News Release

Brookings Launches the Center for Effective Public Management

September 24, 2013

Washington, D.C. The Brookings Institution announced today the establishment of the Center for Effective Public Management, a research organization that will focus on identifying and solving political and governance challenges in 21st century America. Housed within the Governance Studies program, this center will strive to reinvigorate the U.S. government – along with public and private sector leadership – to be more effective and capable.

“Working with a wide array of domestic policy experts and actors, the Center for Effective Public Management will explore current problems in the American political system and ways to improve the democratic process,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution. “The center’s work will address the challenges the public sector faces as it tries to ensure sound performance, good governance, and strong leadership in the U.S. government. The creation of the Center for Effective Public Management is the capstone of Brookings’ long-standing domestic policymaking efforts and research work.” 

The Center for Effective Public Management will be led by Senior Fellow and Founding Director Elaine Kamarck, a key figure in reinventing government research and action. 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. Kamarck will be joined in these efforts by a number of Governance Studies scholars, as well as a team of non-Brookings experts with proven track records in government reinvention and innovation.

“Elaine is a leading expert in reimagining government and fostering actionable, smart policy ideas and reforms at the federal level,” said Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies.  “Under her leadership, this new center will routinely deliver fresh thinking and policy prescriptions for what currently ails our governmental and political institutions.”

The center’s primary research areas and activities will include:

  • The Strengthening American Democracy Initiative – First-rate research and public forums that will focus on six key areas: political party reinvention, changes to our electoral and primary systems, governance and institutional reforms, federalism questions, expanding civics education, and reinvigorating the media industry.
  • The Democracy Hub – A closely connected network of academics, policy influencers, and experts who will provide fresh thinking around government reinvention. Its purpose will be to create opportunities to share new research and data, engage in constructive dialogues, and help bring to the public and decision-makers innovative research and recommendations.  This effort will involve peer-to-peer learning opportunities that are valuable to the academic community and, more importantly, to practitioners.
  • FixGov – A blog and online community that will feature and discuss case studies on the U.S. political system and the government in order to identify problems – big and small – and offer solutions that are not just sensible, but also realistic. FixGov analysis will be delivered by Brookings scholars and a diverse group of contributors who will offer recommendations that actively account for the current political environment and dynamics. FixGov’s analysis will also incorporate crowd-sourced information from the federal workforce on best practices and areas for government improvement.
  • The Management and Leadership Initiative – Policy research and events that will boost understanding of the nation’s current leadership deficit and identify ways to change leaders’ behavior and improve leadership capacity and decision-making.
  • The Corporate Purpose Initiative – Thought capital, policy research, and convenings that will focus on improving our understanding and actualization of strong private sector and corporate leadership and governance.

“With this aggressive set of activities and goals, we intend to be a vital force in transforming the United States’ most important institutions, said Kamarck. “The Center for Effective Public Management aims to provide cutting-edge, useful research and programming to help shape domestic policy and inform U.S. policymakers in their efforts to improve our national government.”

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.