Larry O’Toole was the inaugural Head of the Department of Public Administration & Policy (2002-2008). Professor O’Toole is a graduate of Clarkson University (B.S. in chemistry with high honors), with M.P.A. and Ph.D. degrees in public administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He has lectured and conducted basic and applied research widely in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. O’Toole has held visiting appointments at the International Institute of Management, Science Center Berlin, Germany; the Joint Research Program in Public Administration, Leiden University and Erasmus University, The Netherlands; the Centre for Local and Regional Government Research, Cardiff University, Wales; and the School of Public Policy and Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. Currently he is advisor to the Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability, Twente University, The Netherlands and has been appointed as Professor of Comparative Sustainability Policy Studies there. He is also Research Fellow at the Danish National Centre for Social Research in Copenhagen.
He is past chair, Section on Public Administration, American Political Science Association and past President of the Public Management Research Association. He has been elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a senior member of the Netherlands Institute of Government. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 12 books, including most recently the co-authored Public Management: Organizations, Governance, and Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and the co-edited American Intergovernmental Relations (5th edition, CQ Press/Sage, 2013), and has published more than 170 journal articles and chapters. His research has been supported by numerous federal agencies, as well as the Danish Council for Strategic Research, the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom, and the European Commission. He has also undertaken applied research aimed at improving public policy and public management for such agencies as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (for improving systems of primary care for those experiencing strokes), the U.S. Geological Survey (for improving policy and management of the nation’s wetlands), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (for addressing environmental threats to public health) – in this last-mentioned case field activities included working with and making recommendations to stakeholders and public officials in the U.S. as well as in such settings as Egypt and Botswana. His current research focuses on public management and public program performance, particularly in networked settings. These include public education, sustainable development, and health policy and management.
Professor O’Toole has received numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the Charles Levine Award from the American Society for Public Administration and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (2002); the Dwight Waldo Award (2005) from the American Society for Public Administration, for outstanding contributions to the literature and leadership of public administration through an extended career; and the John Gaus Award and Lectureship (2009) from the American Political Science Association, in honor of his “lifetime of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration.”