About CPS

Photo at PSU - Let Knowledge Serve the CityHeadquartered in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, the Center for Public Service (CPS) is a team of trainers, practitioners, consultants and academic professionals who specialize in the distinctiveness of public service leadership at the local level. With decades of experience delivering high quality training and research products to public agencies from the Pacific Northwest and around the world, CPS offers the cost competitiveness of a not-for-profit organization, the intellectual content of a leading academic center, and the client-driven flexibility of a traditional consulting firm.


The Center for Public Service draws on the extensive faculty and research capabilities of the Public Administration, Political Science, and Criminology and Criminal Justice divisions of PSU’s Mark O. Hatfield School of Government. The Center’s broad mandate is to connect PSU’s expertise and public service mission with real-world challenges in the public and nonprofit sectors, while forging productive and sustainable relationships with leaders at the local, state, federal, and international levels.

The Center’s two major components are the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) and the Institute for Nonprofit Management (INPM). The Center is also home for the Africa Migration and Development Project (AMDP).

ELI offers a wide range of education, specialized training, and research programs and capabilities that serve elected officials and public and nonprofit sector leaders throughout the Oregon/SW Washington area, as well as in international venues such as Vietnam, Japan, and China. ELI also offers an Executive Master in Public Administration program for aspiring, mid-career professionals interested in further honing their leadership capabilities and advancing their public service careers.

The INPM focuses on research, study and continuing professional education of nonprofit sector leaders. The Institute offers a comprehensive certificate program in nonprofit management and graduate-level classes in nonprofit leadership.

What Makes CPS Different?

Our university affiliation ensures that our training and consultation is evidence-based and grounded in the latest research. Tenured CPS faculty have developed a unique model of public service leadership, the extension and application of which is currently being supported by the Ford and Miller Foundations. This “leadership for sustainability” approach comprises both a coherent intellectual framework and a set of practical leadership tolls that are currently being used to train local government officials in Vietnam, China, Japan and South Korea. We are interested in projects that are both co-produced and have long term results.

CPS is well positioned to broker relationships with a variety of other university training and consulting institutions such as the National Policy Consensus Center, the Criminal Justice Policy Research Center, the Institute for Tribal Government, and NEW Leadership Oregon. Our academic work also gives us ready access to a pool of Ph.D. and advanced masters degree students who – at reasonable cost and under faculty supervision – work with our clients to undertake applied research and evaluation.

Template of Services

The Center for Public Service combines the expertise of the Executive Leadership Institute and the Institute for Non-Profit Management. Through these entities, CPS has delivered comprehensive leadership development programs to thousands of senior and mid-level managers in hundreds of public agencies and non-profits throughout the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Consultancies, onsite workshops, and classroom courses created for our clients often cover such topics as organizational performance, strategic planning, stakeholder participation, diversity, grant-writing, and e-government. Programs are co-designed, co-produced and contextualized with real-time case studies that recognize the unique historical, organizational and jurisdictional characteristics of each client. And through our Leader Coaching initiative, CPS can provide world-class coaches to support both emerging and experienced leaders with individualized progressional development plans.


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