Opening Plenary—Public Finance Lecturer

Tony Williams

Click here if the video above does not load.


Tony Williams, the former mayor of Washington, DC (1999-2007), is chief executive officer of the Federal City Council, an organization focusing the creative and administrative talents of Washington’s business and professional leaders on major problems and opportunities facing the District.

Williams is widely credited with leading Washington’s comeback during his two terms as mayor, restoring our nation’s capital’s finances and improving the performance of government agencies, all while lowering taxes and investing in infrastructure and human services.

Elliot Richardson Lecture

Jack Knott

Click here if the video above does not load.


Jack Knott is the dean and C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor of the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He has led the school in this role since 2005. He is a leading scholar in the fields of political institutions and public policy and is a past president of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the international association of schools of public affairs. He has published three books, including Reforming Bureaucracy: The Politics of Institutional Choice, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. In addition, he earned fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation and the International Institute of Management in Berlin, and he served as a consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Join us for a lecture from Dean Knott and then enjoy a panel discussion he will lead, looking at public administration and democracy. Panelists will focus on the origins of the field of public policy and the importance of public administration in democracy today.

Richardson Lecture Panel

Click here if the video above does not load.


Paul C. Light
Paul C. Light is a professor of public service at New York University. He is the director of studies at the National Academy of Public Administration, a senior advisor to Sen. John Glenn (D-OH) and vice president for governmental studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of The Government-Industrial Complex: Tracking the True Size of Government, 1984-2018.

Shelley Metzenbaum

Shelley Metzenbaum works to bring about a better world through better government, working both within and outside government. As founder of The BETTER Project, she encourages governments and those funded or regulated by government to use goals, data, analysis, well-designed trials, incentives and visualization to find ways to improve outcomes and other aspects of performance, and to avoid using these tools in ways that create fear and dysfunctional responses. Metzenbaum previously served as founding president of the Volcker Alliance, associate director for performance and personnel management at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, head of regional operations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and undersecretary of environmental affairs and director of capital budgeting for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She holds a doctorate in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree in humanities and Asian studies.

Session Sponsored by:

Public Service Plenary

Click here if the video above does not load.


Patricia Shields is currently a professor at Texas State University. Her research interests include the application of the philosophy of pragmatism to the field of public administration. She found Jane Addams as a recently recovered founder of classical pragmatism and democratic theorist. Following her dissertation research, which looked at the equity of the military recruitment process during the Vietnam era, she has studied civil/military relations. In 2001, Shields became editor-in-chief of Armed Forces & Society, a top 10 military studies journal. Addams’ role as leader of the women’s peace movement led to the Nobel Peace Prize; her three books about peace were less well known. Recognizing this omission, Shields investigated Addams’ ideas of peace, seeing applications for contemporary peacekeeping operations and within public administration itself. Shields has won Public Administration Review’s Laverne Burchfield Award, the Section for Women in Public Administration’s Rita Mae Kelly Research Award for Outstanding Research in Gender Related Issues and NASPAA’s Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award.

Mary Guy is professor of public administration in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research and teaching interests focus on the human processes involved in public service delivery. She currently leads a team of researchers who are investigating the everyday work experience of public servants around the globe. Guy is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, past president of ASPA and past editor in chief of the Review of Public Personnel Administration.

Global Public Administration Plenary

2019 Annual Conference Global Public Administration Plenary


Christopher Hill spent 33 years at the State Department, earning accolades for his service in such diverse countries as Iraq, Poland, The Republic of Korea and Macedonia. An international expert on public administration around the world, he now serves as chief advisor to the chancellor for global engagement at the University of Denver, and will be addressing conference attendees at the 2019 Annual Conference.

Hill is a career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, and President Bush’s assistant secretary to East Asia. He has received many State Department awards including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award and the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations. He is the author of Outpost—Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir.

Donald C. Stone Lecture

2019 Annual Conference, Donald C Stone Lecture


Sylvia M. Burwell is American University’s (AU) 15th president and the first woman to serve as president. A leader with experience managing large and complex organizations in the public and private sectors, she brings to AU a commitment to education and research, a record of spurring innovation, and experience helping to advance solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.

Burwell served as the 22nd secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2014 to 2017, was director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2013 to 2014 and spent 11 years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including roles as chief operating officer and president of the global development program.

Burwell earned her undergraduate degrees from Harvard University and University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Session sponsored by:

Closing Plenary

Click here if the above video does not load.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The American Society for Public Administration is honored to announce that Vice President Joseph R. Biden will deliver the closing address of the 2019 ASPA Annual Conference. If you are planning to attend this year's conference and have not registered yet, please do so now as space for Vice President Biden's lecture will fill up fast! If you wish to attend the closing plenary only, please click here to reserve a seat.

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., represented Delaware for 36 years in the U.S. Senate before becoming the 47th Vice President of the United States.

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., was born November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first of four siblings. In 1953, the Biden family moved from Pennsylvania to Claymont, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School and served on the New Castle County Council. Then, at age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate.

Just weeks after the election, tragedy struck the Biden family when then Senator-elect Biden's wife, Neilia, and their one-year-old daughter, Naomi, died and his 2 sons were injured in an auto accident. Vice President Biden was sworn into the U.S. Senate at his sons' hospital bedside and began commuting to Washington every day by train, a practice he maintained throughout his career in the Senate.

In 1977, Vice President Biden married Jill Jacobs. Jill Biden, who holds a Doctorate in Education, is a life-long educator and currently teaches at a community college in Northern Virginia. The Vice President's son, Beau, was Delaware's Attorney General from 2007-2015 and a Major in the 261st Signal Brigade of the Delaware National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008-2009. Beau passed away in 2015 after battling brain cancer with the same integrity, courage, and strength he demonstrated every day of his life. The Vice President's second son, Hunter, is an attorney who manages a private equity firm in Washington, D.C. His daughter Ashley is a social worker and Executive Director of the Delaware Center for Justice. Vice President Biden has five grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel ("Maisy"), Natalie, and Robert Hunter.

As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Vice President Biden established himself as a leader in facing some of our nation's most important domestic and international challenges. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, then-Senator Biden was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues, including the landmark 1994 Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, then-Senator Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of issues and legislation related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.

As the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden continued his leadership on important issues facing the nation and represented America abroad, traveling over 1.2 million miles to more than 50 countries. Vice President Biden convened sessions of the President's Cabinet, led interagency efforts, and worked with Congress in his fight to raise the living standards of middle class Americans, reduce gun violence, and address violence against women. In the final year of the Administration, Vice President Biden led the Cancer Moonshot, an international effort to end cancer as we know it.

Since leaving the White House in January 2017, Vice President Biden has continued his legacy of expanding opportunity for all, both in the United States and abroad, with the creation of the Biden Foundation, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, the Biden Cancer Initiative, and the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware. Through these non-profit organizations, Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden are developing programs designed to advance smart policies, convene experts and world leaders on the issues they care most about, and impact the national debate about how America can continue to lead in the 21st century. In addition, Vice President Biden formed a political action committee, "American Possibilities," which will allow him to continue to support Democratic candidates and causes across the country.

Finally, in November 2017, Vice President Biden released his second book, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose. The book, a New York Times #1 Bestseller, is a personal story from a father, grandfather, husband, and friend as he confronts the inevitability of devastating personal loss, while trying to balance his duty to his family and his country.

He has received numerous awards and accolades, including the National Civil Rights Museum's Freedom Award and the Medal of Freedom with Distinction. In December of 2018, the University of Delaware named its school of public policy the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration.

ASPA is grateful to the University of Delaware Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration for its sponsorship of this session.