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Amanda Girth

Associate Professor, Director of Washington Studies


Policymakers increasingly turn to third parties to deliver public services through outsourcing, contracting, public-private partnerships and other market-based techniques. For scholars of public administration, the imperative is to better understand the accountability dynamics in third-party governance structures, especially those related to the contract implementation process. Dr. Amanda Girth researches implementation issues and accountability challenges in third-party governance. She studies the strategies that front-line public managers utilize to manage their contracts, contract markets and various constituencies. She examines how public managers design and implement performance incentives to motivate contractor behavior. She also analyzes inclusion policies that target underrepresented groups in order to understand the impact of such acquisition policies on purchasing agencies and suppliers.

Girth received her doctorate in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at American University. She has a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University, where she specialized in management decision-making. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration and policy from Oakland University.

For over a decade, she worked, taught and studied in Washington, D.C. Prior to her academic appointments, she was a manager in a global management consulting firm overseeing information technology transformation initiatives for clients such as the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development. She is an expert in project management and she has been a certified Project Management Professional since 2004. Her career began with an internship in Michigan state government that later turned into her first full-time job. She worked in both the executive and legislative branches and, among other activities, advanced policy initiatives associated with disability, civil rights and women’s issues.

Her research on government contracting and accountability challenges in third-party governance is published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Public Administration Review, International Public Management Journal, and Administration & Society, among other outlets. Her research on federal contracting has been funded by the U.S. Department of the Navy and the National Center for the Middle Market. She was awarded the 2011 Leonard D. White Award for the best dissertation in public administration from the American Political Science Association.

She was recently appointed as an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (2021-2023). She is involved with a number of professional associations, and serves on the editorial board for Perspectives on Public Management & Governance.

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.