Most conference activities will be held in the Ward Circle Building on American University main campus (4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20016). Ward Circle Building is home to the American University School of Public Affairs.

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Established in 1934, American University School of Public Affairs (SPA) offers undergraduate, graduate, and executive-level programs to build and enhance careers in public service. The school is located in the heart of Washington, DC with world-renowned faculty and transformational research, driving progress in public management, public policy, and politics.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Public Management Research Association to host the next conference,” said School of Public Affairs Dean Barbara Romzek. “The early months of a new presidential administration are an exciting time for public management scholars to gather and discuss their research and its implications for Washington.”

SPA is ranked third in the U.S. and first in the DC area for public affairs research impact, and is the only school to have three Gaus Award recipients for a lifetime of exemplary contribution to political science and public administration. SPA’s Masters in Public Administration is ranked in the top five graduate public affairs programs in the United States. The 2016 US News graduate school rankings list American University as 19th overall of the best public affairs schools and 5th for the graduate specialty area of public administration. SPA’s MPA program benefits from faculty members who are committed to research in their field and its location in the nation’s capital.

Select Faculty

SPA’s public administration faculty and graduate students are leaders in the public management arena, setting the agenda in this field of research. Our faculty have long been active with PMRA, including the four SPA faculty who were recently members of the PMRA Board. SPA demonstrates strength in the areas of accountability, contracting, constitutional and administrative law, performance evaluation, public management, and representative bureaucracy. SPA faculty members are often recognized for the impact of their work. In 2015, the Public Administration Review named five members of the SPA faculty as authors of the 75 most influential articles published.

Dean Barbara Romzek

Barbara Romzek, Ph.D., is a recognized figure in the field of public affairs. She is an expert in public management, accountability, and government reform. In her role as dean, Romzek leads 90 full-time faculty members, multiple research centers, and 1,800 students in public administration and policy, government, and justice, law and criminology. Romzek, who has her political science Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, has published three books and more than 60 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications. Her research covers complex work settings, including NASA, Congress, and the Air Force, as well as state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and has awards from the American Society for Public Administration and the American Political Science Association, including the 2014 Gaus Award for a Lifetime of Exemplary Scholarship from the American Political Science Association. Planning Committee Member

Vicky Wilkins


Professor Wilkins is the SPA Senior Associate Dean and a professor. Her expertise includes gender and race issues, representation, diversity, deservingness, and policy implementation. Planning Committee Member

Alison Jacknowitz

Professor Jacknowitz is SPA Chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy Department, associate professor, and an expert on a wide variety of issues related to food security, poverty, and children and families. Planning Committee Member

Anna Amirkhanyan

Professor Amirkhanyan is an SPA associate professor with a research and teaching focus on public and nonprofit management, public sector reform, organizational performance, research methodology, and citizen participation.  Program Committee Chair

Jocelyn Johnston

Professor Johnston is an SPA professor whose research focuses on government contracting, public management, and intergovernmental programs and policy.


David Rosenbloom

Professor Rosenbloom is a distinguished professor specializing in constitutional-administrative law, administrative theory, history, reform, and personnel management. His awards include the Whittington Award for excellent teaching, Waldo Award for outstanding contributions to the leadership of public administration, Levine Award for excellence in public administration. He is also a Gaus Award recipient.

Lewis Faulk

Professor Faulk is an assistant professor at SPA whose research focuses on nonprofit management, nonprofit finance, and the intersection of nonprofit organizations and public policy.

Khaldoun AbouAssi

Professor Abouassi is an assistant professor at SPA who conducts research primarily on nonprofit and public management from a comparative perspective, examining organizational capacity, resources, and inter-organizational relations.

Carla Flink

Carla Flink is an assistant professor at SPA. Her research focuses on public management, public budgeting, and performance in state and local governments. 

Nathan Favero

Nathan Favero is an SPA assistant professor whose research focuses on public administration and management, race and ethnicity, quantitative methodology, education policy, and formal theories of cooperation and policy-making.


AU has extensive experience hosting conferences and guests on our Washington, DC campus. Each year, we welcome more than 75 conference groups and 500 individual summer interns to our campus. We manage a diverse group of conferences, including a variety of professional associations, and student leadership programs. Some notable conferences we have hosted that are similar in capacity to PMRC include, the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences (550 people), University Film and Video Conference (500 people), The Association of College and University Housing Officers (100 people), Discovery Education Network Summer Institute (500 people), and Sampling Theory Applications International Conference (600 people). These conferences held large plenary sessions, multiple breakout sessions, and multiple evening events. SPA has dedicated event management and communications staff with decades of combined experience planning and implementing events in the DC Metro Area and around the world.