International Engagement

As a leading professional association for public service, ASPA has made international engagement a key organizational priority, achieving a variety of objectives reflecting its mission and membership composition. International engagement brings together a broad and engaged cross-section of public service professionals—scholars, practitioners and students—that transcends geographic boundaries. It also provides greater opportunity for meaningful exchanges—both formal and informal—between U.S. and non-U.S. organizations and scholars and enhances ASPA’s international visibility and reputation. ASPA remains committed to establishing and continuing partnerships with organizations that share its mission of advancing excellence in public service, domestically and internationally.

Engagement takes different forms, including memoranda of understanding with non-U.S. organizations; jointly hosted or sponsored conferences convened in different countries; and scholarship and information produced through such channels as professional journals, PA TIMES magazine and e-learning programs. These activities make ASPA stronger and we are committed to continuing them.

Despite the many benefits, the environment and context within which ASPA undertakes engagement can present considerable challenges. Limits on academic freedom, threats to fundamental human rights and the undermining of democratic processes conflict with, and are antithetical to, ASPA’s core values and Code of Ethics, which all members agree to uphold. Balancing the values and Code with strengthening the breadth and depth of cross-national scholarly exchange requires an intentional and thoughtful approach to how ASPA wishes to engage going forward and the commitments the National Council intends to uphold.

Please use the resources on this page to better understand ASPA's commitment to intentional engagement.

Report: Meeting the Challenges of International Engagement

Within the context of ASPA's engagement considerations, a committee was convened to evaluate the question of international scholarly engagement and appropriate questions that need to be asked as organizations continue to undertake this important work. The outcome of that committee was a report, "Meeting the Challenges of International Engagement," which included recommendations that ASPA's National Council endorsed and adopted.

Click here to view the final report and recommendations.


You may send any questions/comments about this report or its recommendations to ASPA via [email protected]. ASPA staff will return a response within 30 days.