I’m honoured to take up the position of President for the next two years.
We’re all members of CAPPA because we care about public administration, public policy, and public management research, practice, and teaching; how things are, why they are, and how they might be made better. It’s an exciting – and critical – time to be doing this work, and a time when we have many opportunities to engage with governments, the voluntary/non-profit sector, and with the private sector.
CAPPA as an organization has grown exponentially in the last few years. Previous executives and boards have worked to create an outstanding case competition that draws student teams from across the country. Tremendous private sector support for 2018 helped to support teams’ travel, making it more affordable for students to participate. We look forward to the case competition this year at Carleton University, and thanks to Rob Shepherd for taking on the organization and hosting.
The annual research conference provides an opportunity for people working on public administration issues to come together, discuss and debate issues and ideas, and to build a community of thinkers and practitioners. It’s an important opportunity to build bridges with the practitioner community, to involve students, and to highlight the work of early career researchers. It also allows for us as a community to talk about teaching public administration, to revisit classic scholarship through the lenses of today’s research, and to work toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Thank you to Kathy McNutt and her team – Karen Jaster-Laforge, Andrea Geisbauer, and other fantastic JSGS staff – for an outstanding 2018 conference. We’re grateful to Stephanie Patterson and Francesca Scala for taking on the organization and hosting for the 2019 conference at Concordia University in Montreal!
I’d also like to acknowledge the work of the Accreditation Board over the past year, and to recognize the importance of this ongoing work under the leadership of Ken Rasmussen (JSGS) for the coming year.
I’m committed to continuing to build on this great work, working with all of you to expand and strengthen our community. Partnerships with IPAC, NASPAA, the Canada School of Public Service provide us as an organization the opportunity to shape and influence discussions around public issues, and to recognize and acknowledge the great ideas and innovation coming from public administration schools and programs across the country. Our involvement in the evaluation of the African Scholars of Tomorrow is a recognition of the importance of our collective contributions to this program.
Strengthening the organization over the next year, through incorporation, establishing MOUs with IPAC and NASPPA will be key. Outreach to members, continuing to communicate with chairs and directors regularly about CAPPA activities and opportunities, and providing chances for conversations about future CAPPA directions. Our strength is in our membership, and it’s vital to ensure that you all continue to see the value of CAPPA.
As individual researchers and teachers, we must take all opportunities to continue to ask the questions that we see as important for the public sector and ultimately for people. Change is coming at us quickly, and our ability – as a community – to anticipate and respond to issues around community engagement, reconciliation, collaborative public policy, innovation (however we’re defining it), ethics and values, management reforms, accountability, low trust in government, and high public expectations will be vital for our continued impact as academics but also for our ability to be influencers in the world.
I’m looking forward to the coming year, and I’m grateful to be working with an outstanding executive and board. I’ve been privileged to be involved with CAPPA in various ways over the past decade, and look forward to the work of the next two years.