeritus at the University of Maryland and former dean of its School of Public Policy. He recently retired from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of many books, including Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America's Lost Commitment to Competence, The Politics of the Administrative Process, System Under Stress and The Next Government of the United States. Kettl is a two-time recipient of the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2008, he won the American Political Science’s John Gaus Award for a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and has held appointments at University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Management

Three Pandemic Lessons for the Next Crisis

What we've learned from dealing with COVID-19 could improve the federal response in the future.

Management

The Battle for the Public Service Is Just Beginning

We are in the midst of a critical debate over the future of the federal workforce.

Management

Biden Needs a Strategy for Strengthening the Federal Workforce

Mending the public service isn’t just one more thing to do—it’s the way to do everything that needs to be done.

Management

6 Lessons From 2020 Federal Leaders Should Apply in the Months to Come

As the embers of the dumpster fire that was 2020 burn away, important lessons provide light for the way forward in 2021.

Management

Schedule F Order Relies on a Myth the Private Sector Fires More People Than the Government

The notion that companies remove employees for cause more readily than federal agencies is not supported by the data.

Management

Why Merit Matters

Governance isn’t a solo act and it won’t work well if we don’t trust the experts who are giving us advice. 

Management

Trump’s Order Sets the Stage for Loyalty Tests for Thousands of Feds

The president’s executive order sweeps aside 140 years of federal policy promoting professional expertise.

Management

Resilience Is Local, But Feds Can Help

In strengthening government’s response to COVID-19, nothing matters unless it matters at the community level.

Management

We Must Address the Crisis in the Merit System

The historic system for hiring and promoting federal employees is failing the nation, and the consequences are profound.

Management

A Federal Data Failure Is Making It Hard to Talk About COVID

Without a standard, trusted language of COVID data collection, it’s been hard to measure the disease, track its trend, and build effective policy.

Management

A Leadership Reality Check

It doesn’t matter how good the plan is to combat the COVID-19 outbreak if leaders don’t lead.

Management

The Federalism Divide Is Shading Government’s Response to COVID-19

We can’t afford a government where the odds of an effective attack on the novel coronavirus depend on where citizens live.

Management

A Message for Trump: When Americans Lose Faith in Government, Presidents Pay a Price

The management failures that swirled around the government’s initial response to Katrina seriously damaged President Bush.

Management

No Matter What Happens In November, a Transition is Coming

Government leaders face enormous uncertainty in the coming months. It’s bound to be a wild ride.

Management

Behind Medicare for All: The Sleeper Issue No One Is Debating

If Medicare is expanded to cover all Americans, someone will have to do the back-office work the insurance companies now perform.

Management

The Lesson for Federal Leaders in ‘First Man’

NASA found the right man to be the first man because it understood the moon landing was as much a people problem as an engineering challenge.