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Fels Institute of Government

Public Management (Executive Format)

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Public managers must have technical expertise in planning, staffing, and budgeting; however, technical skills alone are not sufficient to become an effective public manager. You must understand the socio-political context of your organization and your success will be dependent on your ability to analyze policy options and persuade stakeholders and supervisors, through effective communications, to pursue the policy options you recommend. Public managers in the 21st century must also understand the ever-increasing diversity of their constituents and stakeholders. Economic globalization and international migration continue to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our workforce. Diversity begets complexity and tension. Effective public managers must learn to lead inclusive organizations that leverage diversity and defuse tensions among heterogeneous constituents and stakeholders.

Learning objectives

The goal for this class is to expand your knowledge about public management, both as a profession and as a field of study. At the end of this course, you will understand key competencies of an effective public manager, demonstrate your understanding through class discussions, weekly reading notes, a group case study analysis and presentation, and a policy memo that analyzes management dilemmas and proposes responses. To accomplish this goal, we will go beyond passive learning from classroom lectures. We will have a few guest speakers whose expertise will complement readings. We expect you to be prepared and to participate in classroom discussions, engage practicing public administrators and accomplished researchers in seminars/workshops, and learn to draft policy briefs and policy memos completing scenario-based assignments.


Darbi S. Dillon is a Deputy Director in the Office of the Senior Procurement Executive, Department of Transportation. She is responsible for the departmental acquisition business systems, acquisition and financial assistance policy, business strategy, and oversight across the Department of Transp...
Elaine P. Ho serves as the Chief of Staff of the Unites States Digital Service, a tech start-up in the White House that seeks to deliver better government services to the American people through technology and design. In this role, she oversees all internal operations, including human capital and...
Dr. Tiffany Lightbourn is the Director of Payroll at the Internal Revenue Service where she oversees the timely issuance of pay to 84,000 IRS employees, obligating over $8 billion annually. Previously as the Director of Employment, Talent, and Security, she led the hiring of 12,000 permanent and ...
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