Presidential Panels

The 2020 Annual Conference will feature 10 Presidential Panels, looking for visions for how to solve today's biggest challenges. Read on for details. All Presidential Panels will take place in Grand Ballroom E-G at the Hyatt Regency Orange County.

More panels and details will be posted as details are confirmed.

Women Trailblazers: Finding and Effectively Using Your Authentic Voice

Friday, April 3 | 9:30 a.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

As of 2016, approximately 56.8 percent of women participate in the labor force. In 2019 there were only nine women governors across the United States. Women hold only 27.6 percent of statewide elective executive offices. Why does it matter? For many reasons, but this panel will focus on the importance of gender inequity relative to policymaking, public-sector decisionmaking and leadership. Attendees will learn from these remarkable women, each of whom has learned to use their voice authentically when challenging the status quo, and making a lasting impact within the sector they have served. Their “firsts” enable them to talk personally about the challenges, capabilities and mindsets they have nurtured along their journey. Learn from their stories and gain a better understanding about how systemic inequities harm communities.

Natalie Samarjian, Executive Director, Coro Southern California

Carol Geffner, University of Southern California
Sargent Jennifer Grasso
Mirtha Villereal-Younger, Chairwoman, California Department of Disabled Veterans 2020 Convention

Making Government Work

Saturday, April 4 | 10:45 a.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

“Performance-based budgeting,” “performance-informed management,” “managing for results.” The terminology we use to describe the analytics behind determining which government programs work and how successful they are is vast. In their new book, nationally known government consultants Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene simplify this genre down to one concept: Making Government Work.  Join us for an in-depth interview with Barrett and Greene as we delve into the book, its case studies, what’s working and what’s not. This will be a hands-on, practitioner-oriented session, so bring your questions! (No need to have read the book beforehand; you can always purchase it in the exhibit hall at the Rowman and Littlefield booth afterward!)

Eduardo Luna, Independent City Auditor, Beverly Hills

Katherine Barrett, Barrett and Greene
Richard Greene, Barrett and Greene

A book signing  will take place following this panel in the exhibit hall from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Access to the Ballot Box: A Vision of American Democracy at its Best

Saturday, April 4 | 1:45 p.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing (white) women the right to vote. It was a momentous year, and the beginning of breaking down barriers that since have enabled future populations to vote and be heard. But we all know U.S. democracy isn’t perfect and there are many challenges that continue to block our citizens from the ballot box and their democratic rights. This panel will take a quick look at the 19th amendment and its journey since passage—including ASPA’s role in it!—and then look toward improvements still pending for suffrage, civic engagement and empowerment.

Erik Bergrud, Moderator, Associate Vice President for University Engagement, Park University
Ana-Maria Dimand, Doctoral Student, Florida International University
Thomas Hicks, Commissioner, U.S. Elections Assistance Commission
Kimberlee Ried, Independent Researcher/Historian

“A Portrait of LA County”

Saturday, April 4 | 3:15 p.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

Can one report make a difference? This panel will explore the background behind and unfolding impact of ‟A Portrait of Los Angeles County” on public-private partnerships, government innovation and research-driven performance improvement. The Portrait, prepared for government, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector by the Social Science Research Council/Measure of America, offers a comprehensive index of how LA County residents are faring. Today’s panelists will discuss how, in the service of advancing equitable and effective policymaking and program implementation, the Portrait has provided an accessible and useable roadmap to advancing inclusion, equity, and productivity, even simultaneously. Its methods serve the county's public administrative data-driven performance management and measurement goals, and its effective development and use has enabled the county to better direct its departmental resources, assisting prevention efforts by more successfully targeting individuals and families who can benefit most from county supports. Portrait data has been used to suggest improvements to both the built and social environments in communities categorized in the Portrait as "struggling" and "precarious"; to help address impediments to fair housing access; to expand equitable access to arts education and programs to address trauma through the performing arts; to improve opportunities for young people to successfully transition to employment; to target early childhood literacy programs to the highest-need neighborhoods; and to address regional inequities, among other initiatives. Panelists representing County and philanthropic partners spanning the Portrait’s design-implementation pipeline, will discuss the design, dissemination and reception of the Portrait within county departments, as well as its application in a variety of settings.

Norma E. Garcia, Acting Director, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
Shawn Landres, Immediate Past Chair, Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission
Kristen Lewis, Director and Co-Founder, Measure of America
Carrie Miller, Moderator, Assistant Executive Director, Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection
Jennifer Price-Lescher, Director, Programs & Special Projects, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

NIMBY, YIMBY or Neither? Homelessness in Los Angeles and Beyond

Saturday| 4:45 p.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

Is it really such a bad thing to have wonderful weather all year long? It is in a city like Los Angeles, where there are 27,000 unsheltered people living in mild climates that make living outdoors a viable option. Add to that the public health problems that come from encampments—typhus and typhoid being two of them—and the mental health challenges from which 25 percent of the homeless population suffer and you have a real problem on your hands. Building more housing seems like an obvious solution, but there are barriers to that including affordability, vacancy rates, zoning regulations, community resistance to shelters and more. Our panelists will lead a discussion around what homelessness looks like across the country, solutions that have been tried (and maybe failed) and more.

The Attack on the Administrative State and What Public Administration Can Do about It

Sunday, April 5 | 8:30 a.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

Public administration was created to provide professional expertise to democratic governments so laws could be implemented effectively and efficiently. Throughout the past 50 years, the profession has been attacked repeatedly for allegedly implementing policies that exceed the intent of the laws they administer. Recently, the Trump administration and similar populist governments around the world have extended this critique to call for a complete “deconstruction of the administrative state.” More troubling is the assertion that a chief executive’s pronouncements should take precedence over existing laws and regulations, scientific expertise and established management practices. These attacks will not disappear when political leaders change. Rather, they will continue to present fundamental challenges to democratic governance and the role professional administrators hold. The question of the legitimacy of the administrative state is one of the most central challenges in the profession today. This panel will encourage a serious and sustained dialogue on the critical and evolving relationship between democratically elected officials and appointed public administrators, as well as the relationship between administrators and citizens.

H. Brinton Milward, Melody S. Robidoux Foundation Fund Chair in Collaborative Governance, University of Arizona

Angela Evans, Dean, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Tina Nabatchi, Joseph A. Strasser Endowed Professor in Public Administration, Syracuse University
Alasdair Roberts, Professor, University of Massachusetts—Amherst
Rodney Scott, Chief Advisor, State Services Commission of New Zealand

The Endless Pursuit of Relevant Research: A Vision for How to Get There

Sunday, April 5 | 3:15 pm | Grand Ballroom E-G

Researchers have intensively studied collaborative governance throughout the last 20 years, but the research has not been directly relevant for practitioners in all cases. This roundtable will look to hear directly from practitioners and academics on what future—relevant—research is most needed for promoting effective collaborative practice. Facets include broad participation, equitable outcome distribution, empowering marginalized communities and promoting civic discourse for solving problems. Our panelists also will look at where the biggest knowledge gaps exist. Significant audience participation will be expected so bring your questions and ideas!

Kirk Emerson, Moderator, Professor of Practice, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona and Editor, Perspectives on Public Management and Governance

Julia Carboni, Associate Professor, Syracuse University
Michael Kern, Director, William D. Ruckelshaus Center; Associate Professor, Washington State University Extension; Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
Yan Tang, Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor of Public Administration, University of Southern California
Frank Zerunyan, Professor of Practice of Governance, University of Southern California


Counting Everyone

Monday, April 6 | 11:15 a.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

It’s no small job: Counting every body in the United States—no matter where they live, who they are or what services they use. In fact, for the purposes of the decennial census, those questions matter least. What matters is that they’re counted—federal funds, community equality, public health, safety and security all depend on it. So, how do you get it right? We’ll explore all of this and more, including a look at the census’s impact on public administration research. Join us for this fascinating panel looking at one of the most nitty-gritty public administration programs there is! (And then: go take the census in the hotel lobby and be counted!)

Toni Samuel, Retired, National League of Cities

Ditas Katague, Director, California Census
Olivia Snarksi, Local Democracy Initiative, Program Manager, Center for City Solutions, National League of Cities

Developing the Procurement Workforce to Meet Today's Challenges

Monday, April 6 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom E-G

Today’s public procurement leaders are faced with significant workforce challenges including the reality of a limited pipeline of new talent to keep pace with retiring workers and growing demands. This panel will discuss the roles of academia, public entities and professional associations like ASPA and NIGP to collaborate and solve these challenges. Looking through the lens of public procurement, panelists will discuss the strategic importance this sector holds vis-a-vis the bottom-line of effective public administration and the evolving nature of workforce competencies required to deliver results, as well as providing their thoughts on potential solutions and innovative ways we all can work together to address procurement’s workforce needs.

Michael Bevis, Chief Procurement Officer, City of Norfolk, Virginia
Ana-Maria Dimand, ASPA Student Representative and Doctoral Student, Florida International University
Rick Grimm, Chief Executive Officer, NIGP: The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing
Jack Pellegrino, Director, Department of Purchasing and Contracting, County of San Diego
Alexandru V. Roman, Professor, Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, California State University—San Bernardino and Director, Research Institute for Public Management and Governance