April 19, 2021

Event Recap | Dean’s Forum on Race & Public Policy: Leading and Managing Anti-Racist Organizations

At the heart of the Evans School’s mission is a call to host community conversations that support and inspire public leaders, and our Dean’s Forum events have focused on the intersection of race and public policy. The series continued with a live conversation between Dr. Susan Gooden, Dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dr. Jodi Sandfort, Dean of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington, as they discussed ways to advance anti-racist public administration and management.


Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., is dean and professor of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an internationally recognized expert on social equity. Gooden is an elected fellow of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration and is past president of the American Society for Public Administration.

» Read more

She is the Vice-President of the Network of Associated Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Her books include Global Equity in Administration (2020); Why Research Methods Matter (2018, Melvin and Leigh); Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government (2014, Routledge); and Cultural Competency for Public Administrators (2012, Routledge). Her research has been funded by several organizations including the Russell Sage Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, MDRC, and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Gooden has received several honors including the 2021 Charles H. Levine Award for Excellence in Public Administration presented jointly by ASPA and NASPAA, the Herbert Simon Best Book Award presented by the American Political Science Association and the Jewel Prestage Pioneer Award from the Conference of Minority Public Administrators. She received a Fulbright Specialist Award to Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Gooden was appointed to the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, the accrediting arm of the Network of Associated Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration. She has previously served as an elected member to the national policy council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She was appointed to the Virginia Community College System board and served as board chair. She currently serves on the board of the Virginia Retirement System. A native of Martinsville & Henry County, Virginia, Gooden earned an A.S. in Natural Science from Patrick Henry Community College, a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech, and an M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech. She received her doctorate from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

» Collapse

Dr. Jodi Sandfort joined the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance as dean in January 2021. Formerly a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, her work focuses on improving the implementation of social policy, particularly those policies designed to support low-income children and their families.

» Read more

She is the founder and academic director of the Hubert Project, a global community focused on improving professional education and effectiveness through development and sharing of multimedia learning materials, such as e-cases, e-studies, and video briefs. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Public Administration, a distinguished honor recognizing her innovative leadership in the field.

For six years she directed the human services program at the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis, where she managed a portfolio of $20 million in annual giving. Sandfort has served as a Family Self-Sufficiency Scholar funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation. In 2015, she was the co-chair of the Public Management Research Association conference, hosting scholars from around the world in Minneapolis. She has also worked as a senior strategy consultant with the Bush Foundation and special assistant to the President of the University of Minnesota.

Sandfort is the author of books, many academic articles, book chapters, and reports for policymakers and practitioners about social welfare system design, organizational effectiveness, early childhood education, welfare reform, nonprofit management, and research methodology. She is currently on the editorial boards of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and the Journal of Public Affairs Education.

She has worked as a consultant with national and statewide foundations, think tanks, and other nonprofit human service organizations. She has provided leadership coaching, executive development, and organizational development services to nonprofit, philanthropic, and public organizations. She has accepted academic appointments solely in professional schools because they are promising sites for scholar-practitioner dialogue.

» Collapse