2019 COPRA Chair and New Commissioners Welcomed!

October 10, 2019
Welcome, New COPRA Members!

COPRA, under the leadership of the 2019-2020 Chair, Maja Holmes, is honored to welcome four new Commissioners serving terms from 2019-2022. Learn more about the Chair and the members recently joining the Commission below. 

Maja Holmes, Chair, 2019-2020

Maja Husar Holmes is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration at West Virginia University (WVU). She studies how public managers implement inclusive practices, provide leadership within and across sectors, and manage in a multi-sector environment. Her research has been published in Administration & Society, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Journal of Public Affairs Education and Innovative Higher Education. She has over twenty years of experience working directly with public and non-profit organizations and academic institutions, providing team-development and facilitation training, diagnosing public management issues, and facilitating strategic planning. She received the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Public Service Award in recognition of her service-learning activities with West Virginia community and public organizations. 

In her own words: 

I am honored to serve as COPRA Chair during this exciting time for public affairs programs engaging in the accreditation process.  As a community there is commitment to advancing public service values, implementing innovative pedagogy to support the public good and promoting a culture that respects diversity and fosters inclusive practices within society.  

Jerry Zhao, Commissioner, 2019-2022

Jerry (Zhirong) Zhao is the Gross Family Professor of Public & Nonprofit Management at the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from University of Georgia, and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Urban Planning from Tongji University (China). Jerry’s research focuses on public budgeting and finance, in particular urban infrastructure finance – infrastructure revenue sources and capital structure, strategic allocation of infrastructure outlays, and the impact of infrastructure investment. He has published his research in Public Administration Review, Public Finance Review, Public Budgeting and Finance, Municipal Finance Journal, and  Chinese Public Administration Review. Inside the Humphrey School, Jerry founded the Institute for Urban & Regional Infrastructure Finance (IURIF) in 2017, and directs the institute. In 2009 and 2013 he was named the Humphrey School’s Instructor of the Year. 

In his own words:

I served as site visitor and appeal-committee member for NASPAA before, enjoyed the experiences, and learned so much from them. NASPAA plays a critical role in leading the public-affairs education, not only in US but also beyond. I hope to contribute particularly on expanding NASPAA’s global reach through the accreditation process, which shall be formative, developmental, and constructive.

Judy Millesen, Commissioner, 2019-2022

Judith Millesen is a professor and MPA Director at the College of Charleston, where she teaches classes on public administration and nonprofit management.   Her research makes a strong link between theory and practice and focuses on nonprofit administration and capacity building in the sector with special interests in board governance and community philanthropy.  Her work has appeared in such journals as Journal of Public Affairs Education, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Quarterly, Public Integrity, and Voluntas. Millesen is also a member of ASPA, the Academy of Management, and ARNOVA.  She has served as a member of ARNOVA’s Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Research Advisory Committee for BoardSource.  Millesen received her MPA from the University of Hartford and her Ph.D. in public administration from the University at Albany (SUNY). 

Elaine Yi Lu, Commissioner, 2019-2022

Dr. Elaine Yi Lu is a tenured full professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College- City University of New York (CUNY), and the MPA-PPA director for one of the largest MPA programs in U.S. Her primary research interests are performance budgeting and financial management. Her studies have been published in The Public Budgeting and Finance Journal, The Public Performance and Management Review, State and Local Government Review, The Municipal Finance Journal, The Public Service Performance and etc. Her recent book, Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice (with Katherine Willoughby), was published by Routledge. She was an invited speaker for many occasions, including the Delmer D. Dunn Lecture Series that recognizes accomplished younger scholars. She also provides policy consultation for various organizations, and receives research grants, including a highly competitive grant from the IBM Center for the Business of Government and serving as an advisor for a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)’s project on performance management and measurement.  She was the faculty liaison of the China project funded by the Open Society. In addition to being an active member of ASPA, ABFM, and NASPAA, Dr. Lu is the editor of an international journal and an editorial member of three journals in the field. In 2019, She was named the Dr. Julia Juanita Henderson International Award recipient from the SWPA of American Society for Public Administration for her work in public administration. Her pastimes include listening to music and TED talks, exercising, watching movies with kids and enjoying outdoor activities.

In her own words:

I am humbled by the honor to serve the field of public administration as a COPRA commissioner. COPRA is an important entity. I hope that my experience in running a MPA program, conducting site visits, and serving as a trainer on accreditation matters will help further the mission of COPRA as a global accreditation leader. 

Domonic Bearfield, Commissioner, 2019-2022

Dr. Domonic Bearfield is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark. His research focuses on issues related to governance in public administration and on improving the understanding of public sector patronage. Dr. Bearfield's work has appeared in Public Administration Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration and other leading journals. He is the co-editor, with Melvin Dubnick, of the Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy (Taylor & Francis, 2015).