Faculty: MA in Public Policy & Administration Program

Bill Lester

William Lester

Faculty Director

Contact Information

w-lester@northwestern.edu

William Lester is the MPPA faculty director and a scholar of political science, public policy, and public administration. His interests include leadership and ethics, public administration, disaster response, public organization theory, public personnel, and American politics. He has published in Public Administration Review and The Public Manager, among other journals and book chapters, and is on the editorial board of Public Voices. He has a recently published book in the American Society for Public Administration Series entitled Transforming Disaster Response: Federalism and Leadership. Lester was named a 1999 Civitas Scholar and was also a 2009 participant in Minnowbrook III. Lester was named a Fulbright scholar (2013), teaching and researching at The National Research University-Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He received his MPA and PhD from Texas Tech University with specializations in public administration, American politics, and political theory.

Education

MPA,  Texas Tech University

PhD, Texas Tech University

Recent Courses

MPPA 498-0 : Capstone Project

MPPA 408-DL : Public Organization Theory & Management

MPPA 417-DL : Public Human Resources

MPPA 418-DL : Ethics and Leadership

MPPA 420-DL : Disaster Management and Theory

 William Abolt

William Abolt

Contact Information

william.abolt@northwestern.edu

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. Abolt previously 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.  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 public budgeting, energy and climate policy, urban sustainability, intergovernmental management, and capital and development finance. He received his MPA from Northern Illinois University.

Michael Baron

Michael Baron

Contact Information
Michael.Baron@northwestern.edu

Michael Baron’s background includes more than 30 years of experience in statistics, analytical methods, systems design, curriculum design, risk management, and computer programming. Baron's work includes more than 15 years of experience utilizing SAS and SPSS for statistical analysis and risk management in the context of Public Policy and Administration.  He also has over six years of experience using R programming for statistical analysis and risk management.

Baron has 18 years of practical experience in preparing various types of organizational leaders and educators for the pedagogical, technological, communications, and logistical challenges of the 21st century. A common thread throughout his knowledge and experience in bridging the gap between theory and practice via organizational collaboration, innovative (catalytic) questions, and creative systems design.

Baron has substantial experience helping improve Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) related to the development of more effective learning organizations and corporate resilience and policy design (and implementation). Further, he has expertise in scaling up successful EDI initiatives and programs through evidence-based methods as part of implementation science. A core aspect of these endeavors and leadership roles has been integrating principles of Public Policy, Behavioral Economics, and Cognitive Science and cultivating mutual understandings among employees and cross-functional teams through shared mindsets.

Recent projects include creating innovation infrastructures and ecosystems to facilitate agile, adaptive organizational development, change management, and digital transformation.

Education

Doctor of Education with a focus on Leadership and Learning in Organizations, Vanderbilt Peabody College (2020)
Master's in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Global Policy, Northwestern School of Professional Studies (2016)
Master of Science in Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health (1995)
Master of Arts in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (1994)
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (High Honors, Summa Cum Laude), University of Michigan (1990)
Certification in Strategic Leadership in Education, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (2021)
Certification in Social-Emotional Teaching and Learning, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (2021)
Certification in Inquiry-Driven Leadership, MIT Sloan School of Management (2020)

Relevant Work

Senior Instructor at eCornell and Cornell University in Statistics; Data Science; Data Analytics; Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Business Analytics, and Machine Learning (2016 to present)
Program Director for Analytics Leadership at Kullar College (2021)
Member of Board of Directors at The HomeMore Project (2021).
In charge of using data analytics and statistics to enhance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion programs which mitigate the negative impacts of homelessness and improve career opportunities for homeless persons.
Member of the Board of Directors for the OT Consultancy Group (2021).
Supervising the use of statistics and data analytics to improve community development programs in Michigan that reduce poverty, hunger, and sanitation problems.
Article Reviewer and Editor for the Journal of Opioid Management with an emphasis on assessing statistical and data analytic strategies

Research Interests

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the context of Public Policy and Public Administration
Leadership and Ethics
Self-Determination Theory to improve community responses to poverty, hunger, and public health risks
Innovations in Public Administration from a Community Health perspective
Disaster Response
Public Organization Theory
Quantitative and qualitative research methods designed to enhance community education and skills development programs for special-needs children Social Impact and Implementation Science to improve community development for economically and socially disadvantaged populations

Selected Publications and Products

Increasing Student Engagement in Advanced Placement Classes in High School. This includes the implications of student engagement for enabling a diversity of perspectives in classrooms. (Vanderbilt University, 2020)
The Treatment of Covid-19 as a Network of Complex, Dynamic Systems (Advisory Cloud, 2021)
Preparing for the Educational Landscape in 2021 (Advisory Cloud, 2020)

Recognition

Honored for contributions to K-12 learning in advanced placement classes, doctoral research at Vanderbilt University (2020)
Received distinguished thesis award (2015-2016) for Master's Thesis in Public Policy and Administration at Northwestern School of Professional Studies
Honored for special contributions to the Public Health community in the Boston area by Harvard School of Public Health (1995)
Member of Phi Beta Kappa, University of Michigan (1989)
Member of Sigma Xi, University of Michigan (1989)

Recent Courses

MPPA 405-DL : Statistics for Research

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

Michael Baron has a holistic approach to teaching and learning. He connects the subject matter to other aspects of students' lives, including academic and professional endeavors. This strategy encompasses statistics and R programming. Within this context, Baron has experienced significant success implementing an asset-based approach to teaching. Every student has something unique and meaningful to offer to class discussions and the sharing of insights. This strategy is derived from a philosophy of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Each student's background provides a special context and narrative for learning that benefits the entire class. The aforementioned philosophy often enriches class discussions and collaborative approaches to learning related to Statistics in Research, as implemented through R programming.

 Justine Bulgar Medina

Justine Bulgar-Medina

Contact Information

J.Bulgar-Medina@northwestern.edu

Justine Bulgar-Medina is a research methodologist at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, working in Statistics and Methodology. As associated faculty in the MPPA program at Northwestern University, she teaches courses in research methods and public policy. Bulgar-Medina is an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. She serves as the Associate Chair for the Conference Support Committee and the Chair of the Student & Early Career Engagement Subcommittee. She is also an active member of the American Statistical Association and American Sociological Association. Before joining NORC at the University of Chicago and Northwestern, Bulgar-Medina was a faculty member at Merrimack College. She taught courses in research methods, statistics, public policy, and criminology. Bulgar-Medina completed her doctoral work in Sociology & Survey Research at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Recent Courses

MPPA 432-0 : Intergovernmental Relations

MPPA 401-DL : Research Methods

Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford

Contact Information

brett.crawford@northwestern.edu

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.

Recent Courses

MPPA 432-DL : Intergovernmental Relations

Andrew Crosby

Andrew Crosby

Contact Information

andrew.crosby@northwestern.edu

Andy Crosby is Assistant Professor of Instruction in the MPPA program at Northwestern. He teaches a wide variety of courses, including Research Methods, Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting, Statistics for Research, Scope and Theory of Public Policy, and Intergovernmental Relations. His research interests include public and nonprofit financial management and intergovernmental relations. Before joining the MPPA faculty, he served as an assistant professor of public administration at Pace University in New York City. His scholarly work has appeared in Public Budgeting and Finance, the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, Financial ManagementTobacco Control, and other journals. Crosby is also the past president of the American Society for Public Administration New York Metropolitan Chapter. He completed his PhD in public administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago with concentrations in financial management and survey methods.

Recent Courses

MPPA 401-0 : Research Methods

MPPA 404-DL : Microeconomics for Policy and Administration

MPPA 407-DL : Scope and Theory of Public Policy

MPPA 418-0 : Ethics and Leadership

Grant Driessen

Grant Driessen

Contact Information

grant.driessen@northwestern.edu

Grant Driessen is an economist with the Congressional Research Service in Washington, DC. He advises members of Congress and their staff on fiscal policy, public finance, and state and local budgeting. Driessen previously worked for the Congressional Budget Office. He served as the primary forecaster for their baseline projections of federal excise tax revenues and customs duties. Driessen’s recent publications and citations include work in Public Finance Review, Tax Notes, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Heritage Foundation, and U.S. Supreme Court Cases. Driessen received his PhD in economics from Tulane University.

* The views expressed in Driessen's course are his alone in the context of an educational setting at Northwestern University, and are not presented nor should they be interpreted as those of the Congressional Research Service or the Library of Congress.

Education

PhD in Economics from Tulane University

Relevant Work

Specialist in Public Finance at the Congressional Research Service, my employer since 2015. I research public finance and economic issues of importance to congressional business and advise members and their staff on legislative proposals and related discussions.

Research Interests

Public Economics and Finance
Federal Fiscal Policy
State and Local Budgeting

Selected Publications and Products

Library of Congress

Public Finance Review

Tax Notes

Recent Courses

MPPA 402-DL : Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

I believe that students should expect to receive knowledge and critical thinking skills commensurate with their time and resource investment in every course they take. That belief informs the two foundational tenets of my approach to teaching: (1) effective delivery of core concepts needed for subject mastery; (2) practical application of all material to fields of interest and everyday life. Open lines of communication are of utmost importance. They ensure information is tailored to fit the needs of each class and hold me accountable as an educator.

David Faller

Contact Information

david.faller@northwestern.edu

David Faller has extensive experience applying the theories of monetary economics and international trade to solve real-life issues arising in international business and financial markets. He started his career as a financial markets trader in Europe. He specialized in the economic and legal issues facing member states in economically and politically integrated sovereign areas. Faller has created and managed derivatives market doing 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 many emerging countries. His knowledge of cultural diversity, trade and tariff regulations and international tax regimes were critical in the country's location process. He has been teaching courses on international business and capital markets to undergraduate 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.

Recent Courses

MPPA 450-DL : Global Economic Policy

Angela Fontes

Angela Fontes

Contact Information

Angela Fontes was most recently a vice president in the Economics, Justice, and Society department at NORC at the University of Chicago. At NORC, Fontes oversaw research focused on household finance and investor decision-making, with a specific focus on the financial well-being of African American and Hispanic/Latino families. A nationally-recognized expert in household finance, Fontes is regularly quoted in national and trade press and is a frequent speaker on financial well-being topics. Fontes is the Principal Investigator on several projects. Two projects include work with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct investor protection research and NORC’s ongoing collaboration with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Her research is in journals such as the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, and Financial Counseling and Planning. Prior to NORC, Fontes worked in business and market research consulting with Chamberlain Research Consultants and Leo Burnett. Fontes is the incoming President of the American Council on Consumer Interests and the Board of Directors at the Northwest Side Housing Center. Fontes holds a PhD in Consumer Behavior and Family Economics with a minor in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®).

Education

PhD in Consumer Behavior and Family Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Relevant Work

Vice President, NORC at the University of Chicago, 2009 - 2021

Research Interests

Personal finance/financial well-being
Investor decision-making
Behavioral economics

Selected Publications and Products

Gutter, Michael S. and Fontes, Angela, Racial Differences in Risky Asset Ownership: A Two-Stage Model of the Investment Decision-Making Process. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2232188

Fontes A, Kelly N. Factors Affecting Wealth Accumulation in Hispanic Households: A Comparative Analysis of Stock and Home Asset Utilization. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 2013;35(4):565-587. doi:10.1177/0739986313500467

Fontes, A. Differences in the Likelihood of Ownership of Retirement Saving Assets by the Foreign and Native-Born. J Fam Econ Iss 32, 612–624 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-011-9262-3

Wright DR, Saelens BE, Fontes A, Lavelle TA. Assessment of Parents’ Preferences for Incentives to Promote Engagement in Family-Based Childhood Obesity Treatment. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(3):e191490. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.1490


Bye L, Ghirardelli A, Fontes A. Promoting Health Equity And Population Health: How Americans' Views Differ. Health Aff (Millwood). 2016 Nov 1;35(11):1982-1990. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2016.0730. PMID: 27834237.

Recognition

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/01/how-people-plan-to-use-their-2020-tax-refunds-varies-greatly-by-income.html

https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/coronavirus-outbreak-americans-debt-savings-supplies

https://www.rollcall.com/2021/02/16/social-media-offered-lessons-rally-point-for-gamestop-trading/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-people-couldnt-correctly-answer-this-pandemic-related-tax-quiz-can-you-do-better-11617657593

https://nypost.com/2019/05/17/millions-of-americans-are-one-paycheck-away-from-financial-disaster/

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-03-16/young-investors-robinhood-stock-traders-south-l-a

Recent Courses

MPPA 406-0 : Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis
MPPA 430-0 : Behavioral Economics

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

My goal as an instructor is to provide students with the resources they need to earn the grade they want.

Mollie Foust

Contact Information

mollie.foust@northwestern.edu

Mollie Foust is a practitioner with over 15 years of expertise in systems change, implementation, policy, education, and international development. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she headed Illinois’ initial testing and supply-chain strategy in the Governor’s Office. Prior to the IL Governor's Office, Foust managed national teams on government innovations at the Harvard Government Performance Lab, as well as led research teams in South Sudan and Kenya. She began her career as a social entrepreneur, developing the Flower City Soccer League in Rochester, NY. Foust is a native Illinoisan and lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

Education

MPA, London School of Economics

BA Anthropology, University of Rochester

BA History, University of Rochester

Relevant Work

Director, Afton Partners

Senior Counselor to the Deputy Governors, IL Governor's Office

Assistant Director, Harvard Government Performance Lab

Project Manager, World Bank Group

Executive Director, Flower City Soccer League

 

Rodrigo Garcia

Contact Information

rodrigo.garcia@northwestern.edu

Rodrigo Garcia is the Deputy State Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer for the Illinois State Treasury. He directs the Illinois treasury’s combined $38 billion investment portfolios, $275 billion in related banking operations and financial activities, and a $3.2 billion agency budget and financial services unit. Garcia was previously the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a member of the Illinois Cabinet and has also worked for Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He is an Aspen Global Finance Fellow and a Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40” honoree. He also is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP®), an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), and holds SASB’s FSA credential. Garcia earned his MBA with a specialization in finance from the University of Illinois and an MPPA specializing in public policy from Northwestern University and has also completed a senior executive program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Recent Courses

MPPA 402-0 : Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting

Scott Goldstein

Scott Goldstein

Scott Goldstein is an urban strategist specializing in community, and economic development focused on revitalizing and bringing investment to local communities. Goldstein is an urban planning consultant with Teska Associates, a full-service planning firm based in Evanston, Illinois. He leads multi-disciplinary teams to address complex challenges. He has taught courses that focus on global policy and sustainable cities with Northwestern's MPPA program since 2008.

His professional work has focused on affordable housing, fiscal analysis, and development economics. He has led award-winning neighborhood redevelopment plans for Wicker Park, Belmont Cragin, and the Near North Neighborhoods in Chicago. He also works with Habitat for Humanity International and NeighborWorks America, assisting local communities across the U.S. Goldstein volunteers his time with many organizations, including serving as Chair of Mission Advancement for Urban Land Institute Chicago. He was honored as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2018.

Education

M.S.U.P. Columbia University
B.A. Tufts University

Relevant Work

Principal, Teska Associates, 2007-Present, lead multi-disciplinary plans and policies for private consulting firm
V.P. Policy and Planning, Metropolitan Planning Council, 1994-2007, led policy research and advocacy for regional organization
Director of Development, Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, 1992-1994, led fundraising and community engagement

Research Interests

Affordable housing
Community development and revitalization
Water policy
Economic development

Selected Publications

Impact: NeighborWorks America Catalytic Grant Program
Habitat for Humanity Neighborhood Revitalization: Coalition Guide
Wicker Park Bucktown Master Plan
Near North Neighborhood Quality-of-Life Plan
StormStore: A feasibility study examining stormwater credit trading in Cook County

Recognition

Fellow, American Institute of Certified Planners
Austin Quality-of-Life Plan Chicago Neighborhood Development Award
Near North Neighborhood Quality-of-Life Plan Chicago Neighborhood Development Award
Belmont Cragin Quality-of-Life Plan Chicago Neighborhood Development Award

Recent Courses

MPPA 580-DL : Global Policy Laboratory

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

The courses I teach are generally designed to replicate professional assignments - preparing policy analyses and developing policy recommendations on challenges facing major organizations on critical policy issues such as affordable water, housing policy, and public health. The Global Seminars each have a client organization in which their policy staff interacts and mentors the students. Past clients have included the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the City of Chicago, and Urban Institute.

Wendy Hassett

Wendy L. Eaton


Contact Information
dr.eaton@northwestern.edu

Wendy L. Eaton teaches as a Professor and serves as the MPA Director at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). Prior to her work at IWU, she was on the faculty at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). Eaton earned her MPA and PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy from Auburn University. Before her academic career, she served as an assistant city manager and has over twelve years of experience in local government management. Her scholarly research has been published in academic journals including Public Administration Review, Public Performance & Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management. She is currently serving on the Editorial Board of Public Administration Review (PAR). Her current projects include a co-edited book focusing on management challenges unique to rural American cities as well as an article focusing on citizen-volunteers and policy implementation.

She is the co-author or co-editor of Local Government Management: Current Issues and Best Practices (2003) and Civic Battles: When Cities Change Their Form of Government (2007). Her work also appears in More than Mayor or Manager: Campaigns to Change Form of Government in America's Large Cities (2010). More recently, her work was published in Alabama Municipal Journal in 2014, 2015, and 2017. She is currently working on a co-edited book focusing on management challenges unique to rural American cities.

Her scholarly research has been published in key academic journals, including Public Administration Review, Public Performance & Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management.

Education

PhD Public Administration and Public Policy from Auburn University

Relevant Work

Professor and MPA Program Director, Indiana Wesleyan University; at IWU since January 2013

Clinical Associate Professor, Master of Public Affairs program, Univ of Texas at Dallas; 2005 - 2012

Assistant City Manager, City of Auburn AL; 1997-2005

Economic Development Officer, City of Auburn AL; 1993 - 1994

Research Interests

Municipal form of government

Economic development

Council-manager government

Selected Publications and Products

Douglas J. Watson and Wendy L. Hassett. 2004. “Career Paths of City Managers in America’s Largest Council-Manager Cities.” Public Administration Review 64(2): 192-199.

Douglas J. Watson and Wendy L. Hassett. 2003. “Long-Serving City Managers: Why Do They Stay?” Public Administration Review 63(1): 71-78.

Wendy L. Hassett and Douglas J. Watson. 2007. Civic Battles: When Cities Change Their Form of Government. PrAcademics Press.

Douglas J. Watson and Wendy L. Hassett, eds. 2003. Local Government Management: Current Issues and Best Practices. M. E. Sharpe.

Wendy L. Hassett. 2010. Hartford: Politics Trumps Professionalism, pp. 63-80. In More than Mayor or Manager: Campaigns to Change Form of Government in America's Large Cities, edited by James H. Svara and Douglas J. Watson. Georgetown University Press.

Recognition

Public Administration Review Editors’ Choice Award, 2005.

Outstanding PhD Student in Political Science, Auburn University, Spring 2002.

Pi Alpha Alpha Outstanding Doctoral Student Award, Fall 2002.

City of Auburn Management Innovation Award, October 2000.

Recent Courses

MPPA 419-DL : The Strategic Policy Environment

Patrick Higgins

Dr. Patrick Higgins


Contact Information
P-higgins@northwestern.edu
708-514-3296

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. 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 a MAPA and PhD from Northern Illinois University, concentrating in public administration and political philosophy.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy, Political Science, Northern Illinois University

Relevant Work

City Manager, Western Springs, Il. 1997-2017

Research Interests

Ethical Leadership in a Polarized Political Environment
Public Sector Vocation as Stewardship
Classical Liberalism vs. Authoritarianism

Recognition

West Central Municipal Conference (West Cook County, Illinois) Lifetime Achievement Award. This annual award was subsequently named after Dr. Higgins.
Northern Illinois University, Public Administrator of the Year. 2015, 2009

Recent Courses

MPPA 403-0 : Fundamentals of Public Administration
MPPA 418-0 : Ethics and Leadership

Mark Keightley

Mark P. Keightley


Contact Information
mark.keightley@northwestern.edu

Mark Keightley is an economist with the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) in Washington, DC. At CRS, he advises Congress and its staff on fiscal policy, business and international corporate taxation, and housing tax policy. Before joining CRS, Keightley was an associate with the Congressional Budget Office and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, Syracuse University, the College of William & Mary, George Mason University, and George Washington University.

Keightley’s research has been cited by the President's Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. Supreme Court, Government Accountability Office, Federal Reserve of Dallas, Brookings Institution, Cato Institute, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, Center on Budget Policies and Priorities, Bloomberg, NY Times, CNN, Businessweek, Reuters, Tax Notes, Daily Tax Report, and various academic publications.

Keightley earned his PhD in economics from Florida State University, and his BS in economics from the College of Charleston.

* The views expressed in Keightley's course are his alone in the context of an educational setting at Northwestern University, and are not presented nor should they be interpreted as those of the Congressional Research Service or the Library of Congress.

Education

PhD (economics), Florida State University

Relevant Work

Economist, Congressional Research Service, since 2008. Advise Congress on economic policy.

Research Interests

Corporate and pass-through taxation
Financial securities taxation
Housing taxation policy Behavioral economics
Macroeconomics

Recent Courses

MPPA 404 Microeconomics for Policy and Administration

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

My general goal each semester is to impart as much economics-related public policy knowledge as I can and, hopefully, pique an interest in the broader field of economics. To those ends, I have three teaching objectives:

1. To teach students to think critically and objectively about economic policy issues.
2. To provide a structured framework for real-world economic policy analysis that can be carried forward past our class.
3. To help students become effective communicators.


I do not expect students to understand all the economic nuances. However, I do expect students to be able to ask informed questions by the end of the semester.

Gregory Kuhn

Contact Information

g-kuhn@northwestern.edu

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. 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.

Recent Courses

MPPA 407-0 : Scope and Theory of Public Policy

MPPA 432-0 : Intergovernmental Relations

Maryjane Osa

Maryjane Osa, PhD


Contact Information
m-osa@northwestern.edu

Dr. Maryjane Osa is an organizational sociologist (Ph.D., University of Chicago) specializing in social network theory and its applications. She has published one book as well as many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She has also served as Principal Investigator in several large-scale survey research projects. Dr. Osa has taught at the University of Chicago, Collegiate Div., the Politics Department of the University of South Carolina, and at Northwestern University in various capacities since 2002.

Education

PhD, University of Chicago

Relevant Work

CEO, Lake Mountain, Inc. Survey research company, consultants to national non-profit organizations

Research Interests

Political sociology: democratic mobilization and theories of the state
Social network analysis and applications
Public institutions: bureaucratic competence and legitimacy

Selected Publications and Products

Book: Solidarity and Contention: Networks of Polish Opposition. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. Social Movements, Protest, and Contention Series.
Article: “A Long, Hard Slog: Political Opportunities, Social Networks, and the Mobilization of Dissent in Non-Democracies” (with Kurt Schock). Research on Social Movements, Conflict, and Change. Vol. 27: 123-154 (May 2007).
Article: “Running Uphill: Political Opportunity in Non-Democracies,” with Cristina Corduneanu-Huci. Comparative Sociology Vol. 2, No. 4 (December 2003) : 605-629. Republished, with a new methodological addendum in , New Frontiers in Comparative Sociology, edited by Masamichi Sasaki. Brill Academic Publ., 2008.
Book chapter: “Economic Conditions and Mobilization in Non-Democracies,” with Cristina Corduneanu-Huci, in Charles Tilly and Maria Kousis, eds., Economic Opportunities and Constraints in Contentious Politics. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2005. Trans. to Greek, 2009.
Book chapter: “Networks in Opposition: Linking Organizations Through Activists in the Polish People’s Republic,” in Mario Diani and Doug McAdam, eds., Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Oxford Comparative Politics Series. 2nd printing, Dec. 2003. Trans. to Polish, published by the Scientific Publishers, Warsaw, Poland 2009.

Recognition

Fellowships: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; American Council of Learned Societies

Research Grants: Rockefeller Foundation; National Council for 'East European and Eurasian Research; International Research and Exchanges Board; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, 1996-97 academic year.

Recent Courses

MPPA 408 Public Organizations

MPPA 418 Ethics and Leadership

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

I emphasize the development of critical thinking skills through engagement with social theories. I help students understand and use theoretical frameworks to analyze organizational and policy problems.

Seth Payton

Contact Information

seth.payton@northwestern.edu

Seth Payton is a senior fiscal analyst for the Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Indiana Legislative Services Agency (LSA). His primary focus areas at the LSA are individual income tax, economic development, gaming, and pensions. Before working for the LSA, Payton served as a faculty member for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and an analyst for the Indiana University Public Policy Institute from 2000 to 2017. During that time, he completed several research projects for organizations and agencies in the Midwest. Payton has published papers in multiple peer-reviewed journals, including Public Finance ReviewState and Local Government ReviewSocial Science ResearchJournal of Urban AffairsJournal of Regional Analysis and Policy, and Energy Policy. He received his PhD from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs with public finance and policy analysis concentrations. His PhD minor is economic geography.

Recent Courses

MPPA 402-DL : Elements of Public Finance and Budgeting

Meghann Pytka is a social scientist whose research focuses on Eastern European politics, genocide, Gender Studies, fascism, and foreign policy in historical perspective. She was recently awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to Polin: The Museum of the History of Jews in Poland in Warsaw. She has also researched extensively on genocide and human rights abuses in Ukraine and Israel. Pytka’s current research project focuses on the strategic national forgetting of sexual violence in Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine after WWII. She also is preparing a manuscript on the March Constitution of 1921, a legal document drafted in response to the Treaty of Versailles and its purported protections of national minorities. Her dissertation research focused on the rise of the Polish Right as a response, in part, to imperialism. Her research and work have been supported by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), the Fulbright Commission, Yad Vashem, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure Projection (EHRI), and the Department of State (FLAS & Title VIII). She received her PhD from Northwestern University.

Education

PhD, Northwestern University
Gender Studies Graduate Certificate, Northwestern University
Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute

Relevant Work

Adjunct Lecturer, MPPA, Northwestern
Instructional Specialist, Washington University, St. Louis
Assistant Director, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, SIUC

Research Interests

Nationalism
Eastern Europe
Legal History
Foreign Policy in Historical Perspective
NGOs in Eastern Europe
Fascism
Gender Studies

Selected Publications and Products

Review: H-Poland, Scott Ury, Barricades and Banners: The Revolution of 1905 and the Transformation of Warsaw Jewry (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012)
Review: H-Poland, Irina Astashkevich, Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in the Pogroms of 1917 to 1921 (Academic Studies Press, 2018)
Review: Canadian-American Slavic Studies, Robert Blobaum, A Minor Apocalypse: Warsaw during the First World War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017)
Association for Women in Slavic Studies Newsletter, Anna Müller, If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Women’s Prison in Communist Poland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)
Review: Association for Women in Slavic Studies Newsletter, Łukasz Szulc, Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland: Cross-Border Flows in Gay and Lesbian Magazines (Cambridge: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Recognition

Post Doctoral Fellow, Polin, Warsaw, Poland
Research Fellow, Open Research Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, University of Illinois, Urbana-Campaign & US Department of State, Title VIII
Non-Tenure Track Teaching Award, The College of Liberal Arts, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Research Fellow, Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel
Faculty Fellow, Educational Technology Teaching Fellows Program, Northwestern University
Faculty Fellow, The First International School of Poland and Eastern Europe, Kolegium Europy Wschodniej, Wrocław, Poland
Individual Research Grant (IARO) to Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
Fulbright-IIE to Poland, The Fulbright Program

Recent Courses

MPPA 401-DL : Research Methods
MPPA 490-DL : Special Topics: US Foreign Policy

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

In the face of the global pandemic, I have increasingly embraced a pedagogy of care. Consequently, I strive to engage students with a sense of empathy and a commitment to deep listening. This entire approach is premised on meeting students where they are, listening to their desires, and providing them with the tools necessary to articulate and complete their individual goals. First, I start with making sure that students have the foundational information they need in order to convey clearly their academic agendas. Second, when a student is ready, it becomes my job to help that student articulate their academic and professional goals, to assess the feasibility of those goals, and to strategize on a game plan. In the third step, I enter the wrap-up phase. I coordinate with the student to make sure that they are on track to meet their objectives. I, too, highlight the opportunities available to them, whether it be graduate school, job openings, and/or scholarship opportunities. This type of engagement has proven particularly successful in helping students forward their careers.

Pamela Ransom

Pamela Ransom, PhD


Contact Information
p-ransom@northwestern.edu
LinkedIn

Pamela Ransom, PhD, is active as an environmentalist, planner, educator, and community activist. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her experience involves teaching a comprehensive array of courses in public administration, policy, and program evaluation for over twenty-five years, including faculty appointments at Metropolitan College and Long Island University. In New York City, she was the Special Assistant for Environmental Affairs for the New York City Mayor and Manhattan Borough President for almost eight years. She has worked internationally as Deputy Director for Town Planning for the Government of Jamaica and in programs in Africa. As Program Director for Women's Environment and Development Organization and policy advisor for the Huairou Commission, she has managed global programs on women, environment, health, and urbanization. She also served as a Research Scientist for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and as a consultant for other government agencies, professional and community organizations, including USAID and the United Nations Environment Program. She is a published author in various peer-reviewed journals and an active member of the American Society for Public Administration.

Education

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BA, Harvard University

Relevant Work

Metropolitan College. Associate Professor School of Public Affairs and Administration 2011-Current) Teaching wide


Huairou Commission. Policy Advisor/Periodic consultant/Board member of a subgroup. 2011-2021. Women-led social movement of grassroots women’s groups from poor urban, rural, and indigenous communities, working in over 45 countries.


United Nations Environment Program. Evaluation Consultant. 2017-2019 Leader of several final program evaluations


Long Island University. Assistant Professor MPA Program. 2001-2001; Adjunct Prof MPA Program 1995-2001. School of Business, Public Administration, and Information Sciences. Teaching a wide array of courses in Public Policy and Administration.


Women's Environment and Development Organization. 1995-2001. Global work running a program on women's health and environment.

Research Interests

Environmental policy
Health policy
Gender urbanization
Community engagement

Selected Publications and Products

Ransom P., Cavalheiro G., Barrios R. (2019) United Nations Environment Program Terminal Evaluation: Integrated responses to short lived climate forcers promoting clean energy and energy efficiency. United Nations Environment Program.
Ransom P., Cavalheiro G. (2018) United Nations Environment Program (2018) Terminal Evaluation: Mitigation of greenhouse gas in key sectors in Brazil, UN Environment/GEF.
Ransom P. (2020) Cities and climate change. In A. Farazmand (Ed.) Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance. Springer.
Ransom P., Wai S. (2016) Fostering community engagement: Reinvigorating Community Precinct Councils in New York City. Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Ransom P., Asaki. B. (2013) Home-based caregivers in Africa: Alliance building, advocacy and policy environments. Journal of Health and Human Services 36(3) 367-392.

Recent Courses

MPPA 407-DL : Scope and Theory of Public Policy

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

My teaching philosophy has been heavily influenced by two important works by my doctoral thesis advisor, Donald Schon: The Reflective Practitioner and Educating the Reflective Practitioner. These works inspired me to link theory and practice through professional knowledge and learning, ultimately pursuing a constructionist philosophy of education, focused on the importance of the coaching relationship. Essential to teaching and learning in this context is the link to enhanced professionalism, a competence in "reflection-in-action," a more complex skill inherent in change. An example of this is when we look at the skilled performer who effortlessly integrates action, reflection, decision-making, and critical thinking. Teaching and learning are best when all four components work hand in hand. This philosophy is particularly relevant to public policy and administration and has guided the evolution of my approach to working with students in all branches of government and nonprofits for almost three decades. Teaching is more art than science, and an increased sense of empowerment is an essential outcome. Thus, opportunities for student voice and engagement, clear instructions, setting the mood, good openings, and closings are all part of the role of an instructor leading the choir to create a melodious song.

Zachary Seeskin

Contact Information

z-seeskin@northwestern.edu

Zachary H. Seeskin is a Senior Statistician with NORC at the University of Chicago. He works on the sample design, estimation, and data analysis for government and public interest surveys. Seeskin further contributes to imputation, adaptive design, total survey error analysis, and small area estimation for such surveys as the National Immunization Survey and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients. His expertise includes analyzing administrative data quality and combining data sources for evidence-building. He has published both research topics in the Statistical Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics and the International Journal of Population Data Science. In addition, Seeskin and colleagues are developing automated statistical tools to assist researchers with evaluating the quality of state and local administrative data sources. Seeskin holds a PhD in statistics from Northwestern University, where he served as a U.S. Census Bureau Dissertation Fellow.

Recent Courses

MPPA 405-DL : Statistics for Research

Andy Sharma


Contact Information
Andy.Sharma@Northwestern.edu

Andy Sharma is a political economist whose specialty areas 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). 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 SocietyApplied GeographyDisability and RehabilitationJournal 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's degrees in mathematics from Loyola University Chicago and economics from DePaul University.

Education

PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MS, Loyola University
MA, DePaul University
BS, DePaul University

Research Interests

Applied Demography
Applied Health Economics
Public Policy
Quantitative Methods
Aging and Health

Selected Publications and Products

Sharma, A. (2021). Estimating older adult mortality from COVID-19. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(3), e68-e74.
Sharma, A. (2020). A National Profile of Functional Limitations Among Asian Indians, Chinese, and Filipinos. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 75(5), 1021-1029.
Sharma, A. (2019). Exploratory and spatial analysis of disability among older Asian Indians. Applied Geography, 113, 102099.
Sharma, A. (2019). Wealth and the health of older Black women in the United States. Health promotion international, 34(5), 1055-1068.

Recognition

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/tgso-gps092320.php
https://uh.edu/education/research/institutes-centers/iepre/amicus-briefs/pdfs/Fisher%20II/brief-for-society-of-american-law-teachers.pdf

Recent Courses

MPPA 401-DL : Research Methods
MPPA 406-DL : Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis
MPPA 490-DL : Special Topic:Demography, Global Health and Policy

Ricca Slone

Contact Information

r-slone@northwestern.edu

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, smart growth, and sustainable development. She has traveled extensively in India to study the feasibility of distributing solar ovens as an alternative to 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.

Recent Courses

MPPA 411-DL : The Legislative Process

MPPA 413-0 : Foundations of the Nonprofit/NGO Sector

MPPA 413-DL : Foundations of the Nonprofit/NGO Sector

William Stenzel

Contact Information

wstenzel@northwestern.edu

William Stenzel is the director of Prairie Land Solutions. This private consulting company 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, Stenzel served as the principal investigator for the “Police Allocation Manual” project. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration supported the project, which developed a procedure for determining traffic and patrol staffing needs of the state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies. Stenzel also directed and participated in many research projects related to developing and assessing computer-based management tools for the deployment and allocation of police and fire service personnel. He is the co-author 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.

Recent Courses

MPPA 405-0 : Statistics for Research

Morris Taylor

Morris A. Taylor


Contact Information
morris-taylor@northwestern.edu

Morris A. Taylor is Vice-Chancellor for Administration & CFO and tenured associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois. He has served as the department chairperson for six years and chaired the university's planning and budgeting council for four years. Since 1997 at SIUE, he has taught courses in general public management, policy analysis, administrative law, program evaluation, ethics, homeland security, and public safety. Before his academic career, he was an administrator with the Social Security Administration in St. Louis, Missouri. Taylor served as a St. Louis City and St. Louis County police officer during the 1970s; and senior attorney negotiator for the State Farm Insurance Companies. From 2004-2005, he was the Ira Glasser Racial Justice Fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. He investigated and researched racial profiling and police misconduct. His research interests include police organizations, ethics, administrative law, and aspects of civic engagement. Taylor is also an editor for the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy and is a United States Attorneys' Hate Crime Task Force member for Eastern Missouri. Taylor earned his PhD from Saint Louis University in public policy analysis & administration.

Education

PhD Saint Louis University

Relevant Work

Vice-Chancellor for Administration & CFO since 10/02/2020
Associate Professor of Public Administration 1997 - continuing and tenured in the department of public administration
Insurance Specialist - Social Security Administration 1993-1997
State Farm Insurance Companies, Senior Claims Representative/Attorney Negotiator

Research Interests

Police Organizations
Criminal Justice Policy

Recent Courses

MPPA 403-DL : Fundamentals of Public Administration
MPPA 421-DL : Administrative Law: The Vortex of Public Policy

Teaching Approach and Philosophy

Engaging Socratic methods utilizing case studies and current issues in public administration, public law, and public policy. My approach is holistic and focuses on teaches students to think critically with insight and precision.

Felicity Vabulas

Felicity Vabulas


Contact Information
felicity.vabulas@northwestern.edu

Dr. Vabulas is an Associate Professor of International Studies at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She earned her PhD and MPP in public policy from the University of Chicago and her BS in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Vabulas' research focuses on the political economy of international organizations and foreign lobbying. She has three ongoing research projects. Her first project examines when and why states exit international organizations (IOs), including suspensions and unilateral IO withdrawals. Vabulas's second project studies states' increasing use of informal intergovernmental organizations, such as the G7 and G20, rather than traditional IOs, with treaties and permanent secretariats. Her third research project examines how foreign lobbying affects U.S. foreign policy, including altering human rights, trade, and foreign aid allocations. Her research is published in the Review of International Organizations, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, and multiple edited volume chapters.

Education

PhD in Public Policy, University of Chicago
MPP in Public Policy, University of Chicago

Relevant Work

Associate Professor of International Studies, Pepperdine University, 2017-present
Post-doctoral lecturer, University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy, 2013-2017

Research Interests

International Organizations
International Cooperation
Foreign Policy Lobbying
Women in International Affairs

Selected Publications and Products

2020. Cooperation under Autonomy: Building and Analyzing the Informal Intergovernmental Organizations 2.0 Data Set. Journal of Peace Research. First Published October 1, 2020. With Duncan Snidal.
2020. Informal IGOs as Mediators of Power Shifts. Global Policy, 11 pp. 40-50. With Duncan Snidal.
2019. Credible Commitments? Explaining IGO Suspensions to Sanction Political Backsliding. International Studies Quarterly, 63(1) pp.139-152. With Inken von Borzyskowski.
2019. Nudging the Needle: Foreign Lobbies and U.S. Human Rights Ratings. International Studies Quarterly, 63(1) pp. 85-98. With Jon C.W. Pevehouse.
2019. Hello, Goodbye: When do States Withdraw from International Organizations? Review of International Organizations, 14(2) pp. 335–366. With Inken von Borzyskowski.

Recognition

Pepperdine University Endowed Fellowship, 2020/21
Howard A. White Award for Excellence in University Teaching, Pepperdine University, 2019
National 2015-16 University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Excellence in Teaching Award

Recent Courses

MPPA 440-DL : International Institutions
MPPA 498-DL : Capstone Project

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