Professor Jane Fountain, Political Science and Public Policy, has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, which was chartered by Congress in 1967 as an independent body to help government leaders build more effective, efficient, accountable and transparent public sector organizations. Her induction is scheduled for Nov. 15 during the academy’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The National Academy relies on its fellows to conduct in-depth studies and analyses that anticipate, evaluate and make recommendations on crucial public management, governance, policy and operational challenges facing the federal government and public sector organizations. Fellows also provide technical assistance, Congressional testimony and participate in forums or conferences.
Fountain joins roughly 700 fellows that include members of Congress; federal and state cabinet members; federal department deputy and undersecretaries; governors; mayors; leading scholars; and chancellors, presidents and deans of colleges and universities. Fellows often are asked to lend their expertise on complex issues that require agreements and partnerships bridging government departments and agencies, and that sometimes necessitate public-private alliances. For example, National Academy fellows have helped create a management transformation plan for federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies and have established benchmarks for environmental programs that span federal, state and local sectors.
New fellows are elected by the entire membership after a rigorous nomination process each spring. Last spring, she was named to Gov. Deval Patrick’s Council for Innovation, an appointed body that advises the governor on ways to improve government efficiency and use technology to streamline delivery of services to people, businesses and local governments. Fountain also is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government, a group that she chaired in 2010-11.
Fountain also directs the National Center for Digital Government and heads the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, both of which are based at the Center for Public Policy and Administration. The national center was created with support from the National Science Foundation to develop research and infrastructure for the emerging field of information technology and governance. The Science, Technology and Society Initiative conducts multidisciplinary research on the intersection of science and technology with today’s social, political and economic issues.