Hello. I am Paul Danczyk, President of the American Society for Public Administration.

September is an exciting month for advancing excellence in public service.

In addition to robust programming at the national and local levels, we are happy to support the annual conferences for the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration, SECoPA, chaired by Jared Lorens, Louisiana State University; and the Midwest Public Affairs Conference, MPAC, hosted by Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis.

SECoPA president Shannon Vaughan, Western Kentucky University, and MPAC president Michael Ford, University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh, and their teams have done an amazing job this year. Congratulations on your tenure and best wishes on the upcoming conferences.

At the national level, we are currently accepting proposals for the Annual Conference, which takes place in Anaheim, California on April 3rd through 7th. This year’s theme of “2020 Vision for Politics, Policy and Administration” has six concentrations around governance, leadership and management, infrastructure, finance, international and social equity. Considering submitting a paper or panel! The proposals must be received by October 4th. More information can be found on our website at www.aspanet.org.

As has been the tradition, Sections are guaranteed at least one conference spot. New this year, each interested chapter is also guaranteed at least one conference spot. The caveat here is that the proposed panel must be practitioner-only and submitted through the local chapter. This offer is in part to help make the conference more practitioner applied. Encourage your chapter leaders to submit a proposal and highlight the many great programs that you offer. We look forward to reviewing your submissions.

Be on the lookout from your local chapter leaders about upcoming fall programs. Many chapters host welcome receptions in September to kick-off annual programming.

This month’s concentration is on “2020 Vision for Governance.” Our national webinars include:
  • A Student and New Professional Webinar, on Incorporating Difficult Conversations in Public Administration Courses
  • The BookTalk on Economic Development and Governance in Small Town America on September 19th with author Daniel Bliss
  • The Public Administration Review webinar on "Determinants of Public Administrators’ Use of Performance Information" with Tamara Dimitrijevska-Markoski, Mississippi State University on September 26th
  • The KeepingCurrent webinar partners with the Center for Accountability and Performance to address “better practices” in the use of citizen surveys to improve performance and governance, and
  • As a nod to the 2019 annual conference, the Presidential Panel Revisited is on "Using Artificial Intelligence to Transform Government"

Keep your eyes out for more information about these and other exciting programs!

For our chapter focus: a special shout out to chapter president Gene Dvornick and the Delaware Chapter leadership for hosting their Third Thursday programs. Their final one last month included a hike on the Michael Castle C and D Trail—itself an excellent example of public administration in action. We look forward to hearing about other innovative programming!
For our partner focus: The National Civic League brings an equitable focus to governance issues including public health, climate resilience, public education and more. You’ll note that ASPA members receive a copy of their quarterly National Civic Review for free. Thank you, NCL, for partnering with ASPA to bring valuable information to our membership!
For our member focus: ASPA was saddened to learn that Governing is shutting down. This has been a go-to news source for decades; it will create a large void in the discipline. I want to thank Mark Funkhauser, his writing staff and the entire Governing team for their contributions to keeping us informed about developments across public administration and public policy. We will miss your reporting and contributions.

For travel updates: In August, I had the pleasure to visit three western chapters in Denver, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Special appreciation to chapter presidents Sam Houteling, Colorado State University; Megan Medina, University of Utah; and Tricia Diamond, King County, and their boards and members, for such warm receptions.

My travel this year would not be possible without the generous support of Sterling Franklin, trustee of The Morris S. Smith Foundation and the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Through their combined contributions, to date, my extensive travel schedule does not financially impact ASPA. This approach reinforces our commitment to maximize outreach and programmatic efforts at minimal to no cost to our members.

As fall programming gets underway, invite your colleagues to upcoming programs and encourage them to join us! Membership information along with upcoming events and other timely information can be found at www.aspanet.org.

I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming program!