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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Meet Our Fellows: Nancy Kingsbury ('98)

Nancy Kingsbury, elected in 1998, reflects on funny stories, her greatest accomplishments, and more from her wide-ranging career in public service.

Reflecting on your career, is there a highlight, a greatest accomplishment or a funny story you’d like to share?

In a career of nearly 50 years, it is hard to identify one greatest accomplishment. I would identify four though:

  1. Participation in the passage and implementation of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
  2. Leadership (with others) of the establishment and management of a new program evaluation professional organization (the Evaluation Research Society and later the American Evaluation Association).
  3. Participation in the effort to reestablish the Peace Corps as an independent agency in 1979.
  4. And, after 15 years of managing GAO’s defense, international and government management work, the establishment of the Applied Research and Methods team to centralize GAO’s advanced technical staff to contribute more effectively to GAO’s reports.

Where are you now? How do you like to spend your time?

I am still working full time at GAO so most of my time is still devoted to that job. I also continue to teach in the Key Executive Program at American University. That said, I also enjoy travel with the occasional visit to Europe (especially the U.K.) and a month every year on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland in Australia where we have a home and a lot of friends.

Looking at the present and into the future, what do you think a public administration “Grand Challenge” is or might be? (Learn more about the Academy’s Grand Challenges initiative!)

The “Grand Challenges” initiative is a challenge to think about. The challenge that comes to mind, for me, is the need to reestablish education about civics and U.S. government history and operations in middle and high schools in this country. Too many of our citizens come to voting age with ignorance of the fundamentals of the founding principles of our country, the three co-equal branches of government and how they should operate, the importance of participation in elections, and other key responsibilities of our citizens.

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