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GovLoop Advisory Board #4 – Steve Kelman

I mentioned earlier this week, we are launching a GovLoop Advisory Board to help us make GovLoop more awesome. For more information, click here.
#1 – Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist
#2 – Bill Bott, former Missouri Deputy CIO
#3 – Anthony Williams, Consultant and Best-Selling co-Author of Wikinomics
And drum roll for Day 4, please…it’s Steve Kelman, Harvard professor in Kennedy School of Goverment and guru on organizational change, procurement, public policy and many other topics around government. Below is what he had to say when I was able to catch up with him. Check out his GovLoop Profile, too.

I am a professor of public management at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and have been on the faculty there for 31 years, but I don’t feel nearly that old! I teach and do research about improving the performance of government organizations, and am especially interested in procurement and performance measurement as a performance improvement tool. I am lucky to teach master’s students who are considering careers in public service – and federal government managers in executive education programs. My students are THE BEST!!!!! I am also interested in improving the quality of scholarly research about government management, and am the editor of an academic journal, The International Public Management Journal. And I have a blog, The Lectern, on public management and related (or unrelated) issues.

Finally, during my 31 years at Harvard, I went on leave twice, for a total of 6 years, to work in government. In 1980-81, I worked as a GS-15 at the Federal Trade Commission, and between 1993-97 I was a political appointee in the Clinton Administration, as Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, working to improve the procurement system as part of the “reinventing government” initiative.

I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a long time, and I’ve cared about government for a long time. The latter I think I learned from my parents, who both appreciated, as immigrants, the positive role government can play in people’s lives. The former is probably because I was a nerdy kid who liked school himself!

I’ve spent a fair amount of time outside the US, and love foreign languages. My weirdest skill is that I speak (pretty fluent) Swedish – have read the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and its followup novels in the original Swedish – and also do ok speaking French and German. Currently, I’m working on learning Chinese – and would appreciate advice from GovLoop Chinese speakers or learners.

I am generally a technodinosaur – I don’t text or hardly even use a cellphone!! – but my one area of technocoolness is that I love social media. I am very active on Facebook and really enjoy using it. I am SO HAPPY we now have a great social media site, GovLoop, for government folks. This is particularly important as a new generation of young people come in to renew and help our government.

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John Moore

Outstanding to see a great group supporing this very important site and its efforts. Thank you and welcome aboard.

Amanda Blount

AWESOME choice!! I am so glad we are “friends” on here and on Facebook. I love reading about your travels. 🙂 And of course your articles.

Andrea Schneider

Welcome and I’m totally impressed. No question you will add so much to our discussions and direction. Thank you for being part of this group of special people.

Kitty Wooley

Steve, I enjoyed your introduction immensely. “Technodinosaur” made me laugh – it’s not a word I would use to describe you, based on The Lectern!

Hirokazu Okumura

Dear Professor, I am promoting to Japanese government officials to use social media more to interact with people and among themselves. Thank you.
Project Professor, GrasPP the University of Tokyo