American Society for Public Administration

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The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is a membership association of almost 10,000 professionals in the United States sponsoring conferences and providing professional services primarily to those who study the implementation of government policy, public administration, and, to a lesser degree, programs of civil society. Its annual conference is an important meeting for those interested in bureaucracy, civic engagement, program evaluation, public management and other public administration topics, such as budgeting and budget theory, government strategic planning, policy analysis, contract administration, personnel management, and related topics.

The ASPA was founded in 1939, following growing concerns about the management of federal government and the report of the Brownlow Committee. ASPA sponsors the journal Public Administration Review, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Public Budgeting and Finance, and other leading international journals related to its over 30 working membership sections (e.g., Section on Public Performance and Management, Section on Women in Public Administration, Section on the Environment and Natural Resources Administration, Section on Intergovernmental Management and Administration).


ASPA was founded in 1939 by Louis Brownlow, William E. Mosher, Donald C. Stone, Charles A. Beard, Harold D. Smith, Luther Gulick, and others.[1][2][3] During its early years ASPA was housed in the Public Administration Clearing House (PACH) in Chicago.[1][2][3] Significant events in ASPA's history include:

ASPA's membership declined from about 14,000 members in 1990 to 8,383 members in 2007.[3] However, during that period the Society took "steps to address its most serious issues: attracting and retaining members, dealing with structure and funding, developing a coherent mission, strengthening chapters and sections, sponsoring successful conferences, enhancing its publication offerings, and working effectively with other organizations concerned with public administration and public service."[3] ASPA membership was affected by the tendency of government to hire local governmental personnel, and the change from government provision of services to contracting to the private and non-profit sectors. However, the field of public administration is the sole academic field given the responsibility for areas ranging from government budgeting at the US budget levels, community development throughout all localities and states in the US, and personnel management of all US workforces, among others.


The presidents of ASPA have been:[5]


ASPA sponsors over twenty awards for practitioners and scholars of public administration, of which the longest-running are the Dwight Waldo and Charles Levine awards.[6]

Dwight Waldo Award[edit]

The Dwight Waldo Award is presented to individuals "who have made outstanding contributions to the professional literature of public administration over an extended career."[7] Recipients have included:[7]

Charles Levine Award[edit]

The Charles Levine Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration is presented jointly by ASPA and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration to "a public administration faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in three major areas of the field of teaching, research and service to the wider community."[8] Recipients have included:[8]

Todd W. Argow Student Scholarship Award[edit]

Todd W. Argow Student Scholarship Award is presented to a student who has demonstrated academic scholarship and exceptional leadership potential in the field of Public Administration.

  • 2009
  • 2010 Salvatore DiGaetano Jr.
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013


  1. ^ a b c Brownlow, Louis (1958). A Passion for Anonymity: the Autobiography of Louis Brownlow, Second Half. pp. 463–465. OCLC 1620372. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Pugh, Darrell L. (1990). "ASPA Remembered: Reflections on the Society's Golden Anniversary". Public Administration Review 50 (2): 267–273. doi:10.2307/976874. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Plant, Jeremy F. (2009). "Good Work, Honestly Done: ASPA at 70". Public Administration Review 69 (6): 1040–1049. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6210.2009.02061.x. 
  4. ^ National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. "NASPAA Milestones". Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ American Society for Public Administration (March 2–6, 2012). "2012 Conference Program" (PDF). pp. 3, 103. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ American Society for Public Administration. "Awards". Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b American Society for Public Administration. "Dwight Waldo". Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b American Society for Public Administration. "Charles Levine Award". Retrieved April 24, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stone, Donald C. (1975). "Birth of ASPA - A Collective Effort in Institution Building". Public Administration Review 35 (1): 83–93. doi:10.2307/975211. 
  • Pugh, Darrell L. (1985). "ASPA's History: Prologue!". Public Administration Review 45 (4): 475–484. doi:10.2307/3110032. 
  • Pugh, Darrell L. (1988). Looking Back, Moving Forward: a Half-Century Celebration of Public Administration and ASPA. Washington, DC: American Society for Public Administration. ISBN 0936678100. 
  • Dimock, Marshall (1990). "ASPA at Fifty". Public Administration Review 50 (2): 288–292. doi:10.2307/976877. 
  • Rubin, Marilyn (2000). "Women in the American Society for Public Administration: Another Decade of Progress But Still a Way to Go". Public Administration Review 60 (1): 61–71. doi:10.1111/0033-3352.00063. 

External links[edit]