ASPA's Mission

Advancing excellence in public service.

The American Society for Public Administration is the leading professional membership association for public service.

Its members include federal, state and local government employees; researchers and scholars; students; nonprofit professionals; and others committed to advancing public service excellence in the United States and around the world. 

ASPA brings together the practitioner and academic communities to advance the practice and teaching of public administration through innovative in-person and online programming, leading and highly respected scholarship, more than 50 local chapters and 30 subject matter sections.

About Our Members

ASPA's members come from all areas of public administration: civil servants, city managers, elected officials appointed officials, researchers, scholars, thought leaders, nonprofit managers and more.

The majority of ASPA members are between the ages of 30 and 65, with almost half between the ages of 30-49.

While currently ASPA membership is 53% male, 47% female, this number shifts from year to year, based on our current membership make-up.

ASPA members are diverse. While 62% are Caucasian, the remaining 38% represent a variety of ethnicities.
Note: Not all ASPA members have provided this demographic to ASPA. If you are a member and you have not indicated an ethnicity, please do so today so we can continue to formulate a more representative picture of ASPA members.

ASPA members come from across the globe, though the majority of them are based in the United States, many of whom reside in the eastern half of the country. That said, 23% reside in the West.

As noted above, our members span across sectors, including segments of government and higher education. A simple breakdown between practitioners and academics in ASPA membership shows 40% of our members are broadly defined as practitioners; 54% can be broadly defined as academics.

The data goes deeper than that, though, breaking down employment sector between areas of government and areas of higher education. While the below charts do not constitute all facets of ASPA members, they represent the majority of our members' employment sectors—state government being the largest constituency within government and professors being the largest constituency within higher education.

You can break down sectors even further into specific professional roles, where the picture becomes even more diverse. ASPA members hold roles varying from university faculty to appointed officials to students to civil servants and beyond. The below graph includes the largest segments of roles; many more roles are held within smaller pockets of our membership.

This data is reliant on our members' providing us with information about themselves. ASPA members should make sure they provide us with a clear picture of who they are, so we can tell our story as completely as possible.

What We Represent

These demographics represent who we are, but this is what we stand for:
  • Accountability and Performance
  • Professionalism
  • Ethics and
  • Social Equity
We live out these four core values through a variety of resources available to members throughout the year, including...

Accountability and Performance

ASPA’s Center for Accountability and Performance addresses the requirement for all levels of government to move toward performance-based, results-driven management, through education, training, advocacy, technical assistance, resource sharing and research.

Additionally, ASPA provides three publications for its members:
  • PA TIMES is a quarterly magazine focusing on issues in public management and the best practices in the field of public administration. Its twice-weekly online supplement can be viewed at
  • The Bridge is ASPA’s biweekly newsletter that details the organization’s latest news and current news in the public administration community.
  • Public Administration Review (PAR) is ASPA’s premier professional journal. It is a bimonthly publication that links theory and public management practice together.


Our value of professionalism is promoted through Chapters, through which members have an opportunity to advance their careers by becoming involved in their local public administration community.

Members also gain exposure to major public service issues by joining ASPA’s topic-based Sections . These Sections focus on finance, budgeting, human resources, health and human services, ethics and more. Sections provide additional networking opportunities through conferences and other professional development activities. They also have a variety of award and scholarship opportunities.

Ethics and Integrity

ASPA promotes ethics and integrity in public service and governance worldwide. ASPA's Code of Ethics exhorts members to adhere to ethical principles while working in the field of public service. Through membership in ASPA’s Section on Ethics and Integrity of Governance, members can access a variety of resources including ASPA's ethics journal, Public Integrity.

Social Equity

 ASPA promotes dialogue on social equity issues in all areas of public service including public budgeting, government hiring practices, diversity in academia and more. Additionally, each year at the Annual Conference, ASPA hosts the Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award Luncheon, where it honors a public administrator who has distinguished him or herself in achieving fairness, justice and equity in government.