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Associate Professor; Research Director, IPL

Cullen C. Merritt is an associate professor and research director of the Institute for Public Leadership in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park. He studies the implications of an organization's publicness on its management strategy and performance. Merritt's research also illuminates the organizational systems and management competencies integral to addressing public service challenges. His research, teaching and service are motivated by the desire to improve governance and empower managers to address public problems through innovative organizational design.

Merritt's research appears in Public Administration Review, The American Review of Public Administration, Public Administration, Perspectives on Public Management and Governance and numerous other outlets. His research has been nationally recognized by the American Society for Public Administration and the American Political Science Association. 

As an award-winning teacher, Merritt educates current and aspiring government and nonprofit employees on the strategies and competencies needed to lead their organizations to address public problems. He has formally advised or actively mentored over 25 students on peer-reviewed research, dissertations and honors projects.

As a citizen of his school, campus and academic field, Merritt has provided leadership by serving as an editorial board member of Public Administration Review (associate editor), Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, and Public Personnel Management and co-chair of the 2023 Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Annual Conference. He has also applied his research expertise toward enhancing public service practices by contributing as the co-principal investigator of a contract with the City-County Council of Indianapolis and Marion County to evaluate its effectiveness as a governing body.

Merritt earned his Ph.D. in Public Administration and Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University.

Please visit Merritt's personal and faculty lab websites to learn more about his research program.