The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) recently held its annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ABFM is the premier professional association for faculty and students with expertise in public budgeting and financial management. A section of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), ABFM’s mission is to promote professional development of budgeting and financial management in both the government and nonprofit sectors by embracing both theoretical and operational concerns of academics and practitioners across the globe. The founding Dean (recently emeritus) of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at the University of Georgia (UGA), Dr. Thomas Lauth, who is renowned for his work and expertise in state budgeting, has been a long time member of ABFM. He has mentored and matriculated numerous practitioners and scholars who regularly participate in ABFM leadership roles and as conference attendees, and is a recipient of the organization’s most prestigious Aaron Wildavsky Award for lifetime achievement of work in budgeting and financial management. Dr. Lauth began quite a legacy at SPIA in the field of public budgeting and finance. Currently ranked 5th in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report, work in the subfield of public budgeting and finance for the MPA and PhD programs in the Department of Public Administration and Policy (PADP), which is ranked 4th in the nation overall, is now being carried on by current faculty members Deborah A. Carroll, Robert Greer, and Tima Moldogaziev.

Deborah A. Carroll received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2004, and joined the SPIA faculty in 2006 as an assistant professor. She is currently an associate professor and has recently taken over the role of Graduate Coordinator for PADP and the MPA Program Director. Deborah is also serving a three-year appointed term as Treasurer for ABFM. Her research focuses on state and local government taxation and revenue structures, as well as the fiscal implications for state and local governments of the nonprofit sector. Deborah has published several articles in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, The American Review of Public Administration, Public Budgeting & Finance, and Urban Affairs Review. Before coming to the University of Georgia, Deborah worked as a budget and policy analyst for the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee.

Robert Greer received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2013, which is also when he joined the SPIA faculty as an assistant professor. His research focuses on state and local government debt, issues of fiscal federalism, and applied econometrics. His work appears in the book Sustaining the States: The Fiscal Viability of American State Governments (forthcoming), and has a number of current projects underway, including a study of the vertical externalities associated with municipal debt, and the allocation of debt capacity between state and local governments.

Our newest faculty member, joining SPIA in 2014 as an assistant professor, is Tima Moldogaziev, who received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2012. His research focuses on matters of financial intermediation, municipal securities pricing and liquidity, municipal debt market regulation, and market-building and access to capital for subnational governments. Tima has published articles in Public Budgeting & Finance, Public Administration Review, Municipal Finance Journal, and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. He is also co-author of the book State and Local Financial Instruments: Policy Changes and Management.

The recent ABFM annual conference was a rare opportunity to gather our alumni, current and former faculty members, and current students together for a SPIA family photo. Of the 32 individuals with connections between both UGA and ABFM, we were delighted to capture 22 in our group photo this year. That’s an impressive cohort of SPIA affiliations for a conference with only 190 attendees. According to Dr. Thomas Lauth, “It is great to see so many from UGA each year participating in the ABFM Conference.”

The individuals in the photo are: (back row, left to right) Yilin Hou (Syracuse University), Jongmin Shon (Rutgers University), Jay Eungha Ryu (Ohio University), Gerald J. Miller (Arizona State University), W. Bartley Hildreth (Georgia State University), Yi Lu (City University of New York), Dan Smith (New York University), Jekyung Lee (UGA PhD Student), Mikhail Ivonchyk (UGA PhD Student), Ping Zhang (Fudan University), Yoon Cho (UGA PhD Student), (front row, left to right) Kenneth Hunter (City of Rocky Mount, NC), Kenneth A. Klase (UNC-Greensboro), Christopher B. Goodman (Rutgers University-Camden), Benjamin Y. Clark (Cleveland State University), Whitney Afonso (UNC-Chapel Hill), Deborah A. Carroll (UGA Faculty), Thomas P. Lauth (UGA Emeritus), Robert Greer (UGA Faculty), Tima Moldogaziev (UGA Faculty), Hui Li (National University of Singapore), and Michelle Lofton (Syracuse University PhD Student).