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This Fall, NASPAA is launching our Election Administration Commons, and YOU can be part of it. Any NASPAA member school will be eligible to join the Commons. Membership in the Commons will be straightforward: NASPAA's Election Administration and Leadership Section has been developing a Memorandum of Understanding for participants in the Commons, and they will be releasing it shortly. You can review the MoU, and if you would like to be part of the Commons, simply sign it, and come on board!
  • Advertise your relevant courses-- online and in-person-- through the Commons.
  • Your students will be able to take election administration courses at any other member of the Commons.
  • Your program can offer a certificate in election administration through the Commons, by supplementing your coursework with Commons courses.
  • Faculty at member institutions will have greater opportunities to identify mutual interests and to work with each other.
  • The field of election administration will benefit from increased professionalization.
What is the Commons?
Democratic governance depends fundamentally on citizens' faith in the integrity of the electoral process. Successive waves of criticism have reduced trust in this fundamental process. NASPAA's Election Administration Commons will contribute to existing efforts to professionalize elections in the United States and other interested countries. Many of our MPA/MPP programs share that conviction and hope for the future. They have come together to create a means of encouraging more students to obtain professional, graduate level training in running and leading election administration. The goal is to expand curriculum, internships, and employment in professional election administration. NASPAA's Election Administration and Leadership Section has been leading this effort. Chair Kathleen Hale says, "Elections are the way we measure democracy. Our public service values and principles are grounded in that democracy. This initiative will enhance opportunities for students all across the country, and around the world, to learn more about this vital public service, and will enable them to contribute to the field and lead the next generation."

The first set of courses will be offered on the Commons in the Fall of 2018, and we are launching it now to provide sufficient time for students to plan their fall course selections and for programs that would like to join the Commons and offer courses. If you have any questions or ideas for the Commons, please contact Kathleen Hale, the Election Administration and Leadership Section chair ( If you would like to receive a copy of the MoU when it is ready for your program to sign on, please contact Laurel McFarland at

Student Simulation Competition is less than 2 months away!

The start of the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Simulation Competition season is less than two months away on February 24, 2018!

If you were caught up in the holiday season and did not get to nominate students or follow up with them about the self-registration process, this is your final chance to do so. We will continue to accept student applications until January 10th.

To nominate students, please use this form. Students may self-apply here.

In recent months, there has been more dialogue surrounding the rising threat of a global pandemic. While we are by no means thrilled at the prospect of a widespread outbreak of infectious disease, we are optimistic that our students will be ready to mitigate and potentially prevent the deadly impacts of a pandemic. These are some articles you may want to consider sharing with your students, especially those who are competing in the competition:
Introducing Global Super Judge: Dr. Lei Zhou, Deputy Chief of Branch for Emerging Infectious Disease, Public Health Emergency Center, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Lei Zhou

Dr. Lei Zhou, M.D. has served as Deputy Chief of Branch for Emerging Infectious Disease in the Public Health Emergency Center at the China CDC since 2006, where she is responsible for emerging infectious disease control and prevention, capacity building, and pandemic preparedness in China. She has held several roles at the China CDC since 2005, including Team Leader of Pandemic Preparedness and Responses as well as Team Leader of the Ebola technical team. Dr. Zhou previously served as a Guest Researcher in Influenza Division of the United States CDC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests include - emerging and re-emerging infectious disease and pandemic preparedness and response; strategy and decision-making modeling methodology; public health strategy and policy development and epidemiology methodology. Dr. Zhou has received numerous grants and awards for her research and publications. She received her education from various institutions including Peking University and Duke University. Dr. Zhou has received training certifications from the Ministry of Health in China, the World Health Organization and the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.

Standards Colloquia at COMPA


On February 14, as part of the National Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA), NASPAA will be conducting its next Accreditation Standards Colloquium at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel. This Standards Colloquium will be entitled, "A Discussion of Inclusivity, Scarce Resources, and Inspiring Leadership in the Next Generation of Public Service." 

The colloquium leaders will be Jack Meek, NASPAA President, and Gloria Billingsley, Jackson State University (and NASPAA Standards Committee). If you are planning to attend COMPA, or are at a school located in southern California, please consider attending this session to discuss how our next generation of standards should change. It's a different world than ten years ago, and as part of COMPA's theme of "responding to challenging times," this particular session of the Colloquium will focus on a discussion of the effectiveness of accreditation standards in fostering inclusivity, and on members' perspectives on attaining accreditation amidst considerable budget and workload constraints. There will also be ample opportunity for session participants to discuss their own concerns and reflections on NASPAA accreditation. COMPA attendees are encouraged to post short comments on social media in advance of the colloquium, and as follow-ups, and we will be sharing the results of the colloquium session with the wider NASPAA community. Please join us to help chart the future of quality in public affairs education! For more information about registering for COMPA and reserving the hotel, see .

Career Professionals Conference Recap

2017 NASPAA Career Professionals Conference 

NASPAA thanks the  University of Nebraska at Omaha for hosting this year's  NASPAA Career Professionals Conference December 7-8th in Omaha.  The conference opened with former NASPAA President, Ethel Williams, enlightening attendees about little known facts about Nebraska.  After learning how Omaha has the world's largest indoor rain forest and other fun facts,  attendees discussed: nonprofit fundraising and policy; preparing tomorrow's public servants; internships; career advising; utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest; public service and inclusion; and transportation employment opportunities to name but a few topics.

Some resources coming out of the meeting that members may be interested in include:
We especially thank  Meagan Van Gelder and Megan Nelson of UNO for acting as co-chairs of the Planning Committee and hosts for the meeting as well as Planning Committee Members:

Leslie Andersen, University of Chicago
Tricia Arndts, University of Maryland
Hannah Rose Bainter, University of Virginia
Denise Burchard, Northern Illinois University
George Dougherty, University of Pittsburgh
Matthew French, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Dirk Hart, Florida International University
Steven Hiss, University of Virginia
Surabhi Lal, New York University
Joann Lindstrom, Binghamton University - SUNY
Elaine McBeth, College of William & Mary
Adam Motenko, Brandeis University
Katrina Randolph, Georgetown University
Jill Rockwell, University of Virginia
Tamara Schaps, University of Washington
Emily Sharples, Princeton University
Natilia Trujilio, The City College of New York

NASAPA is now accepting applications to host the 2018
 NASPAA Career  Professionals Conference If you are interested in hosting, please submit your materials by  Wednesday, January 17, 2018   to Leigh Anne Elliot at elliot@naspaa.orgApplication criteria and instructions found here

NASPAA Data Center

2018 Alumni Survey  DataCenter-bigger
NASPAA's 2018 Alumni Survey will launch May 15th.  Start compiling/requesting your list of 2014-15 Alumni Emails soon, so you'll be ready to participate!
2016-2017 Annual Data Report
If you have not completed NASPAA's 2016-2017 Annual Data Report, but you would still like to submit your data, contact NASPAA's Data Center Director, Stacy Drudy at 


Accreditation and Standards

Upcoming Deadlines:
  • April 6-7, 2018 - Accreditation Institute (Beijing, China)
  • April 15, 2018 - Eligibility Application due
  • August 15, 2018 - Self-Study Report deadline for 2018-19 cohort 

In Case You Missed It: 2017 Self-Study Instructions Released
COPRA released its annual updates to the  Self-Study Instructions for NASPAA Accreditation earlier this month. The 2017 revisions reflect the work of the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) working to improve the value of program data collection, specifically with regard to diversity and complexities.

The Self-Study Report form in the NASPAA Data Center will open in January 2018 for those programs submitting reports in August 2018. 

In Case You Missed It: New Diversity Resources
COPRA is pleased to share newly developed resources to help your program think strategically about diversity and inclusion!

Explore the pages on climate, faculty, students , and curriculum, to help support your program's mission-based planning. Don't forget to refer to  peer diversity plans for examples of how accredited programs foster diversity and inclusion.

Program Director's  Corner

$1,000 to $10,000 Scholarships - National Forum for Black Public Administrators  (NFBPA) 2018 Scholarships & 2018 Student Poster Contest - Deadline March 9, 2018 
In conjunction with its annual conference, FORUM 2018, NFBPA will again award scholarships to eligible students. The scholarships range from  $1,000 to $10,000 and will be awarded during FORUM 2018 which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, April 18 -22, 2018. To learn more, interested students can go to:

Awards for the Student Research Poster Competition: 1st place $1,500; 2nd place $1,000; 3rd place $500. Interested students can go to:

The application deadline for scholarships and for the poster contest is March 9, 2018.

Should you want additional information, please contact Marcia Conner, Executive Director, at The phone number is 202 408 9300.

Is Your School Interested in Hosting the 2018 Career Conference?
We are now accepting applications to host the 2018 NASPAA Career Conference. If you are interested in hosting, please submit your materials by Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Application criteria and instructions found  here

The host school has tremendous opportunity to shape the agenda and move the conversation forward on many issues that career professionals are facing. The host school will also receive publicity and exposure to the greater NASPAA community as the school will be identified in all promotional materials. Typically, 50 career professionals from NASPAA member schools attend the conference each year.

Please mark your calendars - we are excited to see you in Atlanta for the 2018 NASPAA Annual Conference! 
October 10 - 13, 2018
Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, GA

Hosted by:


What are conference attendees looking forward to? 

Why do attendees return year after year?

NASPAA Welcomes New Staff 
Martha Bohrt, Global Accreditation Associate

Martha arrives at NASPAA with extensive experience in public service at the local, state, and international levels. Prior to joining NASPAA, Martha served as the City Manager's Fellow in Norfolk, VA. In this role, she managed a variety of programs dedicated to increasing environmental resilience in the Hampton Roads region of Southeast Virginia. Her professional experiences also include work with the Texas State Senate Natural Resources Committee, AmeriCorps, and U.S. and Mexican diplomats. She holds degrees from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas. Martha is excited to join the Accreditation team and help advance NASPAA's mission.

Martha tiene un especial interés en la educación en materia de administración y asuntos públicos en México y Latinoamérica y espera con entusiasmo trabajar con las instituciones de enseñanza superior en la región. 

Martha can be reached at  or 202-628-8965 ext. 109.

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