Kettl, Donald F. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
Education
  • Ph.D., Yale University, Political Science
  • M.Phil., Political Science, Yale University
  • M.A., Political Science, Yale University
  • B.A., Scholar of the House, Yale University
Research Areas
  • Finance, Management and Leadership
  • Policy Process and Institutions
Teaching Areas
  • Finance, Management and Leadership (including non-profits)
  • Policy Process and Institutions

Donald F. Kettl is the Sid Richardson Professor at the LBJ School, specializing in public management and public policy. He previously served as dean in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Volcker Alliance, the Brookings Institution and the Partnership for Public Service.

Dr. Kettl has authored or edited numerous books, including The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn't Work (2020); Can Governments Earn Our Trust? (2017); Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy (2017); The Politics of the Administrative Process (7th edition, 2017); Escaping Jurassic Government: Restoring America's Lost Commitment to Competence (2016); System Under Stress: The Challenge to 21st Century American Democracy Homeland Security and American Politics (2014); The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (2008); and The Global Public Management Revolution (2005).

He has received three lifetime achievement awards: the American Political Science Association's John Gaus Award, the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the Donald C. Stone Award of the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Kettl has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration for The Transformation of Governance (2002); and System Under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics (2005). His book, Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America's Lost Commitment to Competence, won the 2016 award for book of the year from the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Kettl has consulted for government organizations at all levels, including most recently the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has appeared frequently in national and international media. He has chaired two gubernatorial blue-ribbon commissions for the Wisconsin state government — one on campaign finance reform and the other on government structure and finance.

Newsworthy

Media MentionJuly 1, 2020
Feds nix college degree requirement for merit-based hiring

"President Trump signed an executive order making federal hiring 'merit-based,' which means skills and competency for a job will take precedence over a college degree for many types of jobs. LBJ's Donald Kettl talks about the implications of such a change.

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NewsJune 9, 2020
LBJ faculty lauded for achievements during 2019–20 academic year

While this past academic year saw some remarkable changes in the academic process, the continued excellence of LBJ School faculty remained constant. Here is a collection of the recognition that LBJ faculty garnered in 2019–20.

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Media MentionMay 15, 2020
GOP governors to locals: Open up—or else

If health and safety fears weren’t enough to trouble local officials during the coronavirus pandemic, some Republican leaders are making it clear to nervous locals that their health restrictions could lead to a legal fight. LBJ's Donald Kettl notes that "so much of what is now happening on the front lines of the battle against the virus has to do with the block-by-block, business-by-business decisions about whether or not to reopen. And those are as close to local decisions as you can possibly get."

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