About APSA
Steven Rathgeb Smith to Serve as Next APSA Executive Director

APSA is delighted to introduce Professor Steven Rathgeb Smith as the next executive director of the association. He took over from retiring executive director Michael Brintnall on September 1, 2013. After an extensive year-long search, the APSA Council endorsed the recommendation to hire Smith as the next executive director. As a political scientist and member of the association for over thirty years, Smith understands that APSA is a wide-ranging and diverse association of scholars who bring multiple perspectives to the study of political science. Smith will bring to his role broad interests and commitment to every part of political science and deep experience with professional associations and nonprofit management.

Professor Smith is currently Louis A. Bantle Chair in Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and is renowned for his research and publications on nonprofit organizations, public management, and social policy. He was a long-time faculty member of the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington where he was the Nancy Bell Evans Professor of Public Affairs and the founding director of the Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Evans School. He was also the associate dean of the Evans School and founded and chaired the first diversity committee at the school. He has also taught at American University, Duke University, Georgetown University, and Washington University at St. Louis. Smith served as president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) from 2006-2008 and led by consensus a strategic planning initiative to overhaul the ARNOVA by-laws and institute new priorities including a greater focus on teaching and curriculum initiatives and increased emphasis on diversity. He served as editor of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly from 1996-2004 where he negotiated new publisher contracts and significantly raised the visibility and prominence of the journal.  He currently serves on a number of editorial boards and has been very involved in several academic associations. His extensive publishing portfolio includes: Government and Regulation in the Third Sector (2010); Old Assumptions, New Realities: Economic Security for 21st Century Working Families (2010); and Nonprofits for Hire: The Welfare State in the Age of Contracting (1993). Smith holds a PhD in political science from MIT. He has been a member of APSA for over 30 years. 
View complete CV »

Please view the video announcement from APSA President Jane Mansbridge and Professor Smith. President Mansbridge details Professor Smith's strengths as the next executive director and describes the process leading to his selection. Professor Smith introduces himself and his understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the association in light of trends in higher education, academic publishing, and public policy.

View the video transcript »

In 2011 President Bing Powell and then President-Elect Jane Mansbridge formed a search committee chaired by Margaret Levi and vice-chaired by Kay Scholzman to search for a new executive director to replace Michael Brintnall when he retired at the end of 2013. The committee included:

Margaret Levi, Search Committee Chair
Professor of Political Science
Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies
Chair in Politics, U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney
University of Washington

Kay L. Schlozman, Search Committee Vice-Chair
J. Joseph Moakley Professor of Political Science
Boston College

Michelle D. Deardorff
Professor of Political Science
Jackson State University

Henry Farrell
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
George Washington University

Stathis N. Kalyvas
Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science
Yale University

Walter R. Mebane, Jr.
Professor of Political Science and Statistics
University of Michigan

Julie Novkov
Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy
University at Albany, State University of New York

Charles A. (Tony) Smith
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of California, Irvine 

APSA contracted with Cathy Moritz help the committee manage the process of locating and assessing prospective candidates after consideration of six major consultants and consulting firms. During the summer of 2012, the committee solicited views from members, staff, and other APSA constituencies about ideal qualities of the next executive director in preparation for posting a job advertisement. The APSA Council ammended and approved the job description in early October 2012 and the position was advertised widely. The search committee networked with more than 100 potential contacts for the position and the consultant networked with an additional 135 contacts. Kay Scholzman and President Mansbridge interviewed a large percentage of the APSA staff to get their views on the position. The search committee, President Mansbridge, and President-Elect John Aldrich interviewed a focused selection of candidates. The APSA Administrative Committee endorsed both the process of selection and Professor Steven Rathgeb Smith as the final candidate. The APSA Council unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed the recommendation to hire Professor Smith as the next executive director.

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