Leisha DeHart-Davis Receives Award from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School

Leisha DeHart-Davis

In March 2019, faculty member Leisha DeHart-Davis received the Cornia Award from the Brigham Young University (BYU) Marriott School. DeHart-Davis gave a lecture as part of the Gary C. Cornia lecture series, created to honor the former Romney Institute director and BYU Marriott dean and recognize the most distinguished scholars in the field of public administration.

“She is someone who thinks deeply about how to improve academic programs and then digs in to help realize those changes in the real world,” BYU Marriott associate professor David Matkin said of DeHart-Davis.

In her lecture, DeHart-Davis spoke on the importance of engaged scholarship, a research model that encourages both academic scholarship and practical guidance. “To conduct research that contributes knowledge and improves the experience of public employees is such a great reward and privilege,” said Dehart-Davis.

DeHart-Davis was recognized as a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar last year by the Carolina Center for Public Service. Both the Cornia Award and the recognition as a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar were for DeHart-Davis’ work to create the Local Government Workplaces Initiative, which conducts organizational research for improving city and county workplaces. “It was both exciting and humbling to be recognized by the Romney Institute and receive the award honoring Gary Cornia’s legacy,” said DeHart-Davis.

Leisha DeHart-Davis is a professor of public administration and government, having joined the School’s faculty in 2012. She teaches in the UNC Master of Public Administration (MPA) program and has been published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, International Public Management Journal, Administration and Society, and Review of Public Personnel Administration. Her book, Creating Effective Rules in Public Sector Organizations, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2017 and has won two “Best Book” awards. In 2018, DeHart-Davis was elected a fellow by the National Academy of Public Administration. DeHart-Davis holds a PhD in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology.