Announcing Dr. Angel Wright-Lanier to serve as NASPAA’s next Executive Director

July 26, 2021
Angel Wright-Lanier

Dear NASPAA Member Programs,

I write with the exciting news that after an extensive search and an equally extensive interview and vetting process we have extended an offer to Dr. Angel Wright-Lanier to serve as NASPAA’s next Executive Director. I am delighted to report that Dr. Wright-Lanier has accepted our offer and will join NASPAA starting September 1, 2021. 

Dr. Angel Wright-Lanier brings to this position an extensive executive leadership and public affairs background that is an excellent fit for NASPAA, having held leadership roles in city and municipal government for more than 20 years. She brings to NASPAA a demonstrated ability to work with multiple stakeholder groups, large and complex budgets and intergovernmental MOUs, grant development and funding allocation initiatives, accreditation processes, international municipal initiatives, and partnership development with nonprofit organizations of all types and levels. Perhaps most importantly, Angel has demonstrated time and again that she understands complex organizations require clear goals and strategies coupled with a keen ability to balance multiple perspectives, viewpoints and priorities. This requires a level of insight that I believe is essential to NASPAA leadership.

Dr. Wright-Lanier received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration and a second master’s degree in Management Information Systems. She received her Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College with a concentration in Leadership and Learning.

It is very clear to me that Dr. Wright-Lanier is a committed public servant dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of public service leaders are equipped to guide organizations charged with addressing a wide range of complex and evolving societal challenges. In advancing work across multiple areas in the communities she has served, Angel has demonstrated tremendous capacity to build cohesive and inclusive teams while supporting colleagues to reach new heights in their careers. 

In our many conversations over the past several weeks Angel has shared with me her high regard for NASPAA staff, her enthusiasm for the global mission and focus of NASPAA, and her true appreciation that our work is grounded in an overarching quest for excellence in public service education. She is eager to get started engaging with NASPAA members and understanding the key priorities of this multi-faceted service organization.

I’d like to publicly convey my gratitude for the tremendous work of our dedicated executive director search committee under the leadership of co-chairs David Birdsell and Ethel Williams. Thanks also to our Bridge Partners executive search consultants Janet Albert and Tory Clarke. Their support has been invaluable throughout this process.

As we welcome Angel to this new role please know that we are also making plans to formally recognize and thank Laurel McFarland for her many many years of exemplary service to NASPAA. More information about that is forthcoming.

For now, please join me in extending a warm welcome to Angel Wright-Lanier as she prepares to relocate from North Carolina to DC and join the NASPAA community. If you’d like to reach out to her personally, she can be reached at:


Laura Bloomberg, PhD

NASPAA President