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New director launches next era for School of Public Affairs

August 30, 2013

ASU's School of Public Affairs has selected Karen Mossberger as its new director, bringing with her a national reputation as a scholar focused on the use of technology to enhance local government and citizen engagement. 

Mossberger comes from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was a professor of public administration, leader of the Department of Public Administration and previously associate dean with the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

Heralding her appointment, Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, noted, “Dr. Mossberger’s substantive expertise and vision for the field fit perfectly with the strengths the school has established in urban management, policy informatics, participatory governance and public administration.”

Mossberger said ASU’s School of Public Affairs appealed to her “as a place that’s changing both the theory and practice of public administration and public policy with cutting-edge research and teaching.” It is the practical and innovative application of that knowledge she finds most impressive.

“SPA stands out for its local and national partnerships with practitioners who are committed to transformation and innovation in public service. The faculty, staff and students I have met are full of enthusiasm and energy, with so many possibilities for having even greater social and scholarly impact in the future,” she said.

Mossberger, who is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics, is the author of several books, including her most recent, "Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity" (Oxford University Press, fall 2012), co-authored with Caroline Tolbert and William Franko.

Mossberger takes over the SPA director post from Koppell, who served a dual-role since his appointment as the College of Public Program's top administrator in October 2011. With the key appointment, Koppell now can focus his full attention on advancing one of the nation’s best colleges devoted to public service with top programs in criminology and criminal justice, nonprofit leadership and management, social work and community development.

For more information about the ASU School of Public Affairs, visit