Public Policy and Administration


William Abolt

Bill Abolt is a vice president at Aecom Technology Corporation, where he focuses on energy, sustainability, cities and infrastructure. Prior to joining AECOM, he was a vice president at Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. He developed and led its Sustainability, Energy and Carbon Management National Practice and directed consulting projects for clients including Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy, Sustainable Chicago 2015 and the Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Boardwalk. Before Shaw, Abolt served as Environment Commissioner, Director of the Office of Budget and Management and Chief of Management, Office of the Mayor, for the City of Chicago, where he was responsible for developing Chicago's strategy to become one of the greenest cities in the United States. Abolt has over 30 years of experience managing complex energy, environmental and public issues and programs. He is a member of the Green Ribbon Committee of the Chicago Climate Action Plan; the Midwest Advisory Council of the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Civic Consulting Alliance Leadership Council; the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, Neighborhood and Placed-based Assets Strategy Team and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. He has developed and taught graduate courses on subjects including public budgeting, energy and climate policy, urban sustainability, intergovernmental management and capital and development finance. He received his MPA from Northern Illinois University.

Currently teaching:Regulatory Policy

Debra Brucker

Debra Brucker has more than 15 years of social and health policy research experience, conducting empirical research, needs assessments, program evaluations and qualitative research for a variety of federal, state and nonprofit organizations. Brucker has held research positions within state government, academic institutions and private organizations. She currently studies the economic well-being of persons with disabilities as a researcher affiliated with the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability. A resident of Maine, she serves on its Governor’s Commission on Disability and Employment and State Rehabilitation Council. Brucker received a PhD in urban planning and public policy from Rutgers University and a master of public administration from the University of Delaware.

Currently teaching:Elementary Statistics for Research
Elementary Statistics for Research

Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford is a faculty member at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the Department of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, and has also held visiting positions at Stanford University and the University of Michigan. His research explores how organizations use history and policy to construct institutional meaning. He has also studied how education policy and associations’ codes of ethics shape students’ strategies for success in the health sciences. Crawford’s current research includes a pair of projects funded by separate grants. The first project explores the historicity of environmental associations, specifically how associations have reshaped the identity of actors to both protect the meaning of environmentalism and disrupt industries that threaten that meaning. The second project explores how stigmatized issues are shaped into legitimate categories through the work of organizations. Crawford earned his Phd from Copenhagen Business School.

Currently teaching:International Institutions

David Faller

David Faller has extensive experience in applying the theories of monetary economics and international trade to the solution of real-life issues arising in international business and financial markets. Having started his career as a financial markets trader in Europe, Faller has created and managed derivatives market making businesses, high frequency proprietary trading teams and provided advice on currency exposure management issues to multi-national corporations and governmental bodies in Europe, Asia and the Americas. While leading the global treasury activities of a NASDAQ listed technology company, he was responsible for opening branches in a number of emerging countries where his knowledge of cultural diversity, trade and tariff regulations and international tax regimes were critical in the country location process. He has been teaching courses on international business and capital markets to under-graduate and graduate levels students since 2003. Faller holds an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and did graduate studies at the Europa Instituut, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands, specializing in the economic and legal issues facing member states in economically and politically integrated sovereign areas.

Currently teaching:Global Economic Policy

Angela Fontes

Angela Fontes has a dual appointment as an assistant professor of human development and family resources at Illinois State University and senior economist in the statistics and methodology department at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Centering on family financial well-being, her research uses national data sets, including the Survey of Consumer Finances, the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Consumer Expenditure Survey. She is the director on several major projects of the US Census Bureau and works with a broad range of public and private clients on analytic research. Fontes’s research has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, Financial Counseling and Planning and the International Journal of Transportation Research. Before the NORC, Fontes worked in predictive analytics and market research consulting with Chamberlain Research Consultants and Leo Burnett; her clients included Wachovia Bank and Phillip Morris USA. Fontes earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in consumer behavior and family economics.

Currently teaching:Analytic Methods for Public Policy Analysis
Strategies for Effective Writing and Communication
Research Methods
Behavioral Economics

Scott Goldstein

Scott Goldstein, AICP and LEED AP is a principal with Teska Associates, Inc., an urban planning firm based in Evanston, Illinois. His practice includes community and economic development programming with a focus on the Chicago area and other urban areas across the U.S. Clients range from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to Habitat for Humanity International. Community plans include the Near North Neighborhood, Auburn Gresham, Washington Park, and Albany Park in Chicago, as well as a Master Plan for Altgeld Gardens, the largest family public housing development in Chicago. He has also led community development plans in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Portland, OR and Evansville, IN. He received his M.S.U.P. from Columbia University, and currently serves as chair of the Urban Land Institute of Chicago Public Policy Committee and the Village of Wilmette Plan Commission.

Currently teaching:Global Policy Laboratory

Stephen Harding

Stephen Harding is an adjunct professor and advisory board member in the master of public administration program at the University of La Verne. He is also a senior consultant with the Kosmont Companies, a 25-year-old real estate, financial and governmental advisory firm serving multiple public and private sector clients throughout California. He provides city management, financial, organizational, economic development, land-use and real estate advisory services to municipal agencies. Over his 35-year career he has advised more than 40 public and private sector clients and has been city manager or interim city manager in four municipalities, president of the San Diego Southeast Economic Development Corporation, executive director of the Santa Ana Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority and director of Pasadena development services. He has been the International City/County Management Association’s City Manager in Residence at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Fullerton. He serves the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration in the accreditation of MPA programs. Harding earned an MPA from California State University, Long Beach.

Currently teaching:The Global City

Patrick Higgins

Patrick Higgins, the village manager of Western Springs, Illinois, since 2000, has more than 33 years of experience in public administration and city management. His policy interests include transportation and homeland security, and he has been involved in a variety of regional committees and task forces. He has served as the transportation committee chair of the West Central Municipal Conference for more than 20 years and recently chaired the Regional Transportation Authority’s Cook-DuPage Corridor Technical Committee. Higgins has taught graduate courses in public administration at Chicago-area universities. His recent research interests vary across a wide spectrum: on the application side they include “smart” transportation corridors; on the theoretical side they include the continuing role of classical liberalism in current American political life and the development of a “Whig” model of public administration. Higgins earned an MAPA and PhD from Northern Illinois University with a concentration in public administration and political philosophy.

Currently teaching:Fundamentals of Public Administration
Foundations of the Nonprofit/NGO Sector
Ethics and Leadership

Robert Kiely Jr

Robert Kiely has been the city manager for Lake Forest, Illinois, since 1990, overseeing an annual operating budget of $65 million and 252 full-time and 250 part-time employees. During his more than 26 years of municipal experience, Kiely has been involved in many local government issues, including annual operating budgeting, complex land-use negotiations, eight referendums, labor negotiations and personnel matters, strategic planning, state legislation and securing more than $65 million in grants. He has also served as past president of the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency and was the 2005 recipient of the Northwest Municipal Conference Best Practices Award. Kiely has spoken on a variety of municipal subjects, such as teardowns, historic preservation, home-rule authority and successful referendums. An alumnus of Lake Forest College, he frequently speaks to its political science classes on local government. Kiely received his MPA from the University of Kansas.

Currently teaching:Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting

Gregory Kuhn

Gregory Kuhn currently is director of government management consulting at Sikich LLP and was assistant director for public management and training at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies. Kuhn has more than 28 years of combined governmental, consulting and higher education experience. He was the inaugural faculty director of the MPPA program and continues to be program adviser and lecturer. His primary teaching areas include public policy, leadership, public administration and budgeting. He also served as an instructor/lecturer for Northern Illinois University’s public administration program, and he has earned teaching awards at both NIU and SCS. Kuhn earned an MPA and PhD in public administration, public policy and organizational theory from Northern Illinois University.

Currently teaching:Scope and Theory of Public Policy
The Strategic Policy Environment
Intergovernmental Relations

Jim Landers

Jim Landers is the director of the Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Indiana Legislative Services Agency (LSA). Before becoming director, he was a senior fiscal analyst with areas of research comprising gaming taxes and state lottery, individual income tax, corporate income tax, and economic development programs. He also provides research assistance to the state's consensus revenue forecasting committee and is a lecturer for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. He is also an officer and board member of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices. Prior to working at LSA, Landers worked as a researcher and legislative drafter for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission and as a research analyst for the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research. He has published research in the National Tax Journal, the National Tax Association’s annual conference proceedings, the International Regional Science Review, the Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, the Indiana Business Review, and the Economics Bulletin. He has also published book chapters in the Handbook of Government Budget Forecasting and Case Studies in Digital Government. Jim received his PhD from the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University with a concentration in public finance and public sector economics.

Currently teaching:Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting
Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting

William Lester

William Lester is the MPPA faculty director and a scholar of political science and public administration. His research interests include leadership and ethics, public administration, disaster response, organizational theory, public personnel, and American politics. He has published in Public Administration Review and The Public Manager, among other journals, and is on the editorial board of Public Voices. He has a book forthcoming in the American Society for Public Administration series entitled Transformation and Leadership in Disaster Response. Lester was named a 1999 Civitas Scholar and was also a 2009 participant in Minnowbrook III. Recently, Lester was named a Fulbright scholar, teaching and researching in Moscow. He received his MPA and PhD from Texas Tech University with specializations in public administration, American politics, and political theory.

Currently teaching:Public Organization Theory & Management
Capstone Project
Public Organization Theory & Management
Capstone Project
Ethics and Leadership

David Limardi

David Limardi has worked in public management for 29 years, 24 of those as a chief administrative officer. Formerly the assistant village manager of Wilmette, Illinois, and village manager of Lincolnshire, Illinois, he has been the city manager of Highland Park, Illinois, since 1993. Limardi has served as a vice president of the executive board of the International City-County Management Association and president of the Illinois City-County Management Association and the Chicago Metropolitan City Management Association. Limardi has received an award from ICMA for program excellence in international cooperation and special service awards from both ICMA and ILCMA. He has been a leadership and organizational management instructor for Northwestern’s Center for Public Safety. He received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.

Currently teaching:Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting

Bruce Madariaga

Bruce Madariaga is a professor of economics at Montgomery College in Maryland. He previously worked for 15 years for the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a senior economist and manager. In 1997 he was the recipient of the EPA’s highest award, the Gold Medal, for leading the analysis of new national air pollution standards. Madariaga has published a book about applying economic principles, Economics for Life, as well as various articles on agricultural, environmental and natural resource economics and policy and the teaching of economics. He completed his doctoral work in economics from the University of Maryland, specializing in environmental and natural resource economics and policy. Madariaga also earned a MPA degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he studied public policy analysis, management and advocacy.

Currently teaching:Microeconomics for Policy and Administration
Microeconomics for Policy and Administration

Victoria McGrath

Victoria McGrath is founder and CEO of McGrath Consulting Group, which serves public sector organizations in the areas of public safety and human resource consulting. She has more than 20 years of human resource experience in municipal government, public education, banking and healthcare. While working for the city of Brookfield, Wisconsin, she consulted with the library and the departments of planning, engineering, public works, fire, police and parks and recreation. McGrath earned a doctorate in administrative leadership from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, specializing in government efficiency. She has a master’s degree in management and a dual bachelor’s degree in labor relations and finance.

Currently teaching:Public Organization Theory & Management
Public Human Resources

Maryjane Osa

Maryjane Osa, an organizational sociologist and expert on social movements, is CEO of Lake Mountain, a research and business consulting firm. She has taught at Northwestern, the University of South Carolina and the University of Chicago. In 2003 she published Solidarity and Contention, a study of antiregime organizations in communist Poland. She has discussed her research on Polish television and an episode of PBS’s Frontline. Her articles have appeared in Comparative Sociology, Mobilization, East European Politics and Societies and elsewhere. In eight years at Northwestern she taught core courses for the Business Institutions Program and supervised BA theses for the sociology department. Osa earned her PhD from the University of Chicago.

Currently teaching:Public Organization Theory & Management

Meghann Pytka

Meghann Pytka is a joint-lecturer in the Department of History and in the Program of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. A scholar of nineteenth and twentieth-century Central and Eastern Europe, her work focuses on topics of genocide and ethnic cleansing, imperialism and anti-colonial resistance, gender inequality, and nationalism. Pytka's research, writing, and presenting have been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Program, the International Research and Exchanges Board, and the Crown Center for Jewish Studies. She has worked with Northwestern's MPPA program since 2008. Pytka earned her PhD in history from Northwestern University.

Currently teaching:Strategies for Effective Writing and Communication
Strategies for Effective Writing and Communication

Pamela Ransom

Pamela Ransom has been active as an environmentalist, planner, researcher, educator and community activist. For more than eight years she was special assistant for environmental affairs for New York City Mayor David Dinkins. Then she moved into international activism as director of health and environment for the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. She worked closely with the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug, spoke to a variety of UN meetings and international conferences and organized major events at venues such as the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She has also served on the faculty of Long Island University School of Business, Public Administration and Information. Ransom received her doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Currently teaching:Scope and Theory of Public Policy
Scope and Theory of Public Policy

Ellen Rissman

Ellen Rissman is an economist and senior policy specialist in the economic research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She provides research and analysis on issues in labor economics, such as self-employment and entrepreneurship and cyclical movements in employment. Rissman’s research has been published in the Journal of Monetary Economics and the Journal of Labor Economics. Her research has also appeared in the Chicago Fed’s research periodicals. Before joining the Chicago Fed in 1985, she completed her doctorate in economics and lectured at Northwestern.

Currently teaching:Microeconomics for Policy and Administration

Dianne Rothleder

Dianne Rothleder has been teaching philosophy and political science for over 15 years. Her research interests include environmentalism, education issues, and the relationship between political theory and practice. She is the author of The Work of Friendship: Rorty, His Critics, and the Project of Solidarity. She received her doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago.

Currently teaching:Strategies for Effective Writing and Communication

Andy Sharma

Andy Sharma is a political economist whose areas of specialty include aging, health disparities, later-life migration and quantitative methods. Currently he works with the Cedar Grove Institute on a project to employ statistical methodology to examine the adverse impact of economic and racial isolation on student performance in North Carolina. A research article from this investigation was published in Education Policy Analysis Archives (Volume 22, 2014) and this study was cited and listed under Table of Authorities in an Amicus Brief filed by the Society of American Law Teachers in the Fisher II case with the United States Supreme Court (October 2015). He has also published in other highly regarded journals, such as Ageing and Society, Applied Geography, Disability and Rehabilitation, Journal of Aging and Health, and Women’s Health Issues. Sharma is a former recipient of the Carolina Population Center Fellowship with training grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. He also received the Future Faculty Fellowship and Weiss Urban Livability Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his PhD. He has master degrees in mathematics from Loyola University Chicago and economics from DePaul University.

Currently teaching:Analytic Methods for Public Policy Analysis
Research Methods
Research Methods
Analytic Methods for Policy Analysis
Special Topic:Demography, Global Health and Policy

Ricca Slone

Ricca Slone is an attorney and former state legislator. She was a consultant on regional water supply policy and lobbyist on environmental and sustainability issues for the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a regional nonprofit headquartered in Chicago. In the Illinois General Assembly, Slone chaired the Higher Education Appropriations Committee and was vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee. She was honored as Legislator of the Year by the Illinois Environmental Council for her work on clean water, land use and smart growth and sustainable development. She has traveled extensively in India to study the feasibility of distributing solar ovens as an alternative to the use of wood for cooking in off-grid rural areas. Slone has an advanced certificate in international law from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She received a JD from the University of Illinois and an MA in public administration from Ohio State University.

Currently teaching:The Legislative Process
Special Topics: US and Global Environmental Policy
The Legislative Process
Foundations of the Nonprofit/NGO Sector

William Stenzel

William Stenzel is the director of Prairie Land Solutions, a private consulting company that specializes in staffing and scheduling analyses for public safety agencies. He was previously an associate director of Northwestern’s Center for Public Safety. From 1988 to 1993 he served as the principal investigator for the “Police Allocation Manual” project, supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which developed a procedure for determining traffic and patrol staffing needs of state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies. Stenzel also directed and participated in a number of research projects related to the development and assessment of computer-based management tools for the deployment and allocation of police and fire service personnel. He is the coauthor of Police Work Scheduling: Management Issues and Practices. He has a DSc and MS in operations research from Washington University in St. Louis and an MS in statistics.

Currently teaching:Elementary Statistics for Research

Morris Taylor

Morris Taylor is an associate professor in the public administration and policy analysis department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has taught courses in public management, policy analysis, public law, program evaluation, ethics, homeland security and public safety. Prior to his academic career Taylor was an administrator with the Social Security Administration in St. Louis; a St. Louis city and county police officer; senior attorney negotiator for State Farm Insurance Companies; and the Ira Glasser Fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, investigating racial profiling and police misconduct. His research interests include police organizations, ethics, administrative law and aspects of civic engagement. His most recent publication is a book chapter in Icons of Crime Fighting: Frank Serpico, published by Greenwood Press. Taylor received his PhD in public policy analysis with a specialization in social jurisprudence from St. Louis University.

Currently teaching:Fundamentals of Public Administration
Fundamentals of Public Administration

Felicity Vabulas

Felicity Vabulas is a political scientist whose research focuses on international organizations, international political economy, international law, human rights and foreign policy. She is also a post-doctoral lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy where she has taught classes in political economy, American political institutions, international organizations and writing for public policy. She also helped lead the Harris School’s international policy practicums to Jordan and Israel, Turkey, Cambodia and Rwanda and Madagascar. Vabulas has ongoing research projects that focus on the effects of foreign lobbying on US foreign policy, the implications of suspensions from international organizations and the increasing use of informal international organizations such as the various G-groups. She has worked as a consultant at Accenture and researcher for the Central Intelligence Agency. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago.

Currently teaching:Capstone Project
Research Methods
Global Policy Laboratory
Special Topics: US Foreign Policy