Presidential Panels

The 2019 Annual Conference will feature more than 15 Presidential Panels, issuing calls for action on today's biggest challenges. Read on for details. All Presidential Panels will take place in the Chinese Ballroom at the Mayflower.

Public Administration Advancing Rule-Ordered Institutions in Asia

Friday, March 8 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Global Public Administration
This panel will discuss the role of public administration in developing and advancing rule ordered institutions. Panelists will each draw on decades of experience and research in Asia to provide their insights on the design of public institutions, drawing in part on the work of Elinor Ostrom on rule development for effective cooperation. Speakers will also discuss specific examples from several nations in discussing the challenges and the successes.

Revitalizing the Middle Class: Workforce Issues

Friday, March 8 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Public Service
Of the numerous challenges our country currently faces, the instability of the middle class is one that could yield the most dramatic consequences for our nation if not effectively addressed. Vice President Biden, and his institute at the University of Delaware, has set out to tackle this issue head-on, calling it “the great challenge of our time.” This panel, organized in conjunction with the Biden Institute and their expert economists, demographers and other consultants, will focus on the workforce issues affecting the middle class including income inequality, defining the poverty line, transportation equity, health and child care challenges and more. This panel is a continuation of discussions the Biden Institute has been having with a variety of public administrators and academics for the past 18 months. Be in the audience to share your voice as we continue generating ideas the Vice President and policymakers can put to use to revitalize our middle class.
Presenters (more to come)
Heather Boushey, Executive Director, Center for Equitable Growth
Stephanie Hoopes, Project Director, United Way New Jersey ALICE Project
Mark Pisano, Senior Fellow, University of Southern California

The Buck Stops Here: How Federal Leaders Can Reduce Improper Payments

Friday, March 8 | 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Public Finance
In 2017, improper payments totaled more than $140 billion across the government. Ensuring taxpayer money is properly spent is a critical function of the government, whether it involves getting the correct benefits to deserving veterans or preventing fraudulent payments to scammers. When agencies mistakenly send payments to people who are not entitled to them or pay incorrect benefit amounts, it is a sign of government ineffectiveness. Utilizing government-wide strategies to reduce improper payments is one piece of the puzzle. Agencies also need to adopt solutions that address root causes of improper payments within their programs. Join this panel discussion about how the federal government can partner with states to improve program integrity. We’ll also look at how using behavioral economics can reduce improper payments.

Assessing the Trump Administration’s Management Agenda: A Media Panel

Friday, March 8 | 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Public Service
In this session, a group of reporters and editors from Government Executive Media Group (publishers of Government Executive, Nextgov, Defense One and Route Fifty) will discuss the state of management reform efforts in the current administration, including:
  • The role of the Office of Management and Budget in crafting and pushing the president’s management agenda
  • How the effort both builds on and differs from previous administrations’ management improvement efforts
  • What the administration is likely to achieve and what will fall by the wayside
  • The future of the merit system and civil service rules and regulations
  • Engaging the federal workforce in reform efforts
  • Prospects for reform legislation on Capitol Hill in a time of extreme partisanship
  • The importance of advanced technology in improving service to citizens
Tom Shoop, Moderator, Executive Vice President and Editor in Chief, Government Executive Media Group
Aaron Boyd, Senior Editor, Technology and Events, Nextgov
Charles M. Clark, Senior Correspondent, Government Executive
Jack Corrigan, Staff Correspondent, Nextgov
Eric Katz, Senior Correspondent, Government Executive

The Future Has Begun: Using Artificial Intelligence to Transform Government

Friday, March 8 | 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Public Service
In hindsight, it is easy to identify Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone in the 1870s as an instrument of marvel, eventually connecting people worldwide. And of course, there is the Internet, which few can envision living without despite it being barely 30 years old. Similarly, future historians may look back at this decade as the point at which artificial intelligence (AI) forever changed how the world works, revolutionizing the way we perceive, think, reason, learn and make decisions. More importantly, though, AI has the potential to help address many of our country’s pervasive problems and advance our well-being. That same promise has great potential to transform government, but it will also change the way public servants do their jobs and the federal government will have to manage the resulting challenges. This panel will look at research currently in the field that estimates the impact of AI on the federal workforce. Join us to learn some of the preliminary results.

Looking Ahead: What the Public Sector of the Future Must Look Like

Saturday, March 9 | 10:45 a.m. - Noon
Public Service
It is a challenge that transcends geographic boundaries and levels of government: recruiting and retaining the best and brightest into the public sector. As the traditional definition of “public service” evolves and expands, so too do the skills needed to effectively serve the public good and the expectations governments have of the next generation of public service leaders. And, this transformation is taking place against the backdrop of the ever increasing challenge of inspiring new professionals to join a profession whose work goes unheralded and often unappreciated. What is happening on the front lines of federal, state, county and local governments? A distinguished panel of executives from leading public service organizations will share what they are finding…and what they believe lies ahead.
Presenters (more to come)
Bill Valdez, Moderator, President, Senior Executives Association (SEA)

A Call for Action: Public Administration Advancing Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Nations

Saturday, March 9 | 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Global Public Administration
This panel will highlight the difficulties associated with operationalizing rule of law in post-conflict nations. Drawing on our speakers’ decades of professional experiences, and specific lessons learned from real nation-building scenarios, we’ll look at best practices for advancing rule of law in police, administrative and public institution building from around the world.
Presenters (more to come)
Franz Nohzi, Senior Director of Global Development, McCain Institute for International Leadership, Arizona State University

The New Financial Sustainability Framework

Saturday, March 9 | 1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Public Finance
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and its university partners have been researching a new model for how local governments can become financially sustainable. The model is based on a Nobel-prize winning body of work about how communities can make better decisions about shared resources, such as a public budget. It also builds on many concepts for which GFOA has long advocated, but it raises a number of new concepts that our research has shown to be vital to financial sustainability. At this session, you will be introduced to the new framework, learn its essential components and find out it has been applied.
Shayne Kavanagh, Moderator, Senior Manager, Research, GFOA
Laura Allen, Town Administrator, Berlin, Maryland
Mark Pisano, Senior Fellow, University of Southern California
Shui-Yan Tang, Duggan Professor in Public Administration, University of Southern California

Cybersecurity: “Infrastructure” and So Much More

Sunday, March 10 | 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
The federal Cybersecurity Framework, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, was originally launched by President Obama and has been continued by President Trump. Applicable infrastructure within the Framework includes utilities providing energy and water, as well as sectors covering transportation, financial services, communication, health care and public health, dams, key manufacturers, emergency services and more. In fact, cybersecurity itself encompasses all that we consider under the topic of “infrastructure.” This panel will look at the state of our nation’s cyber infrastructure and offer attendees a profound appreciation for its complexity. You’ll also walk away with a sense of the urgency associated with actions that must be taken to prevent multi-dimensional threats we invite if we fail to address cybersecurity challenges.

No Time to Wait

Sunday, March 10 |11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Public Service

Whether recognized or not, today’s federal civil service is in a state of dysfunction that is creating a genuine national crisis—and one that must be solved immediately. Our country needs a public service workforce that is equipped to do the people's work, managed effectively and structured to support our country for generations to come. How do we get there? The National Academy of Public Service's "No Time to Wait" reports, released in 2017 and 2018, identified specific problems and provided thoughtful solutions. Recommendations on the table include flexibility in support of mission; replacing job specifications with a competency based, talent-management model; reinforcing merit-system principles; leading from the center; and transforming the federal government's human capital backbone. What has been done with these recommendations since they were put in front of Congress and the administration? This panel will look at that question and more. Every day this problem goes unsolved, our national crisis will only get bigger and more intractable. We truly have no time to wait.
(more to come)
Thelma Hite-Harris, Project Director, NAPA

University Nervous Areas of Government: Monuments and Reparations

Sunday, March 10 | 3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Social Equity
Should Confederate monuments remain on public university campuses? Should well-endowed public universities that realized substantial economic benefits from slavery provide scholarships to slaves’ descendants? This panel considers these nervous areas of government by university administrators and researchers who have directly led efforts to engage these topics. Beyond apologies, this panel examines tangible strategies for correcting historical wrongs and the implications for public universities that are navigating this challenge.

Managing Our Country’s Watershed Infrastructure

Monday, March 11 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Many communities in the United States are dependent on human management of large natural watersheds. The Mississippi River drainage basin encompasses lands in 32 states. The Colorado and Columbia Rivers each drain parts of seven states. The Chesapeake Bay watershed encompasses parts of six states. The infrastructure projects that altered and now manage these watersheds include dredging, dams, levees and more with a variety of policy goals including flood control, irrigation, power generation, navigation and recreation. In addition, climate change is projected to include severe rainfall, “flashier” floods, and sea level rise in coastal areas, which will only increase today’s current challenges. This panel will examine the range of policy goals affecting our nation’s watersheds, including federal, state and local roles.
Carin Bisland, EPA
James Davis Martin, VaDEQ and Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program’s Water Quality Goal Implementation Team
Mary Gattis, Director, Local Government Programs, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

#MeToo: The Role of Universities in the MeToo Movement

Monday, March 11 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Social Equity
Are universities taking a proactive stance in addressing sexual harassment and sexual assault? The #MeToo Movement has played a critical role in the number of persons coming forward with claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault in recent years. Colleges and universities are not immune to these claims; we have seen several university cases highlighted in major media outlets. How do universities manage situations when graduate students claim they are being sexually harassed or assaulted by a professor? This panel will assess the magnitude of sexual harassment and sexual assault in colleges and universities and discuss best practices in changing the culture of organizations and addressing the problem at the grassroots level.

America’s Infrastructure: Is a D+ Acceptable?

Monday, March 11 | 12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Every four years, the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues an Infrastructure Report Card. According to the most recent scores, America’s infrastructure scored a D+ overall, an alarmingly substandard grade for structures that undergird the economic health of the nation, domestically and globally. ASCE contends that the nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable with sufficient investment, leadership and planning—and a clear vision for the future. But those elements are the crux of the matter, aren’t they? Who pays and who benefits? And who is in charge, anyhow? Join us for a conversation with experts in in infrastructure investment, system safety and leadership and planning, and where we go from here.
Presenters (more to come)
Paul Wiedefeld, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Washington Metro

Census 2020: A Count That Matters

Monday, March 11 | 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Social Equity
Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the decennial census is a count that matters. It impacts voting representation, as well as funding allocations to areas such as education, health care and housing. This panel will examine the challenges associated with Census 2020 for public administrators, including the continued vacancy of a Census Bureau director, reduced administrative capacity to administer the census, conflicting federal guidance on census questions relative to citizenship, race and ethnicity, and increased fear among immigrants to complete the census.

Developing the Next Generation of Public Service Leaders

Monday, March 11 | 3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Public Service
Career federal leaders are the tip of the spear when it comes to advancing a public service ethic and restoring the public’s confidence in government during turbulent and disruptive times. But what are those leaders doing to promote the next generation of federal public service leaders and build the leadership development pipeline programs needed to recruit and retain 21st century leaders? This panel will explore exemplar federal agency leadership development programs, the system level constraints that encourage and/or inhibit the developing those programs and the interchange of perspectives from both federal and academic perspectives on how to best prepare our next generation of public servants for the demands of federal leadership.
Bill Valdez, Moderator, President, Senior Executives Association (SEA)
Dustin Brown, Deputy Assistant Director for Management, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Angela Evans, Dean, University of Texas LBJ School
Robert Goldenkoff, Director, Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Data Analytics

Tuesday, March 12 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Public Service
Achieving agencies’ vital missions, including tackling complex national challenges and threats, requires them to focus on learning and continuous improvement. A key improvement strategy is using data and evidence to learn and do what works—and adjust what does not. At a time when technology allows for the collection, combination and analysis of vast reems of data and government prepares for the automation of much of its administrative daily work, government leaders must challenge themselves to think through ways to harness these new capacities to ensure programs are effectively achieving the outcomes our country needs. During this panel, you will hear from select agencies about the practices that enable them to leverage data in making important decisions and improving program management and performance.