About the Center for Effective Public Management

The Center for Effective Public Management (CEPM) at Brookings is a research organization focused on identifying and solving political and governance challenges in 21st century America. Housed within the Governance Studies program, Brookings’s domestic policy shop, this center strives to reinvigorate the American political process and the U.S. government to be more effective and capable. It is a vital force in transforming the United States’ most important institutions.

CEPM is led by senior fellow and founding director Elaine Kamarck, a key figure in reinventing government research. As a senior staffer in the Clinton administration, she created the National Performance Review, the largest government reform effort in the last half of the twentieth century. Several other Governance Studies scholars, as well as a team of non-Brookings experts with proven track records in government reinvention and innovation, contribute to the work of CEPM.


  • Improve the performance of government entities to benefit all people.
  • Inform American voters about the political process to ensure a more knowledgeable and involved populace.
  • Enhance private sector and corporate leadership and governance.


CEPM’s areas of focus can broadly be defined as:

  • Analyzing current problems in the American political system and identifying ways to improve the democratic process.

As part of this work, the Center has created the Strengthening American Democracy Initiative, which produces first-rate research and hosts public forums to analyze six key topics: political party reinvention; changes to our electoral and primary systems; governance and institutional reforms; federalism questions; expanding civics education; and reinvigorating the media industry.

  • Addressing the challenges facing the public sector as it tries to ensure sound performance, good governance, and strong leadership in the U.S.

As part of these efforts, CEPM examines the functionality, processes, and infrastructure associated with large government entities such as the U.S. Postal Service, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Additionally, the Center produces research and events to help boost understanding of the nation’s current leadership deficit and identify ways to improve leadership capacity and decision-making.

  • Exploring the intersection of the private and public sectors.

This work includes the center’s Initiative on 21st Century Capitalism, which focuses on improving our understanding and actualization of strong private sector and corporate leadership and governance.

Additionally, CEPM publishes the widely-read and highly-regarded FixGov blog. FixGov is dedicated to new ideas to make government and politics work for Americans. Its contributors identify problems – big and small – and offer solutions that are not just sensible, but also realistic. FixGov analysis is delivered by Brookings scholars and a diverse group of contributors who offer recommendations that actively account for the current political environment and dynamics, making it a uniquely relevant and useful source for policymakers and stakeholders across the nation.