Seven Key Public Administration Organizations to Know

Public administrator analyzing graphs.

A variety of tools are available for public administration students who would like to refine their leadership and administration skills. In particular, membership organizations and groups are often ideal resources for students looking to explore a career in the public administration field. The following are seven associations that promote empirical research and methodologies of public administration.

National Academy of Public Administration

The National Academy of Public Administration is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that assists government leaders in developing “more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations.” The Academy assists leaders in the executive and legislative branches with solving a variety of complex issues that require specific expertise. The Academy is well equipped to provide unique expertise through its more than 800 Fellows.

The Academy’s many programs include connecting people with their government through technology, improving the communication of complex management and policy challenges to national leaders, and providing resources and information to those interested in pursuing a career in public administration and policy.

American Society for Public Administration

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the largest professional association for public administration. It is an “interdisciplinary public service organization” that promotes the art of public and nonprofit administration, connects all those who pursue public administration, and helps create innovative solutions to governmental challenges and issues.

The ASPA’s four core values are “Accountability and Performance, Professionalism, Ethics, and Social Equity.” The association encourages results-driven management through education, advocacy, training, and information sharing.

Alliance for Nonprofit Management

The Alliance for Nonprofit Management is the “leading national knowledge community dedicated to building the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities working to achieve positive social change and cultural enrichment.” The Alliance uses a “Research to Practice” platform to explore the research of academics and nonprofit workers. The Alliance also disseminates information to increase the effectiveness and impact of nonprofits.

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management

The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management improves public policy by “fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education.” It presents multidisciplinary research on various policy management issues in its annual research conference. It also publishes a peer-reviewed journal that contains highly respected research on management and public policy. Additionally, it dedicates itself to “respecting and enhancing racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, and other forms of diversity” among those involved in the activities of the Association.

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)

NASPAA includes nearly 300 members worldwide. It is the membership organization of postgraduate education programs in public affairs, public policy, nonprofit and public management, and public administration. Its members offer MPA, MPAff, MPP, and other similar public administration degrees.

NASPAA’s mission is to “ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service.” It accomplishes this by developing the standards for master degree programs with its Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation; creating a center for the sharing of information on public affairs education; and collaborating with public administration educational programs in other countries through joint projects and conferences.

National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA)

NFBPA is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the “advancement of black public leadership in local and state governments.” Founded in 1983, the NFBPA boasts 2,500 members and a national reputation for advancing high-quality leadership initiatives for black public administrators in over 350 nationwide jurisdictions.

The mission of the organization is to “strengthen the position of Blacks within the field of public administration; to increase the number of Blacks appointed to executive positions in public service organization; and to groom and prepare younger, aspiring administrators for senior public management posts in the years ahead.”

Public Management Research Association (PMRA)

PMRA is a “nonprofit academic membership association that furthers research on public organizations.” It originally grew from a bi-annual research conference on public management, and now is “the foremost gathering of public management scholars in the US and around the world.” It also publishes the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and will debut a new journal in 2017 called Perspectives on Public Management and Governance.

PMRA nurtures multidisciplinary research on governance and fosters “empirical and normative inquiry” in the study of public management. It also assists in the building and testing of theories of proper, efficient governance. Using a range of methodologies, including social science, the Association actively promotes the study and understanding of public management.

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Our online Master of Public Administration at Ohio University can help you build the skills to address public needs in effective, efficient and imaginative ways. We want you to take the big ideas in your head and put them into action by helping you develop as a project manager, communicator, policy analyst, and financial mind. When you have an expert understanding of public administration and the professional tools to back it up, you can lead a career of consequence for your constituents.


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