Raffel to lead national public affairs education organization
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11:59 a.m., Nov. 18, 2008----Jeffrey A. Raffel, Charles P. Messick Professor of Public Administration at the University of Delaware, was elected vice president and president-elect of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) at the organization's annual conference on Oct. 17.

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Raffel is the first representative of the University of Delaware's School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy to serve in this capacity at NASPAA. He will assume his duties as NASPAA president in October 2009 at the annual conference in Arlington, Va.

”Jeff's nomination as vice president and president-elect of NASPAA is a considerable and well-deserved achievement worthy of acknowledgment,” said Maria Aristigueta, professor and director of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. “NASPAA is a national organization of respected peers that accredits programs in public policy and public administration. Jeff has been chairing the committee designing the new standards for accreditation. His work is extremely important to the field and provides wonderful visibility to the school.”

Raffel has been the University's principal representative to NASPAA since 1980. Since 2005, Raffel has served as chair of the NASPAA Standards 2009 Steering Committee, responsible for developing new accreditation standards. He also actively participated as a member of the Commission on Program Review and Accreditation (COPRA) from 2001-05, serving as chair from 2003-05. In addition, he served on the NASPAA Executive Council from 1996-99.

“Speaking as both the chair of the NASPAA nominating committee and as a longtime professional colleague, I can say that Jeff earned this honor for his standing commitment and dedication to ensuring the quality of public affairs education,” said Kathryn E. Newcomer, associate director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, where she directs the Ph.D. program in public policy and administration. “His devotion of time and thought to the NASPAA accreditation process has been extraordinary, most notably in his leadership of a multi-year effort to totally revise the accreditation standards-quite a daunting project! Jeff has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues across the country, and we know he will provide us with the leadership we need to move forward.”

“Jeff Raffel has devoted careful thought and incredible energy to the NASPAA peer review process and has done a wonderful job in steering both COPRA and NASPAA Standards 2009 through difficult times and difficult issues,” said Robert B. Denhardt, Regents Professor and Coor Presidential Chair and director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. “In whatever role he assumes, either at the university level or in professional associations, his steady and clear direction inspires all around him, and you just know the product will be better because of his leadership. I can't imagine anyone better suited or better prepared to assume the presidency of NASPAA at this particular time in its history. What a wonderful choice.”

The School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy and the University of Delaware have been comprehensive members of NASPAA since the 1970s. NASPAA was founded in 1970 and incorporated in 1977, “serving as a national and international resource for the promotion of excellence in education and training for public service.” Its institutional membership includes 253 U.S. university programs in public affairs, public policy, public administration and public management.

NASPAA members include the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Lyndon Baines Johnson School at the University of Texas at Austin and several longstanding public affairs programs such as the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

Raffel, a faculty member at UD since 1971, was the director of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy from 1997-2007 and previously directed the UD Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, offered jointly with the Department of Political Science and International Relations, for six years.

Jerome Lewis, director of the University's Institute for Public Administration, said, “This is a proud moment for the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy and the University of Delaware. We have worked hard over many years to position our wonderful program among this elite group. This is a monumental achievement for our programs and testament to Jeff's dedication.”

Raffel's research focuses on educational policy, school desegregation, and public management and privatization. He has published in leading journals in the fields of public administration, urban affairs and educational policy including Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Public Performance and Management Review, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and is currently editing the book Public Sector Leadership: International Challenges and Perspectives for Edward Elgar Press.

He has served in many state-based school change efforts in Delaware and was the University's first Public Sector Fellow, serving as Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Relations to Gov. Pete du Pont in 1978.

Raffel earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science and his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Rochester.