Los Angeles

Conference Schedule and Events

We are pleased to share a the preliminary schedule of panels. This year's lineup features over 90 panel sessions with more than 350 presenters. Check out the entire outline of conference schedule and events below.

View the schedule of panels as of 10/9/19


Wednesday, Oct. 16

Pre-Conference Workshops and Events  

Join your peers for a full day designed to provide programs seeking (re)accreditation the tools to be successful in mission-driven, outcomes-oriented, evidence-based accreditation-earning program management. Programs seeking (re)accreditation in the short-term – with self-study reports due in 2020 or 2021 – are especially encouraged to register for the Institute. It is also an excellent opportunity for programs interested in seeking accreditation to prepare for both the eligibility application and/or self-study report. Program heads and faculty new to currently accredited programs are also welcome to learn about the expectations of accredited programs!


Based around an interactive, flipped classroom, the 2019 Institute will use a combination of video modules and experiential and skills-based learning to explore the NASPAA Accreditation Standards, including strategic program management, maintaining your mission and sustainable assessment, diversity and inclusion, and program best practices.  Learn more

The doctoral workshop is led by the chair of NASPAA’s Doctoral Education Committee. In 2015 the committee opted to hold a doctoral workshop in lieu of a standalone conference, this option proved successful and we will be offering it again this year.   If you are involved in doctoral education, you should consider attending. The workshop will cover information for new doctoral directors, current trends in doctoral education, inclusivity, and recruitment/retention of diverse populations. 

Suzanne Beaumaster, University of La Verne

New, current, and future program directors as well as those considering the role are invited to discuss challenges, successes, and network with peers. The session will be facilitated by veteran program directors with a variety of perspectives and will address important issues for having a successful tenure as a program director.

Bill Simonsen, Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of Connecticut (CONVENOR)

Shannon Orr,  Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Department of Political Science, Bowling Green State University

Judith Millesen, Professor and MPA Director, College of Charleston

Robert Bifulco, Professor and Associate Dean, Chair Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Philip Joyce, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland





This pre-conference workshop is co-hosted by NASPAA and the International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum (ICPA-Forum) to explore ways to improve the quality and creativity of teaching MPA and MPP students the concepts and skills necessary to systematically apply a comparative perspective. The workshop seeks to highlight comparative approaches to teaching and learning that are effective and engaging. The workshop includes discussing each of four pre-screened papers in detail with an emphasis on providing extensive feedback to improve the potential for each to be published in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis section on Comparative Syllabi. One of the four papers will also be selected for a $500 award to be presented during the NASPAA conference. All NASPAA conference attendees are welcome to attend as observers and to participate in general Q&A and feedback on the presentations.

Convener: Professor Nadia Rubaii, Binghamton University.   Workshop Presenters and Peer Discussants: Susan Siena & Claudia Avellaneda (SPEA, Indiana University), “A Contextual Framework for Comparative Courses in Public Administration”; Marcela Gonzalez Rivas (GSPIA University of Pittsburgh), “International capstone on sustainable water management”; Fred Smoller, Madi Murphy, Antonia Bento, & Rick Cole (University of Southern California, Chapman University, and City of Santa Monica),  “What can we learn from the world about combating climate change?”; and David Bell (SPEA, Indiana Bloomington), “From Domestic Public Service to Global Agendas: Bridging between life, lessons and learning”

Case studies, in their various forms, enliven and enrich the learning experience. They bridge the gap between theory and experience. They move the teaching dynamic towards a partnership of learner and instructor. They let students apply ideas to real situations, understand better the complexity of most public sector environments and see the interplay between ideas and people. This workshop will focus on the characteristics of effective case studies, how to create or find them and how to use them to achieve learning objectives. Spots are limited.


Andrew Graham, Queens University, Canada

Blue Wooldridge, Virginia Commonwealth University

NASPAA is excited to announce the fourth class of NASPAA NEXT at the 2019 NASPAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, October 16. The four-hour workshop, will provide emerging leaders in their departments or programs with practical tools that will enable them to become more engaged and dynamic members of their campuses and communities. Participation in NASPAA NEXT is by invitation only, and invitations are based on recommendations from deans and other senior faculty, professional reputation and scholarly research, as well as participation in NASPAA activities. The theme for this year's workshop is How to Prepare for the NEXT 50 Years of Public Affairs Education.

Amanda Olejarski, West Chester University

Jeffery Osgood, West Chester University

Nicole Elias, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

This workshop will be the official launch of the NASPAA Simulation Network to promote greater collaboration among universities and institutions committed to simulation-based classroom learning around the globe. The Network is part of a broader initiative to promote innovative policy analysis and decision making in the public sector through technology and data. During this workshop, NASPAA staff and faculty will offer guidance and conduct demos on how to best utilize simulations in the classroom. Spots are limited.

NASPAA welcomes our international attendees.

All non-U.S. attendees invited.

Sponsored by:

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Department of Public Management MPA Programs

Welcome to LA! Drop by and kick off the conference with your peers.

All attendees invited.

Sponsored by:

The Ohio State University, John Glenn School of Public Affairs

Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Thursday, Oct. 17 & Friday, Oct. 18

This year's lineup will feature over 90 panel sessions with more than 350 presenters. Conference tracks center on: innovation in public affairs teaching and learning; the path from Diversity to Inclusion to Participation; the future challenges involved in training students to collect, analyze, and communicate data; and the exploration of the the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 (advancing governance globally).

NASPAA Committee and Section meetings are a meaningful way to engage with NASPAA, share best practices, and network with your peers. All meetings listed are open. Feel free to join any meeting that is a fit for your role, program, or research area.

Oct. 17, Thursday, 8:00 - 9:00 am Budget & Financial Management Section Meeting
Oct. 17, Thursday, 8:00 - 9:00 am Undergraduate Committee Meeting
Oct. 17, Thursday, 10:30 - 11:30 am Urban-Serving Universities Section Meeting
Oct. 17, Thursday, 10:30 - 11:30 am Doctoral Education Committee Meeting
Oct. 17, Thursday, 1:30 - 2:30 pm Healthcare Section Meeting
Oct. 17, Thursday, 2:45 - 3:45 pm Local Government Management Education Section Meeting
Oct. 17, Thursday, 4:00 - 5:00 pm Policy Issues Committee Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 7:30 - 9:00 am Comprehensive Schools Section Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 8:00 - 9:00 am Small Programs Section Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 9:15 - 10:15 am NASPAA Data Committee Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 9:15 - 10:15 am Marketing the MPA/MPP Committee Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 10:30 - 11:30 am Research and Data Science Committee Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 10:30 - 11:30 am Emergency Management & Homeland Security Section Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 1:30 - 2:30 pm SDG Working Group
Oct. 18, Friday, 1:30 - 2:30 pm Election Administration Section Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 2:45 - 3:45 pm Pi Alpha Alpha Committee Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 2:45 - 3:45 pm Nonprofit Management Education Session Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 4:00 - 5:00 pm Diversity and Social Equity Committee Meeting
Oct. 18, Friday, 4:00 - 5:00 pm Executive MPA Committee Meeting

Keynote Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President at The Gates Foundation

Sponsored by:

University of Maryland, School of Public Policy

Join as we celebrate 50 years of NASPAA and honor this year's NASPAA award winners!  Lunch is included. $40 per ticket.

Sponsored by:

Indiana University, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Located in Ground Floor Event Space at Perch - 448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Join us your conference colleague to mix and mingle at the Thursday Evening Reception hosted by the local schools. All attendees welcome!


Hosted by the Local Host Committee:

University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy

California State University, Los Angeles, Department of Political Science

California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Department of Public Administration 

University of La Verne, College of Business & Public Management

Pepperdine University, School of Public Policy

The Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School (RAND) 

University of California Los Angles (UCLA), Luskin School of Public Affairs

California State University, Fullerton, Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice

California State University, Long Beach, Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration

This year's Pi Alpha Alpha award winners will be announced and special keynote, Matt Petersen. Lunch is included. $40 per ticket.

Sponsored by:

Penn State University Park, School of Public Policy

Vote on the revision to the NASPAA Accreditation Standards (by ballot, all accredited programs.)

Election of new Executive Council and inaugural address from incoming NASPAA President, Robert C. Orr, University of Maryland, College Park.

View the Announcement of the 2019 NASPAA Annual Business Meeting September 18, 2019

Located in Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center - 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

5th Floor Event Space

Mix and mingle with your NASPAA colleagues. All Attendees welcome!


Sponsored by:

American University, School of Public Affairs

University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy

The University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs

Saturday, Oct. 19

Local Los Angeles Area Excursions Join your NASPAA colleagues on Saturday morning after the conference to explore Los Angeles! On tours led by the host schools, you can experience and see firsthand the local beauty, rich history and culture, and innovative programming and policy in action. Saturday Tours have limited seating. Secure your spot on by registering today!  (First come, first serve basis)

Meet your Pardee RAND Graduate School escorts in the hotel lobby and take the Expo Light Rail from downtown Los Angeles direct to downtown Santa Monica. Discuss the challenge of affordable housing in this affluent beach community with the Director of Santa Monica’s Housing Division. Visit a new low-income housing project, built and operated by the city’s nonprofit partner, Community Corporation of Santa Monica.  Visit an artist in his studio/residence that is part of the affordable housing project.  At noon, lunch and sightseeing will be on your own; feel free to stay longer and do little a beach walking or shopping.

** Limited to 20 people **

Hosted by:           Pardee RAND Graduate School

Downtown L.A. has undergone a redevelopment in the last decade. Join us for a walking tour led by Stratiscope, a company with expertise in policy and local communities (stratiscope.com) which will explore inside information on the process of the revitalization, engage input from local leaders, and allow an opportunity to eat representative food of the area. The tour will leave from the Biltmore Hotel lobby and cover about 3-4 miles. There is a charge of $20 to help cover food costs.

Hosted by:          University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy

Last November's Woolsey Fire provided a dangerously close view of crisis leadership and policies around disaster preparedness to Pepperdine's School of Public Policy. In August, the School launched a new initiative called the "Homeland Security Advisory Council at SPP" that features both educational opportunities and an important technology platform for mapping disaster response. Come to Malibu to see how Pepperdine is preparing current and future leaders in disaster preparedness.

Hosted by:          Pepperdine University, School of Public Policy

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Department of Mental Health are engaged in an innovative collaborative effort to respond to life threatening encounters involving persons with perceived mental health problems. Participants in this excursion will learn how law enforcement is being trained today in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques to help avoid uses of force.  Participants will engage in actual police training scenarios using reality-based simulators as well as touring the Hall of Justice (HOJ) - the oldest surviving government building in the LA Civic Center and site of famous trials including “Bugsy” Siegel, Robert Mitchum, Charles Manson, and Sirhan Sirhan. The autopsies of Marilyn Monroe and Robert Kennedy were also conducted at HOJ. The HOJ is just a 20 minute (1-mile) walk from the conference hotel. **Limited to 12 people. If this morning session fills up, an afternoon session will be added. **

Hosted by:          California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Department of Public Administration

Join us for a docent led tour of the extensive history of the Latino population in Los Angeles exhibited at the La Plaza Cultural y Artes, a local historical, civic, and artistic community center and museum space. La Plaza is next to the mission church Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles (Our Lady Queen of Angels) which gave the city its name, and directly across the street from Placita Olvera, the “first street” in Los Angeles and an historic State Park, containing the historic plaza, multiple historic buildings and an original adobe structure from the founding period. After visiting the three sites, enjoy lunch on your own on Olvera Street, which is replete with restaurants, shopping venues and the like.


Hosted by:          University of California Los Angles (UCLA), Luskin School of Public Affairs


Join Port and City of Los Angeles staff for a guided boat tour of the Port of Los Angeles, America’s Port ®. Located just 20 miles south of downtown, the port has the highest volume of cargo in the United States and has both cargo and passenger terminals. It is recognized for its innovative cargo operations, environmental stewardship, community partnerships, progressive security measures, historic landmarks and LA Waterfront. The Port includes 7,500 acres of land and water plus 43 miles of waterfront. It is in the midst of a 10-year, $2.6 billion infrastructure investment program. The Port is a department of the City of Los Angeles and governed by a harbor commission appointed by the Mayor. One of every nine jobs in Southern California is linked to the Port of Los Angeles and the neighboring Port of Long Beach. We will be meeting at the port for a customized chartered boat tour of the port and lunch; attendees needing a ride will meet in the lobby in advance to carpool or share transportation. A $20 fee will cover lunch. **Limited to 25 people. Please note that the tour and schedule is subject to change, depending on weather conditions and level of interest.**

Hosted by:          University of La Verne, College of Business and Public Management, through the generous sponsorship of the Port of Los Angeles.