USC Annenberg Dean to Serve as Fellow of National Academy of Public Administration

By Greg Asciutto
Student Writer

Ernest J. Wilson III, Dean of USC Annenberg and Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication, has been selected as a fellow-elect of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), an independent, non-partisan organization that works in a consultative capacity with federal officials.

“I am deeply honored," said Dean Wilson, "for the opportunity to further involve our school and our university in the important contemporary issues of governance and democratic participation and public administration."

Established in 1967, the Congressionally chartered NAPA has close to 800 Academy Fellows from a range of private- and public-sector industries. Members of Congress, former presidential cabinet members, business executives, public administrators and notable academics comprise the Academy, which will induct 37 new Fellows this fall. They will be inducted Nov. 14.

Dean Wilson joins two other USC administrators in the 2013 Academy Fellow class: Raphael Bostic, director of the Bedrosian Center at USC Price, and James Ferris, director of the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at USC Price.

"I am in wonderful company," said Wilson of the two USC Price inductees and his other fellow inductees. The Dean added: "Communication is at the center of everything in the Information Age. My invitation to serve here is further validation of both that centrality and of the excellence, prominence and centrality of USC Annenberg."

"The Academy is honored to add these leaders in public administration to its ranks,” said Dan Blair, President and CEO of the Academy, in a statement. “Elected by their peers, these inductees will drive the important work of the Academy in addressing emerging issues in government.” 

The induction is the latest in a long list of significant public appointments for Dean Wilson. In 2008, he was appointed to the presidential transition team that advised President Barack Obama as he assembled his first administration; the following year, he was elected chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Last year, Dean Wilson was inducted to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences honorary society. (Read his full bio here.)

The Academy’s underlying responsibility is to provide federal departments and agencies with assistance on nationally pressing administrative issues. The bulk of Academy work comes at the request of Congressional committees and other government entities.

Among the Academy’s specific organizational objectives include: Improving the effectiveness of public programs, strengthening cross-sector collaborations, providing transparency to government operations and creating long-term macroeconomic solutions.

Fellows work to fulfill those goals by developing organizational assessments, strategy measures, performance management systems and implementation strategies to combat environmental, fiscal and other national concerns. Fellows may also be called upon for Congressional testimony, online stakeholder engagement or to create in-depth administrative studies and analyses.

In recent years, the Academy has partnered with some of the nation’s top institutions to address public management challenges: the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Veteran Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), among others.

Currently, the Agency is engaged in a number of public assessments that reflect the organization’s broad expertise. Current projects include assessing the operations of the National Weather Service, evaluating a hybrid public-private partnership model for the future of the U.S. Postal Service and examining the involvement of veterans in national and community service programs.

Dean Wilson will be officially inducted to the National Academy of Public Administration on Nov. 14, when the Academy holds its annual Washington D.C. meeting.