Leisha DeHart-Davis Becomes President of PMRA

On June 22, 2021, the Public Management Research Association (PMRA) announced School of Government faculty member Leisha DeHart-Davis as the association’s new president. The announcement was made at the conclusion of the PMRA board meeting at the 2021 Public Management Research Conference (PMRC), which is being delivered virtually on June 23-25 by the Public Administration program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Previously, DeHart-Davis took over the mantle of the vice presidency at the 2019 Public Management Research Conference held at the School and spent two years serving in the role following the delay of the 2020 conference.

Before taking on this latest appointment, DeHart-Davis served as the 2019 PMRC Host Committee chair. PMRC is an annual conference featuring cutting-edge management research, described as “the foremost gathering of public management experts in the world.” PMRA seeks to further relations among researchers working in public policy, public management, the nonprofit sector, and various governance disciplines. In addition to organizing and sponsoring conferences and symposia throughout the year, PMRA also holds the annual PMRC event. Along with DeHart-Davis, two other School faculty members will present research at this year’s virtual conference: Obed Pasha and Willow Jacobson. DeHart-Davis will chair two panels on gender representation and client discrimination by bureaucratic rule breaking, Pasha will present his paper on community-oriented policing, and Jacobson will present a paper she co-authored on intergovernmental collaboration.

DeHart-Davis joined the School’s faculty in 2012 and is the Albert and Gladys Coates Distinguished Term Professor of Public Administration and Government. She is a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow and recipient of the 2019 Gary Cornia Distinguished Lecturer Award given by the Romney Institute of Brigham Young University. The Carolina Center for Public Service recognized DeHart-Davis in 2018 as a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar. She also directs the Local Government Workplaces Initiative through which she conducts research for North Carolina cities and counties regarding public organizational behavior. As a faculty partner in the Engaging Women in Local Government program, she seeks to equip women to pursue public service leadership positions.

DeHart-Davis has published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and TheoryPublic Administration Review, International Public Management JournalAdministration and Society, and Review of Public Personnel Administration. In 2017, Georgetown University Press published her book, Creating Effective Rules in Public Sector Organizations, which has won best book awards from both the American Society for Public Administration and the Academy of Management Public and Nonprofit Division. DeHart-Davis holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology.