Centers on the Public Service, George Mason University
The Department of Public and International Affairs’ Public Administration program has long been premised on the healthy synergy of theory and practice. The fields of public administration and political science were founded by “pracademics” such as Woodrow Wilson who aspired to achieve the integration of teaching and research with the communities of practice in our field. While teaching theory, our programs and faculty are often acutely aware that their academic content and credibility rest, in part, on a deep connection with practitioners.
The new Centers on the Public Service have been established to help the public sector address emerging challenges that are unprecedented in both scope and complexity. All levels of government, as well as nonprofits and contractors, are under greater pressure to deliver more with fewer resources. The three centers can play important roles through providing training, conducting research, and promoting much needed collaboration across the many officials involved in governance today. We envision the Centers becoming a vital part of the leadership of governance in the Washington area, as well as throughout the nation and internationally.
The activities of the centers will fall into the following four categories:
- Grants and contracts
- Training and education
- Outreach and thought leadership
The Centers on the Public Service will employ a variety of approaches – research studies, trainings and workshops, conferences, fellowships, and other activities - to advance the work of officials from all sectors (government, nonprofit, and business) who are involved in addressing complex social problems in our system of shared governance.