Welcome to the Memos to National Leaders Project

Dan Blair, President of the Academy

By Dan Blair, President of the National Academy of Public Administration and Toni Samuel, Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration

On behalf of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), we are pleased to welcome you to the Memos to National Leaders Project website. This website is based on a series of memoranda created by NAPA and ASPA experts to inform incoming national leaders about the policy and management challenges facing the nation.



The website has several key objectives:

 • To share current discussions about improving the Presidential and Congressional transition process. We hope to serve as a forum for this important discussion.

 • To produce a series of focused memoranda outlining the policy and management challenges and recommending solutions. This will represent a consensus of the best thinking by public management practitioners and researchers across the country.

• To focus on both Presidential and Congressional positions, reflecting the joint ownership of problems and solutions for major challenges.

The impetus for this project came from a series of previous initiatives, beginning in 2000. That year, a set of Memoranda were written to the President, advising him on a variety issues facing the nation, which eventually culminated into a book entitled, “Memos to the President.”

With the 2012 Presidential Campaign on the horizon, leaders of this project felt that the complex problems and issues facing the Nation called for bringing together the substantial institutional knowledge of NAPA Fellows and ASPA Members. With this knowledge, NAPA and ASPA can inform candidates and elected officials about the major management and budget challenges facing a new administration and Congress.

The process began with the establishment of a steering committee, coordinated by NAPA Board Member and ASPA President, Paul Posner. The committee features both NAPA Fellows and ASPA Members, and was assembled specifically to address nine areas of interest at ASPA’s annual March conference. The steering committee was then expanded to bring in others with a strong history and background on the Presidential transition process.

As stated above, we hope this website will serve as a forum for participation and commentary. If you would like to submit a commentary for publication in the series, please send your submission to memosproject@napawash.org.  We also invite you to comment on the any individual Memoranda on the site itself. We look forward to your participation on this exciting project.