If you have the urge to lead and plan public issues such as management, transportation, security and safety and economic development, then an unelected position as a public administrator might be right for you. But, to work as a policy analyst, budget analyst, HR manager, executive director or other public administrator, you might seek a degree in this field. The following top 10 most influential public administration professors offer clues as to how public administration works, especially if you learn more about their previous work experiences and/or their current publications and books.

The following professors’ names might not be household names, but their experiences include leadership qualities in politics, publications, theories and management. In fact, some professors serve in lead management roles in several capacities within their universities, showing a remarkable capacity to administrate several projects at one time. Each name below is listed in alphabetical order by surname.

  1. Dr. EllwoodDr. David T. Ellwood, the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School, has served as Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government since July 1, 2004. As Dean, Ellwood sets the strategic direction of the Kennedy School and leads its efforts to advance the public interest. He served as assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading scholars on poverty and welfare.
  2. Dr. HuskeyDr. Lee L. Huskey, University of Alaska Anchorage, has studied Alaska’s economy with particular emphasis on the state’s rural economy. He joined the UAA faculty in 1977, after three years as an economist in the planning department of the Municipality of Anchorage. Dr. Huskey also was a member of the Scientific Committee of the OCS Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of the Interior, and his work has appeared in The Annals of Regional Science, Arctic, Growth and Change, The American Economist and The Journal of Environmental Management.
  3. Dr. KapucuDr. Naim Kapucu is a faculty member at the Department of Public Administration of the College of Health and Public Affairs (COHPA) at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He also is the director of the Capacity Building Institute and the program coordinator of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Programs at the Department of Public Administration. His specialties include dealing with terrorist threats and incidents, managing natural and man-made disasters and planning for emergencies and to reduce risk.
  4. Dr. MastracciDr. Sharon Mastracci authored Breaking Out of the Pink Collar Ghetto in 2004 and co-authored Emotional Labor: Putting the Service in Public Service in 2008. She is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Program in Public Administration at the University of Illinois–Chicago, (UIC), a 2004–2005 Faculty Scholar of the UIC Great Cities Institute, a member of the university’s Faculty Advisory Board of the Center for Research on Women and Gender, and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Urban Economic Development.
  5. Dr. PerlmanDr. Bruce J. Perlman, currently on leave of absence as professor of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico, is serving as the principal advisor to and representative for Governor for Social Welfare, Policy and legislative support to Chief of Staff for State Legislature. A prior appointment was as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Albuquerque. Dr. Perlman has authored numerous grants and more than a dozen research papers for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Dept. of Labor, New Mexico Dept. of Labor and Sandia National Laboratories.
  6. Dr. RosenbluthDr. Frances Rosenbluth is a comparative political economist with current research interests in war and constitutions, Japanese politics and political economy, and the political economy of gender at Yale University’s Political Science department. She also is Damon Wells Professor of International Politics at Yale. Her recent and forthcoming books include The Political Economy of Japan’s Low Fertility; Women, Work, and Politics; Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic Reform and War and State Building in Medieval Japan.
  7. Dr. UbelDr. Peter A Ubel is the John O. Blackburn Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua Business School and professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. In his book, Free Market Madness, Dr. Ubel argues that the combination of human nature and free markets can be “downright dangerous for our health and well-being.” Dr. Ubel has won many research awards, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton in 2000.
  8. Dr. VasavadaDr. Triparna Vasavada is an assistant professor of public administration in the School of Public Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. Her research interests are nonprofit management, generosity, gender and leadership and social network analysis. Her current research project, supported by Research Council Grants of Penn State, focuses on the social network dynamics of women leaders of nonprofit organizations in the United States. She has received numerous grants and awards including ARNOVA‘s emerging scholar award.
  9. Dr. WolfDr. James Wolf is professor, faculty liaison and program Director (NOVA), Richmond, Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP), Virginia Tech. He previously served as director for the Center. Areas of specialization include complex organizations and the applied behavioral sciences, regionalism and metropolitan transportation planning, and organizational development programs for public agencies. CPAP’s alumni have gone on to positions in local, state, and federal government, academia and the private sector.
  10. Dr. YingerDr. John M. Yinger is trustee professor of Public Administration and Economics, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. He is associate director for Metropolitan Studies Program and director, Education Finance and Accountability Program, Center for Policy Research. He also directs the Education Finance and Accountability Program, which promotes research, education, and debate about fundamental issues in the U.S. elementary and secondary school system.

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