ASPA's 2021 Annual Conference will feature a mix of plenary speakers, some of whom were planned for the 2020 conference. Rather than miss their critical remarks on the state of public administration today, we have invited them back to try again! Plenary details will be updated throughout our planning; check back here regularly for details!

Plenary Speaker Line-Up

Lisa Garrett
Jason DeParle
Secretary Leon Panetta
Mariko Silver
Commissioner Toni Carter
Donald Moynihan
Ibram X. Kendi

Opening Plenary
Lisa Garrett

April 9 | Noon - 1:15 p.m. ET

Sponsored By:

On March 30, 2010, Lisa M. Garrett was appointed director of personnel for the County of Los Angeles. She is a career public servant and has worked for both the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles.

Garrett was hired into the County in 1994 as deputy district attorney in the District Attorney's Bureau of Family Support Operations. Seven years later, she moved to the Child Support Services Department, where she served as assistant division chief in two large divisions, executive assistant to the director, chief deputy director and chief attorney, before being appointed acting director of personnel.

During her tenure as director of personnel, Garrett has guided the implementation of many significant initiatives to strengthen the County’s workforce, improve customer service and access, and “automate all things HR.” This includes digitizing all employee records, creating an online platform to receive and process equity complaints and examination appeals, and implementing the County’s first end-to-end applicant tracking system.

Garrett is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), holds a JD from the Southwestern University School of Law and received her MBA from Pepperdine University. She received a certificate in advanced HR management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Program and teaches public human resources management to both undergraduate and graduate students within the California State University system. She is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and served as president of the County Personnel Administrators Association of California in 2017.

In 2016, Garrett received the American Society for Public Administration Southern California Chapter's Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government, and was named to Government Technology’s 2019 list of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers in the nation. Most recently, she was awarded the 2019 Chair Leadership Award by the County’s Quality and Productivity Commission.

Garrett will share her decades of experience in county management with us this April, not only discussing some of the successes LA County has experienced in managing its substantial workforce, but also the ways her department has worked with County personnel throughout the pandemic to ensure they have the tools they need to keep the County on its feet, while staying on theirs.

Global Plenary
Jason DeParle

April 12 | 9:30 a.m. ET

A Good Provider is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century

By Jason DeParle

“One of the best books on immigration written in a generation.”
—Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted

No issue is more polarizing in American life than immigration and no issue is in greater need of a perspective that goes beyond the daily headlines.

In a work that gives new meaning to immersion journalism, Jason DeParle, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and veteran New York Times reporter, has spent a remarkable three decades following an extended family of Filipino immigrants from the slums of Manila to the suburbs of Houston. Through their multigenerational saga, A GOOD PROVIDER IS ONE WHO LEAVES: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century  tells the larger story of global migration, a force remaking economics, politics and culture across the world, exploding stereotypes throughout.

We are excited that DeParle will join us in online this April to talk about his book and his years embedded as a reporter, studying this important issue. Attendees will not only be captivated by his story, but also draw many connections between his research and the impact it has on public administration around the world.

As a young reporter in the 1980s, DeParle moved in with the family in a Manila shantytown and he has tracked their migrations ever since—to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, as cruise ship workers, and finally to Texas. At the heart of the story is an unlikely heroine, Rosalie Villanueva, whose sacrifices rescue the clan from abject poverty. A 15-year-old school girl when DeParle met her, she is now a 47-year-old nurse and mother of three Americanizing kids.

While the politics of immigration are broken, DeParle shows that immigration itself—tens of millions of people gathered from every corner of the world—remains an under-appreciated American success. Weaving narrative and analysis, DeParle reports on migration from places as far flung as Ireland, Cape Verde and Nepal, and traces its impact on events as disparate as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

In the vast literature on immigration, DeParle’s book stands alone. It is neither a knee-jerk defense of immigration nor an attack on it, but a deeply humanized portrait of its costs and rewards—much like his acclaimed poverty book, American Dream. Like the works of Alex Kotlowitz or Katherine Boo, it is narrative nonfiction on the scale of an epic novel, with much to teach the expert and novice alike.

Make sure you listen in to hear from DeParle and learn from his experiences. Researchers and practitioners alike will find this presentation invaluable.

About the Author:
Jason DeParle is a reporter for The New York Times and has written extensively about poverty and immigration. His book, American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare was a New York Times Notable Book and won the Helen Bernstein Award from the New York City Library. He was an Emerson Fellow at New America. He is a recipient of the George Polk Award and is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

For more information, visit:
New York Times:
Twitter: @JasonDeParle

Photo Credit: Diana Walker

Nesta M. Gallas Lecture and Discussion
Secretary Leon Panetta

April 12 | 1:30 p.m. ET

Sponsored By:

A Monterey native and Santa Clara University School of Law graduate, Secretary Panetta began his long and distinguished public service career in 1964 as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army and, upon discharge, went to work in Washington as a legislative assistant to United States Senate Minority Whip Tom Kuchel of California. In 1969, he was appointed director of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Office for Civil Rights, where he was responsible for enforcing equal education laws. Later, he served as executive assistant to the mayor of New York City. He then returned to Monterey, where he practiced law until his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1976.

Serving in Congress for sixteen years, Panetta was a key participant in agriculture, health care, ocean and federal budget issues. From 1989 to 1993, he chaired the House Budget Committee. He authored a wide range of legislation, including the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, Medicare and Medicaid coverage for hospice care for the terminally ill and numerous measures to protect the California coast, including creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

In 1993, he left Congress to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Clinton administration. There, he was instrumental in developing policies that led to a balanced federal budget and eventual surpluses. In 1994, he accepted appointment as the president’s chief of staff and immediately brought order and focus to White House operations.

Upon leaving the Clinton administration in 1997, Panetta joined with his wife, Sylvia, to establish and co-direct The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University—Monterey Bay. Reflecting his own ideals and personal example, the nonpartisan, not-for-profit study center seeks to attract thoughtful men and women to lives of public service and prepare them for the policy challenges of the future.

Returning to public service in the Obama administration as director of the CIA, he ran the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, and, as Secretary of Defense, led the effort to develop a new defense strategy, helped bring two wars to an end, and opened up opportunities for everyone to serve in the military.

Secretary Panetta returned to the Panetta Institute as chairman on February 27, 2013 and resumed his role as moderator of the renowned Leon Panetta Lecture Series. He chronicles his life in public service in his best-selling memoir Worthy Fights, which was published in 2014.

Elliot Richardson Lecture and Discussion
Mariko Silver

April 13 | 3:00 p.m. ET

Sponsored By:

Mariko Silver is the president and CEO of the Henry Luce Foundation. She previously was the president of Bennington College, a pioneering liberal arts college in Vermont. During the Obama administration, she served for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as acting assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary for international policy where she conceptualized, initiated and led the development and implementation of the first DHS strategic plan for international engagement. She was responsible for representing the U.S. government, leading negotiations and collaborations with foreign governments and international organizations, and supporting more than 2,000 department personnel deployed overseas. These engagements built cooperative projects and programs to counter terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, and enhance resilience to disasters. In these capacities, she regularly was called upon to testify before the U.S. Congress on matters related to international affairs and border security.

Silver also has extensive experience at the interface between governmental, corporate and nonprofit organizations. She served as policy advisor for innovation, higher education and economic development to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. There, she oversaw the Arizona Department of Commerce and guided policy implementation at the Arizona Economic Resource Organization, Science Foundation Arizona and the Arizona Board of Regents. She led policy development and implementation and community outreach for the Governor in areas related to science and technology, innovation policy, economic development and diversification, workforce development, tertiary education and the creation of a continuum-oriented education system for the State of Arizona.

Prior to her government service, Silver held multiple roles at Arizona State University, where she designed and led both international and community initiatives, focused on economic development, interdisciplinary science initiatives and student success.

Silver is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a Ph.D. in economic geography from UCLA, MSc, from SPRU, University of Sussex (UK) and a B.A., from Yale University.

A Focus On Community
Commissioner Toni Carter

April 13 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. ET

Sponsored By:

Elected by the voters of District 4 in March 2005, Commissioner Toni Carter has led on important issues at the local, state and national level. Committed to delivering efficient and effective county services, eliminating disparities in county services and systems, and raising grassroots awareness of county decisionmaking processes and systems, Commissioner Carter has led several Ramsey County system change efforts including the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which has reduced the number of youth held at Ramsey County's Juvenile Detention Center and increased system and community alternatives for low-risk youth.

She is engaged with school, community and intergovernmental partners in strategic collaboratives for child safety, student achievement and youth development, including through the Saint Paul Children's Collaborative and the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. She also is working to implement metropolitan area leadership to end racial disparities in workforce participation through the regional “Everybody In” collaborative.

Prior to her election to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, Carter served as a member and chair of the Saint Paul Board of Education. Active in community building for more than 30 years, she has served on numerous community boards including the Saint Paul Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Library Service Agency (MELSA), the Walker West Music Academy, the West Side Community Health Center, the Saint Paul YWCA and the Jeremiah Program.

Commissioner Carter has worked previously as a teacher at Crosswinds Middle School, IBM systems engineer, marketing representative and systems support manager, and communications and arts consultant. She has worked and volunteered in the Twin Cities arts community for more than 30 years, acting professionally with Saint Paul’s Penumbra Theatre, in television and radio commercials, as talent for print media and as co-founder/founding director of ARTS-Us. She has received numerous awards for her work in the community and in the arts and arts education, including an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Concordia University – Saint Paul.

Today, Carter enjoys many passions as she steps in to lead the board on which she’s served for almost 15 years. Her new role as Ramsey County Board Chair puts her in a unique position as her son, Melvin W. Carter, III, serves as Mayor of Saint Paul.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Carter moved to Minnesota in 1971 to attend Carleton College. She is married to retired St. Paul Police Sergeant and Save Our Sons co-founder Melvin W. Carter, Jr. They have 12 grandchildren. Commissioner Carter is the first African American to serve on a county board in Minnesota.

Donald C. Stone Lecture
Donald Moynihan

April 14 | 1:00 p.m. ET

Sponsored By:

Donald Moynihan is the inaugural McCourt Chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy. His research examines how to improve how government works. He examines the behavioral effects of efforts to improve public sector outcomes through government reform, as well as the administrative burdens people encounter in their interactions with government. He is the author of, most recently, Administrative Burden: Policymaking by Other Means, winner of the Brownlow best book award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). He has presented his research to policymakers at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and governments around the world. His research was cited in President Obama’s budget proposal and he has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Hill, among others

Prior to joining Georgetown University, Moynihan previously served as the director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also is a visiting professor at the University of Oxford and Aarhus University, past president of the Public Management Research Association and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. A native of Ireland, Moynihan completed his BA in public administration at the University of Limerick and his master's and PhD in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

In 2014, he was awarded the Kershaw Award, provided every two years by Mathematica and the Association of Public Policy and Management to a scholar under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the study of public policy and management. Journal articles he has authored have won awards from the public and nonprofit division of the Academy of Management (2002, 2017), the American Review of Public Administration (2003), Public Administration Review (PAR) (2007) and Public Administration (2013). PAR also selected two of his articles on leadership and motivation to be listed among the 75 most influential papers in its 75-year history. On three occasions, he has won the American Society for Public Administration Joseph Wholey Distinguished Scholarship Award for outstanding scholarship on performance in public and nonprofit organizations (2009, 2011 and 2013). His book on performance management won awards from the American Political Science Association and the Academy of Management, and his book on administrative burdens received the Brownlow book award from the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2011, he won the National Academy of Public Administration/Wilder School award for scholarship in social equity. He received the 2012 Distinguished Research Award from ASPA and NASPAA.

Moynihan's presentation will look at the role of administrative burdens. The last decade has seen new interest in the study of the frictions that people encounter in their interactions with public services, such as getting a driver's license, accessing the social safety net, or pursuing basic rights such as voting. Such administrative burdens can have big effects, reinforce patterns of inequality and be deliberately used in ways that make programs less accessible and frustrate the public. He argues that such burdens present a challenge to the field of public administration to demonstrate both relevance and rigor in a topic that the public cares about and which matters to policy outcomes. His lecture will review new research on administrative burdens and compare different approaches by the Trump and Biden administrations.

Antiracism Lecture
Ibram X. Kendi

April 14 | 4:00 p.m. ET

Sponsored By:

The American Society for Public Administration is honored to announce that Ibram X. Kendi will engage in a moderated discussion about antiracism during the 2021 ASPA Annual Conference. Join us for this timely and critical dialogue on Wednesday, April 14 starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Professor Kendi is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He also authored three #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. His newest books are Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action; and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, co-edited with Keisha Blain. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

We look forward to engaging in this critical discussion.

Meet Our Moderator:

Susan T. Gooden, dean and professor at The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, will moderate this discussion. She is an internationally recognized expert on social equity. Gooden is an ASPA past president and a NAPA fellow. She is Vice President of the Network of Associated Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and will begin her presidential term in October 2021. Her books include Global Equity in Administration (2020, Routledge); Why Research Methods Matter (2018, Melvin and Leigh); Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government (2014, Routledge); and Cultural Competency for Public Administrators (2012, Routledge). Her research has been funded by several organizations including the Russell Sage Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, MDRC, and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Gooden has received several awards and honors including: a Fulbright Specialist Award to Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; the VCU University Distinguished Faculty Service Award; the Best Academic Paper Award presented by the Northeast Conference on Public Administration; the Jewel Prestage Pioneer Award presented by the Conference of Minority Public Administrators; the Joan Fiss Bishop Leadership Award presented by the American Society for Public Administration; and the Herbert Simon Best Book Award presented by the American Political Science Association.

Gooden was appointed to the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, the accrediting arm of the Network of Associated Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration and served previously as an elected member of the national policy council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. In 2016, she was appointed to the Virginia Community College System board by Governor Terence McAuliffe. Most recently she has been appointed by Governor Ralph Northam to the Virginia Retirement System Board. Gooden earned an A.S. in Natural Science from Patrick Henry Community College, a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech, and an M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech. She received her doctorate from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Following Gooden's discussion with Professor Kendi, she will be joined by panelists David Van Slyke (Syracuse University) and Brandi Blessett (University of Cincinnati) to further discuss antiracism in public administration. Make sure you are in the room to hear this excellent—and necessary—discussion.