Trevor Brown conducts research and teaches on public management and administration, governance, government contracting, public private partnerships, and democracy and democratic transitions.

Professor Brown received his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University and a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University.

He currently serves as the Dean of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University where he has been a faculty member since 2001. He previously held the position of Pasqual Maragall Chair Visiting Professor at the University of Barcelona’s Department of Economic Policy and a Visiting Assistant Professor position in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University. He also served as the U.S. Project Manager and Associate Project Executive for the Parliamentary Development Project, a U.S. Agency for International Development funded organization that provided technical assistance to the Ukrainian parliament from 1994-2013. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

His research focuses on how governments organize to deliver goods and services to citizens, and when governments elect to contract service delivery, how they manage the relationship with the vendor. The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing recognized him as the Scholar of the Year in 2013. The American Society of Public Administration’s Section on Public Administration Research awarded his co-authored book, Complex Contracting: Government Contracting in the Wake of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater Program (Cambridge University Press), as the Book of the Year in 2014. He has published in a variety of journals including Public Administration Review, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

He teaches undergraduate, graduate professional, doctoral and executive education courses on managing public sector organizations, public sector organizational strategy, organizational theory, and democratic transition.

He has also worked with local, state, federal, and foreign governments and public organizations to improve organizational and managerial performance. He has conducted applied research projects for the U.S. Department of the Navy, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, the Pew Center on the States, the City of Columbus, Ohio, the Eurasia Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. His research on government contracting has been utilized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.



Areas of research

  • Public Management and Administration
  • Governance
  • Government Contracting
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Democracy and Democratic Transitions

The book “Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing in the Wake of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater Program” coauthored by Dr. Trevor Brown, Dr. Matt Potoski and Dr. David Van Slyke is extensively cited in a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. Click here to read “Pay for Success: Collaboration among Federal Agencies Would be Helpful as Governments Explore New Financing Mechanisms.”

Trevor Brown, director of the Glenn School, has been elected a Fellow to the National Academy of Public Administration. Founded in 1967, the National Academy of Public Administration is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization established to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Election to the National Academy is one of the highest honors for those engaged in the study or practice of public administration. The Academy’s nearly 800 Fellows including former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, as well as prominent scholars, business executives, and public administrators. » Click here to learn more.

Dr. Trevor Brown’s book “Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing in the Wake of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater Program” has won the Section on Public Administration Research (SPAR) annual book award for public administration scholarship. The SPAR Book Award Selection Committee said the book's “important research, high-quality writing, will have a significant and lasting contribution to the public administration literature, with strong impact on the practice of public administration.” Brown and his co-authors, Matthew Potoski, University of California, Santa Barbara, and David M. Van Slyke, Syracuse University, will be presented their award at the the 2014 ASPA conference in Washington, DC.

Professor Trevor Brown and co-authors Matthew Potoski, David M. Van Slyke have a new book published — Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing in the Wake of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater Program. The book draws on core social science concepts to provide wide-ranging practical advice on how best to manage complex acquisitions. An in-depth analysis of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater program illustrates ways to respond to real-world contracting challenges. This engaging and accessible book has broad applicability and will appeal to policymakers, practitioners, scholars and students. » Click here to learn more

» Analysis: Some long-term contracts put government at a disadvantage. A story on Dr. Brown's fixed-price contract research in Federal Computer Week, a strategy and business management website for government leaders.

» Dr. Brown quoted in Bloomberg News story on profits for U.S. government vendors.

» Dr. Brown featured in The New York Times’ Room for Debate forum.

» Dr. Brown is featured in a Salon.com story on sole-source contracts at the Department of Defense.

» Procurement study for PEW Center on Government.

» Dr. Brown's work work cited by the Office of Management and Budget

Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing in the Wake of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater Program

Complex Contracting draws on core social science concepts to provide wide-ranging practical advice on how best to manage complex acquisitions. Using a strong analytical framework, the authors assess contract management practices, suggesting strategies for improvement and ways to avoid the pitfalls of managing contracts for large and sophisticated projects. An in-depth analysis of the US Coast Guard's Deepwater program is used to illustrate ways to respond to real-world contracting challenges. This engaging and accessible book has broad applicability and will appeal to policymakers, practitioners, scholars and students. Authors: Trevor Brown, Matthew Potoski, David M. Van Slyke » Click here to buy Complex Contracting


Public-Private Partnerships: Infrastructure, Transportation and Local Services

Public–private partnerships (PPPs) are arrangements between government and private actors with the objective of providing public infrastructure, facilities and services. Three fundamental questions frame the use of PPPs at the local level: What do PPPs look like? What gives rise to the use of PPPs? And, what are the outcomes of PPPs? The articles in this book provide insightful answers to these questions. Authors: Germà Bel, Trevor Brown, Rui Cunha Marques » Click here to learn more.




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