A New Chapter in Public Administration

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

In March, panelists Ann Hess Braga, Dr. Marc Holzer, and Dr. Aaron Smith-Walter from the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) discussed ASPA’s expansion into a Northern New England chapter and what it will mean for public servants around the region. Carsey Interim Director Dan Bromberg moderated the discussion. 

Watch the Recording


About the Speakers

Ann Hess Braga, Esq., MPA

Human Resources Director, Town of Brookline

photo of Ann Hess Braga

Ann joined the Brookline team in June 2019 after more than 23 years with the City of Boston. In Brookline, she led a multi-department team in managing workforce and service delivery issues, contact tracing, return to work and the “New Normal,” implemented a permanent Work From Home program and is working to address the newer expectations around work-life integration and value of work. She served as the Director, Talent Acquisition Management and Employment in the Office of Human Resources including compliance, classification and compensation, recruiting, development, and retention responsibilities. Before joining Boston HR in the Compliance and Talent roles, Ann served as the Staff Director for the Boston City Council as  the day-to-day department head for 13 member legislative body, overseeing 13 central staff members, over 100 employees and interns, legislative, administrative and fiscal operations, and a budget of $5.0M. Responsibilities included: payroll, accounts payable, facilities management and maintenance, technology acquisition and upgrades, training and development as well as coordinating Boston redistricting data and public processes after the 2000 and 2010 Census.

Before working for the City, Ann held various positions in the state and non profit sectors. She has served on  Adjunct faculty at UMASS Boston, Northeastern, and Suffolk covering  courses in Urban Policy, State and Local Budgeting, Human Resource Management, Ethics. Ann received her law degree from Suffolk University Law School Cum Laude while working full-time for the Boston City Council. She also has a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in budgeting and finance and a Political Science degree from the University of Connecticut. Ann has been a Big Sister for almost 10 years and lives in Mattapan with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

Marc Holzer, PhD 

photo of Marc Holzer, Ph.D

Marc has been an active participant in the field of public administration since the 1960s. His book, Rethinking Public Administration (Elgar, August 2023), examines how the field of public administration might reposition itself as society’s necessary and best investment. He is leading an initiative to establish the Virtual Museum of Public Service. Dr. Holzer is Distinguished Professor at the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University-Boston, and was the Founding Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University. He is a Past President of the American Society for Public Administration and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Aaron Smith-Walter, PhD

image of Aaron Smith-Walter

Aaron is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is also the Interim Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at UMass Lowell, President of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, Associate Editor of the Policy Studies Journal, and the Associate Director of the Experimental Economics Laboratory at UMass Lowell. His primary research interests are the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF), Cultural Theory, and the images of public administration presented in popular culture. He has published in Policy Studies Journal, Politics and Policy, Public Integrity, Municipal Finance Journal, Quality & Quantity, Administrative Theory & Praxis, and Applied Economic Letters.