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APPAM Celebrates New Leadership, Awards at 2012 Fall Research Conference

November 26, 2012 11:03 AM

The Association of Public Policy and Analysis Management (APPAM) recently held its annual Fall Research Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Just over 1,600 members were in attendance during the three days of sessions, presentations, and meetings. You can find session summaries, video, and other updates on the website.

During the course of the conference, the Association’s new leadership council was announced and a few prestigious awards were distributed.

Paul T. Decker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., was named president of the Association. Decker is a nationally recognized expert in the design, implementation, and execution of evaluations of education and workforce development programs. Driven by the belief that good policy is based on rigorous research and objective data, Decker combines his research expertise and business understanding in pursuit of Mathematica’s mission to improve public well-being.

Decker replaces Sandra O. Archibald, Dean of the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy, who will now serve one year as immediate past president of the Association. Archibald previously served in several roles at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota from 1993-03, including associate dean, interim dean, associate dean for academic affairs and research programs, and associate dean and director of graduate studies. Her research interests concern a wide area focusing on the intersection of economics, institutions, and public policy. She is the recipient of several academic awards, including the 2004 NASPAA/ASPA Distinguished Research Award.

Angela Evans, Professor at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, was introduced as APPAM’s president-elect. Evans joined the LBJ School as a clinical professor of the practice of public policy after serving 30 years in public service to the U.S. Congress. The last 13 of these years, she was the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service—the Legislative Branch agency created by the U.S. Congress to serve as its primary source for policy research and analysis. During her long career she worked with Members of Congress and their staffs on all major legislative deliberations, assisting them as they confronted some of the most critical and complex policy problems facing the nation. [View a video interview with Angela on YouTube.]

APPAM presented a few awards at the Fall Research Conference: the David N. Kershaw Award, the Peter H. Rossi Award, the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award, Award for Best Ph.D. Dissertation in Public Policy & Management, Award for Best Dissertation in Public Policy & Management in Asia, and Best Paper in International Comparative Policy for a Paper Presented in 2011.

The David N. Kershaw Award was established to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management. David Kershaw was the first president of Mathematica Policy Research; he died of cancer at the age of 37. This year’s recipient is John MacDonald, University of Pennsylvania.

The Peter H. Rossi Award honors the lifetime achievements of Peter Rossi (1921–2006) by recognizing important contributions to the theory or practice of program evaluation. The award may be for a recent paper, publication, or for an entire body of work. This year’s recipient is Thomas D. Cook, Northwestern University.

APPAM seeks to recognize excellence in research by annually selecting a research paper published in the current volume of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management to receive the Vernon Memorial Prize. This year’s recipients are Robert G. Wood, Sheena McConnell, Quinn Moore, and Andrew Clarkwest, all from Mathematica Policy Research; and JoAnn Hsueh, MDRC.

The Best Ph.D. Dissertation in Public Policy & Management award is to recognize emergent scholars in the field of public policy and management. This year’s recipient is Daeho Kim, Brown University/The Ohio State University.


The Award for Best Dissertation in Public Policy & Management in Asia is given to encourage quality research on practical public problems in Asia by emergent scholars. This year’s winner is Li Tang, Georgia Institute of Technology.


In addition, APPAM presented the following recipients awards for Best Paper in International Comparative Policy for a Paper Presented in 2011: Nathan Hultman and Greg Carlock, University of Maryland; and Elizabeth L. Malone, Paul Runci, and Kate Anderson from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


The annual Fall Research Conference has become the preeminent venue for the presentation and discussion of applied public policy research. The 2012 conference attracted more than 1,600 attendees for 250+ sessions across three days of meetings. The conference includes practitioners and many non-academic researchers in public policy and management, many whom consider APPAM to be their primary professional meeting. Next year’s conference will be held November 7–9, 2013 in Washington, DC.



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