#2015APPAM Student Summary: Membership and Awards Lunch
Katherine Wikrent, PhD Candidate
George Washington University
On Friday afternoon, APPAM attendees were invited to attend the Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Lunch, a hallmark of the Conference. President-elect Ron Haskins provided a warm introduction for Rebecca Blank, the recipient of the 2015 Exemplar Award. In his introduction, Haskins stressed that Blank blended research and analysis to generate innovative policy solutions throughout her career. In particular, her ability to translate administration theory into practical applications has made her a truly worthy recipient of this most prestigious award.
Blank’s speech focused on lessons learned during her long career in public service, most notably with the Department of Commerce. Blank outlined key challenges she overcame through three virtues that have defined her career: patience, persistence, and flexibility.
Her closing remarks shed an optimistic light on public administration. She called for public servants strive to be transparent and consultative at all times. “Process really does matter,” she stressed, urging her audience to be as responsive as possible to the needs of the public.
She closed her remarks by reminding the audience that it is preferable to compromise and get 60% of what you want, than to be intransigent and achieve nothing of what you want. There was a lively Q & A after her lecture.
Presentation of Awards was next on the agenda. Manasi Deshpande (Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015) was named recipient of the Ph.D. Dissertation Award. Thomas S. Dee of Stanford University and James H. Wyckoff of University of Virginia received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Prize for the Best Article in JPAM. Laura Langbein of American University and Pablo Sanabria of La Universidad de los Andes received the JCPA and ICPA-Forum’s Best Comparative Paper Award.