What Americans Still Want from Government Reform
December 8, 2021
The John Brademas Center of New York University hosted a conversation featuring Dr. Paul C. Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, who recently released an updated report on, "What Americans Still Want from Government Reform." Joining Dr. Light in conversation was Dr. Beth Simone Noveck, Professor, NYU Tandon School of Engineering (on leave in 2021); Professor, Northeastern University; Director, Burnes Family Center for Social Change and Impact; and Director, The GovLab. Check out the full report below!
This program is sponsored by the NYU John Brademas Center, NYU Wagner, the Brookings Center for Effective Public Management, and the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government. Registration was required in order to receive the Zoom log-in details for the webinar. Please note that this program was recorded.
Paul C. Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, NYU Wagner
Dr. Paul C. Light is NYU Wagner's Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service, Before joining NYU, Dr. Light served as the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding director of its Center for Public Service, and vice president and director of the Governmental Studies Program. He has served previously as director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and associate dean and professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota's Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
Light is the author of 25 books, including works on social entrepreneurship, the nonprofit sector, federal government reform, public service, and the baby boom. His most recent book is The Government-Industrial Complex: Tracking the True Size of Government, 1984-2019 (Oxford University Press, 2019), Government by Investigation: Presidents, Congress, and the Search for Answers, 1945-2012 (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). His award-winning books include The President's Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982, 1998), Thickening Government: Federal Hierarchy and the Diffusion of Accountability (Brookings Institution Press, 1995), The Tides of Reform: Making Government Work, 1945-1995 (Brookings Institution Press, 1997), and A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It (Harvard University Press, 2008). A Government Ill Executed received the American Political Science Association's Herbert Simon Award in 2008 as the most important book on public administration in the preceding three-to-five years upon publication. Light's work earned the American Political Science Association's John Gauss Award in 2015 for exemplary career service in political science and public administration. Light is also a co-author of an American government textbook, Government by the People. His research interests include: bureaucracy, civil service, Congress, entitlement programs, the executive branch, government reform, nonprofit effectiveness, organizational change, and the political appointment process.
Beth Simone Noveck, Professor, NYU Tandon School of Engineering (on leave in 2021); Professor, Northeastern University; Director, Burnes Family Center for Social Change and Impact; Director, The GovLab
Beth Simone Noveck is a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Family Center for Social Change and Impact and its partner project, The Governance Lab (The GovLab) and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. The author of Solving Public Problems: How to Fix Our Government and Change Our World (Yale Press 2021), she is also Core Faculty at the Institute for Experiential AI (IEAI) at Northeastern. She is on leave from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering (2021). New Jersey governor Phil Murphy appointed her as the state’s first Chief Innovation Officer and Chancellor Angela Merkel named her to her Digital Council in 2018. She is also Visiting Senior Faculty Fellow at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and and a Fellow at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.
Previously, Beth served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative under President Obama. UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government.
At the GovLab, she directs better governance programs, including work with public institutions on public engagement in lawmaking (CrowdLaw), expert-sourcing innovative solutions to hard problems (Smarter Crowdsourcing), co-creation between cities and citizens (City Challenges). She also coaches public problem solvers, working with passionate individuals to take their public interest projects from idea to implementation.
A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she is a member of the Scholars Council of the Library of Congress and the EPSRC Centre for the Mathematics of Precision Healthcare. Beth also serves on the International Advisory Board of the NHS Digital Academy and the Yankelovich Democracy Monitor as well as a member of the Inter-American Development Bank President’s Commission on Transparency and Corruption and the Global Future Council on Technology, Values and Policy for the World Economic Forum. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Collective Intelligence Conferences and GIGAPP (Grupo de Investigación en Gobierno, Administracion y Politicas Publicas). She is co-editor of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Digital Government Research and Practice journal and a founding associate editor of the Journal of Collective Intelligence.
In 2018, Beth was awarded a Robert Schumann Fellowship at the European University Institute and a Richard von Weizsaecker Fellowship by the Robert Bosch Foundation. Beth was named one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government 2018” by Apolitical. Previously, she was selected as one of the “Foreign Policy 100” by Foreign Policy as well as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post.
In addition to Solving Public Problems, Beth is the author of Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing (Harvard Univ Press 2015) and Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful (Brookings 2009) and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds (NYU Press, 2005). Her TED talk is here. She tweets @bethnoveck.