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Dean Orr Elected President of NASPAA

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dean orr at Naspaa podium

Robert C. Orr, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, was elected as president of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) at its annual conference this week in Los Angeles, California. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, NASPAA is the preeminent organization worldwide of educational institutions dedicated to public policy and public affairs, and is the globally recognized accreditor of these programs.

It is an honor to take up the leadership of this globally recognized organization as we look to develop a new generation of leaders prepared to take on the biggest challenges facing policy makers and educators worldwide.
Dean Orr

As the global standard in public service education, NASPAA includes over 320 institutional members at universities throughout the U.S. and in all regions around the world. In addition to serving as the leading accreditor of master’s degree programs in the areas of public administration, public policy, public affairs and nonprofit, NASPAA advances the entire field through the sharing of best practices and advocates for the importance of public service education in the policy and political spheres.

“At a time when students are under increasing financial pressures and the notion of public service has been devalued in political discourse, NASPAA is not only a strong advocate for the crucial services our schools provide but also for our students themselves,” said Orr.

Central to the quality and relevance of NASPAA accredited programs are the standards that institutions must meet, which evolve to address the needs of the field. Recently, the standards have been updated to recognize the importance of transparent, accountable, participatory, and equitable approaches in a globalized world, the critical role that diversity, equity, and inclusion must play in public service education, and the need to bring nonprofit management to the core of the field.

In his new role, Dean Orr will continue NASPAA’s efforts to shape the coming decades of global public service education. At the annual meeting he proposed Building a New Civic Square in an Age of Polarization as the topic for next year’s annual meeting, which will happen in Chicago weeks before the 2020 Presidential election in the United States.

“NASPAA is now a truly global network, and we embrace our role supporting programs as they advance public service values and education across issues, sectors and geographic boundaries. Dean Orr brings tremendous experience and understanding of both where we are as a field and where we need to go, and I welcome his leadership as we reconstruct governance for the next 50 years,” says Laurel McFarland, Executive Director of NASPAA.

Among Dean Orr’s goals during his tenure is to further NASPAA’s support of member institutions as they prepare their students for the challenges and opportunities of a world where traditional governance models are being rendered increasingly ineffective.

“Dean Orr’s election as NASPAA president continues the School of Public Policy’s leadership in the teaching and practice of public policy,” says Kenneth S. Apfel, professor of the practice. “He takes the helm of an organization that has long been committed to excellence in public service education, which is of benefit not just to the School, but to the field as a whole.

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