Standing Panel on International Affairs
National Academy of Public Administration
Date: 1 March 2021
From: Arnold Fields, Chairman, NAPA Standing Panel on International Affairs
Subject: Academy’s Standing Panel on International Affairs Meeting, Tuesday 23 March 2021
Topic: NAPA UPDATE ON GRAND CHALLENGES INITIATIVE
The NAPA Standing Panel on International Affairs will meet on 23 March at 2:00 until 3:30pm to discuss the NAPA Grand Challenges in Public Administration initiative. Dr. Joe Mitchell, James Higgins, and Jillian McGuffey have kindly accepted our invitation to serve as guest speaker and to provide a status report and future outlook of the overall Grand Challenges program. The International Affairs Panel is principally focusing on Grand Challenge 4, Advance National Interests in a Changing Global Context, as it is a natural fit for the Panel’s overall mission. The Panel will pursue other Grand Challenges as deemed advantageous to our work and products. To this end, their presentation will assist the Panel in charting the way ahead.
This will be the Panel’s first formal meeting of the new calendar year and we will seize the moment to welcome new Fellows, associates and guests to the Panel and to the conversation. The meeting will take place via videoconferencing/call-in client Zoom for which a meeting connection link will be provided.
Dr. Joseph P. Mitchell, III
As the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Academy, Dr. Mitchell leads the organization’s Grand Challenges in Public Administration initiative, which currently is identifying and developing ways to address the most challenging issues facing government today. He also advances cutting edge thought leadership and develops partnerships with other good government groups, American universities, and universities in other countries. Over the course of his career, he has worked with a wide range of federal cabinet departments and agencies to develop higher-performing organizations, implement organizational change, and strengthen human capital and teams.
Most recently, he was at the General Services Administration to stand up its new Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement within the Office of Government-wide Policy. As an Associate Director of this new office, he built and led a team to manage multi-functional and cross-agency projects and initiatives in support of the President’s Management Agenda. His team established governance and accountability mechanisms for federal Cross-Agency Priority Goals, revamped performance.gov to become more user-friendly and provide additional information to the public, upgraded and expanded the White House Leadership Development Program and CXO Fellows program, provided technical and management support to the federal executive management councils, and established a procurement vehicle that federal agencies can use to acquire commercial software-as-a-service capabilities for their payroll and work schedule/leave management.
Previously, Dr. Mitchell led and managed the Academy’s organizational studies program, overseeing all of its congressionally-directed and agency-requested reviews and consulting engagements. He has served as project director of Academy studies for the Government Publishing Office, the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Park Service’s Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He holds a Ph.D. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Master of International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He serves on the National Science Foundation’s Business and Operations Advisory Committee. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the national academic honor society; Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public affairs and administration; and the American Society for Public Administration.
James joined the Academy as a Research Associate in March 2020. He currently supports the Academy's Strategic Initiatives, including researching for its Grand Challenges in Public Administration campaign and producing the Management Matters podcast. James has previously worked on studies for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the United Stated Trade and Development Agency. He currently works on the Increasing the Agility of the Federal Government project. James graduated with a B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Asia from Dickinson College, and a M.A. in Global Policy with a focus on Security and Foreign Policy from the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs.
Jillian joined the Academy as a Research Associate for the Strategic Initiatives Team in December 2020. In this role, she conducts research for the Grand Challenges in Public Administration campaign and helps produce the Management Matters podcast. Jillian realized she had a profound interest in working at the Academy when she interned there in the Summer of 2020, where she contributed to studies for the Office of Space Commerce and the National Park Service.
Jillian recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master of Public Policy after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics and a Minor in Creative Writing. During her undergraduate career, Jillian was selected as a fellow of the Global Fellows Program, which gave her various opportunities to learn from experts specializing in international relations and conflict resolution. She also interned at the United States Census Bureau where she recorded and analyzed data from the 2017 Criminal Juvenile Resident Placement Survey. In Fall 2018, Jillian interned with the USCIS where she supported efforts to formulate DHS emergency preparedness plans. Jillian is looking forward to continuing to help NAPA achieve its mission and is excited to be working on the Strategic Initiatives Team.
Chair, NAPA Standing Panel on International Affairs