Call for Papers: 2nd Annual Conference on Government Performance Management and Leadership

Photo of Hatfield School Director Ron Tammen

Dr. Ron Tammen, Director, Hatfield School of Government, presents at the 1st Conference on Government Performance Management & Leadership in Lanzhou, China (2009).

The Center for Public Service is currently accepting paper submissions from academic scholars, practitioners, and students exploring the topics of public sector performance management, leadership and governance in local, national, and international contexts.  Abstracts are due April 30, 2011. Portland State University’s Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and its Center for Public Service (CPS) will host the “Second International Conference on Government Performance Management and Leadership” on October 1-2, 2011.  Full details are available online at

The theme of this year’s conference – Innovations Toward Sustainable Solutions – is especially apt and timely. The research and leadership of PSU faculty and students – and the innovative policies and practices of a wide range of public and non-profit organizations in the area – have helped forge Portland’s international reputation as a leading urban laboratory for sustainable development efforts. Such initiatives focus on improving the economic, environmental, and social health of people and their communities.

Submissions that illuminate some long-standing themes important to conference sponsors are particularly welcome. These include:

  • Conceptual and working models of “Performance Management” that go beyond measurement and operational issues, and which speak to broader concepts of accountability, civic engagement, government legitimacy, and trust;
  • Research and scholarship around initiatives that integrate “management” and “leadership” innovations, rather than viewing the two concepts as inherently separate or even dichotomous;
  • Innovations grounded in and/or which promote sustainable development objectives across economic, environmental, and social dimensions

The main goal of this international conference is to convene leading scholars and practitioners to consider existing and future innovations in public sector performance management, leadership and governance.  Public and nonprofit leaders across the globe are facing a morally confounding array of pressures: “managing and measuring for results,” “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs and aspirations of future generations,” “managing more with less,” “being customer-driven,” etc. These pressures have already resulted in major new initiatives, some of which include the creation of new performance measurement and evaluation systems. Other new initiatives include the development of new governance processes and structures as well as new modes of leadership.

In addition to specific topics relating to one or more dimensions of sustainable development, conference sponsors are also looking for content that speaks to ensuring the sustainability of performance management and leadership strategies themselves.

About the Conference

More than 100 scholars and government and non-profit organization practitioners are expected to attend. At least 40 participants will be coming from across China, in a delegation being organized and led by Dr. Guoxian Bao, Dean of the Lanzhou University School of Management.

This international event will also showcase and reinforce key themes of the scholarly work being done within the Hatfield School of Government and its Center for Public Service. Increasingly, it’s becoming clear that effective strategies of performance management are necessary – but hardly sufficient – in tackling especially ‘wicked problems.” Equally (if not more) important are building new and innovative models of leadership and civic engagement that are capable of identifying and implementing effective and lasting solutions to these challenges.

“Our problems aren’t getting any simpler or less daunting, whether they involve global climate change or balancing a municipal budget,” notes Phil Keisling, CPS Director and former Oregon Secretary of State. “This conference will provide an exciting and productive venue for scholars and practitioners alike to explore new and innovative approaches to help them succeed in the important work they do.”

Photo of signing the agreement between Lanzhou University and Portland State UniversityLanzhou University, a renowned, century-old institution located in one of Western China’s largest cities, hosted the inaugural conference on Government Performance Management and Leadership in September 2009. Dr. Ron Tammen, Director of the Hatfield School of Government, led PSU’s delegation to the 2009 conference. Participants included faculty members such as Drs. Doug Morgan and Marcus Ingle of the Division of Public Administration; Portland’s Director of Audit Services Drummond Kahn; and more than a dozen students from the Center for Public Service’s Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA) program.

In addition to Lanzhou University, co-sponsors of this second conference include Japan’s Waseda University (Okuma School of Public Management/Public Service Research Institute); Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration; and Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Registration for the conference is $150 for two days, and scholars and practitioners wishing to present a paper, organize a workshop, or do a poster participation are encouraged to do so. More information can be found at, or by contacting CPS Director Phil Keisling at


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