Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Moynihan receives prestigious Kellett Award

Moynihan receives prestigious Kellett Award

UW-Madison’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) honored La Follette School Director Don Moynihan with a prestigious Kellett Mid-Career Award.

Moynihan, who joined the UW-Madison faculty in 2005, previously received a Vilas Associates Award (2014) and an H.I Romnes Faculty Fellowship for outstanding associate professors (2009) from the VCRGE. In 2015, he received a Leon D. Epstein Distinguished Faculty Research Award from the College of Letters & Science.

“Moynihan is best known for his work on the implementation of requirements to measure public service performance in government bureaucracies,” La Follette School Awards Committee members Greg Nemet and J. Michael Collins said in their nomination letter. “(He) was among the first public administration scholars to consider the links between public service motivation and transformational leadership, identifying how leaders can appeal to a desire on the part of public servants to generate better public outcomes.”

Four of Moynihan’s peers outside of UW-Madison also wrote letters in support of the nomination, including one who said: “His contributions as a scholar and professional in the 20 years since he started PhD studies have established Don as the leading public administration scholar of his generation.”

Indeed, he received the David N. Kershaw Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in 2014, and he won the American Society for Public Administration Wholey Award for outstanding scholarship on performance in public and nonprofit organizations in 2009, 2011, and 2013.

Moynihan’s research examines the application of organization theory to public management issues such as performance, budgeting, homeland security, election administration, and employee behavior. In particular, he studies the selection and implementation of public management reforms.

His most recent book, Toward Next-Generation Performance Budgeting: Lessons from the Experiences of Seven Reforming Countries, provides case studies of the performance-budgeting approaches taken by seven countries, including the United States, and offer 10 common challenges for adopting or updating a performance budgeting system.

The Kellett Award recognizes outstanding faculty members seven to 20 years past their first promotion to a tenured profession. Supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the award provides research funding to faculty members at a critical stage in their careers. It is named for William R. Kellett, a former president of the WARF Board of Trustees and retired president of Kimberly-Clark Corp.

“Don exemplifies the La Follette School’s tradition of world-class faculty members, exceptional educators, and path-breaking researchers,” said La Follette School Professor Susan Yackee, director of the school’s Board of Visitors. “I am honored to serve alongside him.”