Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Public managers to speak with students

Students will learn tricks of the trade from senior managers participating in a panel discussion organized by public management professors Donald Moynihan and Susan Yackee.

Four senior managers with experience in the city, county, state, federal and nonprofit sectors will present on Tuesday, November 30, at 1:20 p.m. in 8417 Sewell Social Sciences Building.

"We have asked our guests to describe their education and career paths, plus their current positions," Yackee says. "They also will discuss how their organizations set goals, whether they have a mission, how external actors and politics affect their jobs or organizations."

The guests also will describe decision-making processes and whether their organizations are hierarchical or flat. "We also will discuss leadership and what constitutes good public leadership," Moynihan says.

The four panelists are

  • George Dreckmann is the recycling coordinator for the City of Madison, Wisconsin. He is responsible for all of the public education efforts of the Streets Division, including winter parking, street repair and maintenance, and solid waste services. Prior to joining the Streets Division he worked as a budget analyst for the Wisconsin Senate specializing in natural resource and education.
  • Linda Seemeyer has been director of the Walworth County Health and Human Services Department since 2007. Prior to that she served for five years as director of administrative services for then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Seemeyer also served the Wisconsin Department of Administration, holding division administrator, executive assistant and deputy director positions under former governors Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum.
  • Bob Lavigna is director of human resources for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Until joining the university about two months ago, he was vice president of research for the non-partisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. He directs research projects that find new ways to attract, develop and retain talent. Prior to that, he was a senior manager of consulting for CPS Human Resource Services and administrator of the state of Wisconsin civil service system and directed a statewide labor-management cooperation program. He served in the Government Accountability Office for 17 years.
  • Sonya Newenhouse is the founder and president of Madison Environmental Group. She has more than 10 years experience in qualitative method development, waste management and recycling, and community outreach. She is president of Community Car LLC. She serves on numerous civic and environmental committees and boards.