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.

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.

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.

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 is 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

NewsOctober 10, 2019
LBJ faculty talk future of public policy at 2019 NASPAA Conference

Several professors from the LBJ School of Public Affairs will lead conversations on innovations in public policy and emerging challenges involved in training students to build sustainable and inclusive democracies at the 2019 Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Annual Conference. The conference, "Reconstructing Governance for the Next 50 Years," will take place in Los Angeles Oct. 16-19, 2019.

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Media MentionSeptember 25, 2019
Opinion: We can’t address homelessness until we have good data

"As professors of public policy, we know two things: The city can’t solve a problem it can’t define, and it can neither define homelessness nor identify solutions to it until it has reliable data. Right now, we simply don’t know enough to make informed decisions. If Austin wants to seriously address homelessness, that has to change."

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Media MentionJuly 13, 2019
Bypassing bidding laws can create enormous problems, expert says

When Texas counties choose to bypass legal bidding laws and act by way of an emergency exemption, it can lead to enormous financial and political problems, according to LBJ Professor Don Kettl

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