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Maureen M. Berner

Professor of Public Administration and Government

Maureen Berner is a professor of public administration and government at the School of Government. She is an expert on cross-organizational collaboration, food insecurity and assistance, social services programs, program evaluation, and survey methodology.

At the School, Berner teaches research methods and program evaluation courses to both graduate students and practitioners. She has led in-depth evaluation projects at the local, state, and federal levels. In addition, Berner has published extensively on issues related to the measurement of government programs addressing basic needs at the community level, particularly food security.

She joined the School in 1998. Previously, Berner worked as a program evaluator with the Government Accountability Office, an agency of Congress, including participating in the Presidential Management Fellows Program. 

Berner has received numerous awards across her career, including awards for excellence in teaching, research, engaged scholarship, writing, and practitioner partnerships.

She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, an MPAA from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Selected Publications

The Importance of Precision: Differences in Characteristics Associated with Levels of Food Insecurity Among College Students” With Jessica Soldavini and Julia DaSilva. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 23, Issue 9, June 2020: 1473–1483.

A Local Programmatic Approach to Organizational Capacity: Summer Meals for Children, Federal Policy Failure, and a Threat to the Enterprise of Public Administration” Maureen Berner, Alex Alexander Vazquez, and Meagan McDougall. Public Administration Quarterly; Randallstown Vol. 43, Issue 4, (Winter 2019): 489–526.

Multi-Dimensional Measures of Poverty: The Potential Contribution of Non-Profit Food Pantry Data to Assess Community Economic Condition” Maureen Berner, Journal of Poverty and Public Policy. December 2017. Vol. 9, No. 4. pp 365–476.

“Can You Put Food on the Table: Redefining Poverty in America” Food and Poverty:  Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor. Edited by Leslie Hossfeld. Vanderbilt University Press. 2018.

“Measuring Poverty by What’s on the Kitchen Table,” Food and Poverty:  Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor. Edited by Leslie Hossfeld. Vanderbilt University Press. 2018.

Research Methods for Public Administration, 6th ed. Elizabethann O’Sullivan, Gary Rassel, Maureen Berner, and Jocelyn DeVance Taliaferro. Routledge. 2017. 

Organizational Capacity of Nonprofit Social Service Agencies,” with Sharon Paynter. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration 37, no. 1 (2014), pp. 111–45.

Everyday Statistics for Public Managers, 2nd ed. International City County Management Association. 2013.

"Minority Contracting Programs: A Critical Juncture of Public Policy, Administration, Law, and Statistics.” Heather Martin, Maureen Berner, and Frayda Bluestein. Public Administration Review, 67, no. 3 (May/June 2007), pp. 511–20.  

Learning From Your Neighbor: The Value of Public Participation Evaluation for Public Policy Dispute Resolution.”  Maureen Berner and John Stephens. Journal of Public Deliberation. October 2011.

What Constitutes Effective Citizen Participation in Local Government? Views from City Stakeholders.”  Maureen M. Berner, Justin M. Amos, and Ricardo S. Morse. Public Administration Quarterly 35, no. 1 (2011).


Additional Publications


Working Without a Net: Hunger, Poverty, and Food Assistance Programs in America Maureen Berner and Sharon Paynter. Under review agreement/conditional contract with Lynne Reinner Publishers. 2010. (Estimated 250 pp.) Berner contribution: 50%   

Research Methods for Public Administration. 4th Edition. Elizabethann O’Sullivan, Gary Rassel, and Maureen Berner. Addison Wesley Longman.  2002. (498 pp.) Berner contribution: 20%   

Edited Books

Desigualdad Y Cambio Industrial Una Perspectiva Global  James K. Galbraith y Maureen Berner. Ediciones Akal, S.A. 2004. (326 pp.) Berner contribution: 50%   

Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View. James K. Galbraith and Maureen Berner.  Cambridge University Press. 2001. (323 pp.) Berner contribution: 50%  

Book Chapters

"Measuring Inequality and Industrial Change." James K. Galbraith and Maureen Berner in Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View.  Edited by James K. Galbraith and Maureen Berner.  Cambridge University Press. 2001. pp. 16–29.  Berner contribution: 50%, particularly section 2.3 to end. 

“Buildings Matter: The Connection between School Building Conditions and Student Achievement in Washington D.C.” Designing Places For Learning. Edited by Anne Meek. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Council of Educational Facility Planners, International. 1995. pp. 85–87. Berner contribution: 100%    

Refereed Articles

Learning From Your Neighbor: The Value of Public Participation Evaluation for Public Policy Dispute Resolution.”  Maureen Berner and John Stephens.  Journal of Public Deliberation. October 2011. 

When Even the ‘Dollar Value Meal’ Costs Too Much: Food Insecurity and Long Term Dependence on Food Pantry Assistance” Maureen Berner, Sharon Paynter, and Emily Anderson. Public Administration Quarterly, Vol. 35 No. 1. Berner Contribution: 40%

Two Models for Nonprofit Funding Allocation:  Lessons for Non-profit Managers from the National Literature and Ten Local Governments” Maureen Berner, Meredith Hatch, and Eileen Youens.  The Journal for Nonprofit Management. Vol. 14, No. 1. (New York, New York: Support Center for Nonprofit Management, Fall 2010) pp. 31-46. Berner contribution: 50% 

Beer in the Firehouse: A Case Study.” Maureen Berner and Trina Ozer.  Public Performance/Productivity and Management Review, Winter, 2008. pp. 275–289. Berner contribution: 66%  

A Portrait of Hunger, the Social Safety Net, and the Working Poor.” Maureen Berner, Trina Ozer, and Sharon Paynter.  Policy Studies Journal, Volume 36, Number 3, August 2008.  pp. 403-420.  Berner contribution 33%.

"The Federal Budget’s Core and Periphery: Patterns of Budget Outcomes."  Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management, Volume 17, Number 4, (PrAcademic Press: Winter 2005) pp.  437-470. Berner contribution: 100%

A Race to the Bottom? Exploring County Spending Shortfalls under Welfare Reform in North Carolina.” Public Budgeting and Finance, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Blackwell Publishing: Winter, 2005) pp. 86-104.  Berner contribution: 100%

A Case Study of Program Evaluation in Local Government:  Building Consensus through Collaboration.” Maureen Berner and Matt Bronson.  Public Performance and Management Review, Vol. 28, No. 3 (M.E. Sharpe, Inc.: March 2005) pp. 309-325. Berner contribution: 50%. 

The Shifting Pattern of Government Support:  Food Stamps and Food Bank Usage in North Carolina” Maureen Berner and Kelly O’Brien. Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector Research Vol. 33, No. 4 (Sage Publications: December 2004) pp. 655–671. Berner contribution: 50% 

Learning Through Action: How MPA Public Service Team Projects Help Students Learn Research and Management Skills” Gordon P. Whitaker and Maureen Berner.  Journal of Public Affairs Education, Vol. 10, no. 4 (The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Education: 2004) pp. 279-294.  Berner contribution: 40% 

"State of the States: A Review of State Requirements for Citizen Participation in Local Government Budgeting."  Maureen Berner and Sonya Smith.  State and Local Government Review, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Carl Vinson Institute of Government: Spring 2004) pp. 140–50. Berner contribution: 50% 

"Current Practices for Involving Citizens in Local Government Budgeting: Moving Beyond MethodPublic Administration Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Winter 2004) pp. 410-432. Berner contribution: 100%

Welfare Reform: Testing the Ability of the Block Grant Formula to Meet States’ Needs” Spectrum: The Journal of State Government (Council of State Governments: Fall 1996) pp. 38-51. Berner contribution: 100%

Building Conditions, Parental Involvement, and Student Achievement in the District of Columbia Public School System” Urban Education, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Corwin Press-Sage Publications: April 1993) pp. 6-29. Berner contribution: 100%

Under Review at Peer-Reviewed Journals

“Measuring Organizational Capacity: Will Social Service Non-Profits Come Up Short?” Sharon Paynter and Maureen Berner.  Submitted February 2011 to Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.  Berner contribution: 50%

Other Published Articles/Reports

North Carolina's Educational Service Delivery Model for Children with Hearing or Visual Impairments.  Evaluation Report.  Paul Caldwell, Owen Franklin, Sarah Waterman, Maureen Berner, Ann McColl, Abby Parcell, and Emily Anderson.  March 17, 2008.  Berner contribution: 10% (executive summary).

“Evaluation of Land Acquisition Process.”  Evaluation Report/Briefing Memorandum. North Carolina Trust for Public Land, 2007–2008. Maureen Berner. (University of North Carolina School of Government. June 2008.  Berner contribution: 100%  

“Evaluation of North Carolina Prisoner Services, 2005–2007.” Maureen Berner and Joe Gavrilovich.  University of North Carolina School of Government.  June 2007.  Berner contribution: 66%  

“Program Evaluation in Local Governments: Building Consensus through Collaboration.”  Maureen Berner and Matt Bronson.  Popular Government (University of North Carolina School of Government: Winter 2002/2003) pp. 29–34. Berner contribution: 50%  

"So You Want to Do a Survey?"  Maureen Berner, Ashley Bowers, and Laura Heyman.  Popular Government (University of North Carolina School of Government: Summer 2002) pp. 23–32. Berner contribution: 50% 

"Citizen Participation in Local Government Budgeting."  Popular Government (University of North Carolina School of Government: Summer/Spring 2001) pp. 23–30.  Berner contribution: 100% 

"Incrementalism, Congressional Power Structures and Budget Deals—What Really Matters to Budget Policy?  Insights from a Behavioral Analysis of the U.S. Federal Budget from 1962-1995." A one-page summary of the dissertation. PA Times, the newsletter of the American Society for Public Administration. December 2000.  Berner contribution: 100%

"A Framework of Sound Principles, Concrete Practices." Book Review Popular Government (Institute of Government: Spring 2000) pp. 39-42. Berner contribution: 100%

“The Structure of the U.S. Federal Budget 1960-1995: Beyond Incrementalism.” Dissertation. LBJ School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin. Berner contribution: 100%

Fields of Expertise
Citizen Participation and Civic Involvement
Cross-Organizational Collaboration
Food Insecurity/Food Assistance Programs
Interlocal and Regional Cooperation (Non-Legal)
Program Evaluation
Public Administration
Research Methods for Public Administration
Social Service Programs
Survey Methodology
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