APPAM is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education.

APPAM promotes its mission through the following activities: 

  • A multidisciplinary annual research conference that attracts the highest quality research on a wide variety of important current and emerging policy and management issues, and is structured to encourage substantive interaction among participants.
  • A peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal that publishes the highest quality research on public policy and management.
  • A dedication in all activities to respecting and enhancing racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, and other forms of diversity among participants in all of the Association's activities.
  • The involvement of policymakers, practitioners, and scholars in the Association's governance and the Fall Conference.
  • Initiatives that include and foster participation in the Association among students interested in public policy and management.

This language is the result of several years of discussion within the Policy Council about APPAM's mission and is intended to guide the Association's programs in the future. It is meant to be a "living document" that will evolve over time. The Policy Council last amended this statement on April 4, 2003.


In 1978, the Sloan Foundation sponsored a conference on the public policy and management curriculum at Hilton Head, South Carolina. A proposal was made to create a new professional association of graduate schools of public policy and management. APPAM formally was created at a May 1979 conference at Duke University by representatives of 15 policy schools and research institutes. Within a few years, APPAM evolved into a unique association of both individual and institutional members with an elected leadership and Policy Council (the Association's board of directors). The first APPAM Fall Research Conference occurred in 1979 in Chicago. The first issue of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management appeared in 1981. Starting in 1985, the Fall Research Conference has been held in Washington, DC in all odd years and outside Washington in all even years. The first meeting of APPAM's Committee of Institutional Representatives, in combination with an annual Spring Conference, occurred in 1986. After years of being headquartered at Duke University and supported by part-time staff, the APPAM office moved to Washington, DC in 1993 and acquired a full-time executive director. APPAM has grown to approximately 2,000 professional members, 1,500 student members, 100 institutional members, 7 full-time staff, and an annual operating budget of $2 million.

For more information on APPAM, contact Tara Sheehan, Executive Director, at 202.496.0130 ext. 25.

For news and updates, check the News section of the website and follow APPAM on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.