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Kettl Named Dean of UMD's School of Public Policy

By Ed O'Keefe

University of Pennsylvania political science professor Donald Kettl, a widely respected expert on government transformation, will become dean of the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy, demonstrating that the revolving door opened by the presidential transition extends to academia as well.

Donald Kettl
Donald Kettl, the new dean of the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. (Photo by UMD)

Kettl takes over for Steve Fetter, who was appointed assistant director at-large of President Obama's Office of Science and Technology Policy. (Kettl's former UPenn colleague, G. Edward DeSeve, is now serving as White House stimulus czar.)

"If I were to design a school from scratch to meet today's unprecedented global challenges, it would look pretty much like what the Maryland School of Public Policy is now," Kettl said in a statement issued by UMD. "It's uniquely suited to grapple with the overwhelming policy challenges facing government. I'm enormously impressed by all the school has accomplished and where it can go."

Kettl most recently published "The Next Government of the United States," a blueprint for transforming the federal bureaucracy that began as a 2005 paper (pdf) published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He's also a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, and previously served as executive director of the Century Foundation's Project on Federalism and Homeland Security, and academic coordinator of the Government Performance Project for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 14, 2009; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Revolving Door  
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In the 1980s and 1990s Prof. Kettl headed up the University of Wisconsin-Madison LaFollette School of Public Policy where he chaired two government reform task forces for then Republican Gov. Tommy G. Thompson. It was a fish out of water experience for Kettl, who couldn't get the Wisconsin Legislature to see the brilliance of the reforms he brought with him from high on University Hill. His task force conclusions never caught traction and few if any suggestions from the "Kettl Commissions" ever became law. Looks like he landed on his feet again, tho, so kudos from Wisconsin.

Posted by: threestrikes | April 15, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

When Wisconsin lost Don Kettl it lost a scholar who was dedicated to good government and its efficient functioning. He made many recommendations, some of which would have solved the problems of the state and others of which would have taken the state to higher levels. The University of Maryland has landed a great prize. Perhaps the University's proximity to Washington will allow Prof. Kettl to shine in and serve the nation's capital as well as his new home state, too.

Posted by: JeffreySmoller | April 16, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

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