Dr. F. Stevens (Steve) Redburn is a distinguished lecturer, budget advisor, and authority on financial management, government performance, budgeting processes, and public policy with over 25 years of experience as a senior government official in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to his government career, he directed the Center for Urban Studies at Youngstown State University in Ohio.
As a Senior Executive in the Executive Office of the President (OMB), Steve Redburn advised the President and his senior staff on all aspects of budget, policy, legislation, program design and performance, and regulations concerning major Federal agencies and programs. He provided options and analyses for policy, regulation, management, and spending in the areas of housing, housing finance, economic development, community development, and urban policy. From 2002 to 2006, he participated with many other OMB staff in developing and administering the PART program assessment tool as a basis for budgeting. In 2006, he received the lifetime government service award from NeighborWorks America. In 2020, he was presented with the Howard Career Achievement Award by the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management.
Following his retirement from federal government service in 2006, Dr. Redburn has held a variety of positions, both in the U.S. and internationally, as follows:
• From 2004 to the present, professorial lecturer in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, where he teaches the capstone graduate course on the federal budget, including policies for spending and revenues. (Has recently developed and has offered an on-line version of this course.)
• From 2014 to 2019, directed and participated in various fiscal studies for the Centers on the Public Service, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. In that role, led research on reform of the federal government’s budget process, with other members of the National Budgeting Roundtable, supported by the Hewlett Foundation, conducted research with Paul Posner and others on European fiscal politics supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, and with Posner developed a multi-media on-line collection of resources on the federal budget process, Fiscal Guardians.
• April 2017 – 2019, consultancy to the World Bank, including three weeks in 2017 in the Ministry of Finance, Jakarta, Indonesia, designing spending reviews for health, education, and infrastructure and two weeks in 2019 conducting advanced training in spending reviews and budgeting, 2018 – 2019; prepared paper on “thematic program spending performance reviews” translated for use by the Government of Indonesia in the budget process, August 2019.
• April 2019 – expert advisor to the International Monetary Fund, participating in a four-day workshop in Ministry of Finance, Beijing China, on “performance budgeting” and “spending reviews” to describe U.S. processes and join IMF, U.K., and Canadian experts in offering advice to the Chinese government.
• September 2020 – June 2021 – study panel chair and co-author, National Marine Fisheries budget structure and allocation review, for the National Academy of Public Administration.
• October 2018 – September 2019 – study panel member and co-author, organizational assessment of the research & development function, U.S. Forest Service, for the National Academy of Public Administration.
• November – December 2014, expert advisor for Particip/GIZ, preparing guidelines for macroeconomic and fiscal reporting for the Ministry of Finance, Government of Ghana, Accra.
• January to May 2013, visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College graduate public management program in Adelaide Australia. In 2010 and 2011, he was an adjunct professor of Carnegie Mellon University’s program in Adelaide, where he taught in the fall of 2010 and offered a course in performance management in June 2011. That month, he also spoke at the Australian National University in Canberra on the U.S. fiscal challenge.
• In 2010 and 2011, project director for the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., where he supervised preparation of the Commission’s December 2010, report, Getting Back in the Black, recommending comprehensive reform of the U.S. federal government budget process, and edited a series of papers on additional reform options in 2011.
• From 2008 to May 2014, scholar and study director for the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Directed a study of high rates of incarceration in the U.S. in 2013-2014 and co-edited the final report published in May 2014. Directed a study of budgeting for U.S. immigration enforcement in 2010-2011 and co-edited the study report, published in December 2011.
• In 2008-2009, directed a study of the fiscal future of the U.S. for National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), developing and assessing spending, revenue, and process reform options to put the U.S. on a sustainable budget path; the final study report, Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future, was published in November, 2009.
• From January to August 2007, Senior Budget Advisor on the USAID Kosovo V project, where he assisted the Ministry of Finance and Economy on a range of issues and advised Kosovo’s budget director and staff on program budgeting and improved budget procedures, including development and use of performance information.
• In 2009 led a USAID team that evaluated the Kosovo VI project, Pristina, Kosovo.
In 2002, Dr. Redburn was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He was elected to two terms on the Academy’s board of directors, 2013 – 2019, and served as Treasurer in 2015-16. In 2011 and 2012, he chaired NAPA’s standing panel on executive organization and management. In 2008, he authored a working paper for NAPA on budgeting practice for fragile states. In 2007-2008, he directed a National Academy of Public Administration study for the Department of Veterans Affairs on improved service and health care for returning war veterans that developed a general model for performance-driven change in public agencies. He is co-author with K. Newcomer of an Academy white paper on how to improve the performance of federal programs, which was prepared for the most recent Presidential transition and presented to the Obama OMB transition team. In December 2008, he briefed the Obama VA transition team on findings and recommendations of NAPA’s report on how to improve services for war veterans. In 2012 and again in 2016, he helped steer the joint NAPA-ASPA Memos to National Leaders project; in 2016, he co-authored three memos to the President and leaders of the next Congress presenting options to strengthen government performance and reform the federal budget process. He is a member of two working groups addressing Grand Challenges to Public Administration for NAPA, which produced recommended actions for the 2020 Presidential cycle.
As an international consultant, prior to his work in Kosovo, Ghana, and Indonesia, Dr. Redburn served in Russia as Advisor-in-Residence for the Office of Control, President of the Russian Federation, where he advised on structures and functions of oversight bodies in 1993. In 1994, he taught seminars in Yekaterinburg and Saratov on federal structure and intergovernmental finance. In 2006, at the request of the Government of Colombia, he chaired a NAPA panel and co-authored a paper outlining a performance accountability model and strategy for that country. In recent years he has worked internationally as a short-term consultant in Accra, Ghana for the German development agency, in Indonesia for the World Bank, and in Beijing as an expert for the International Monetary Fund.
Some recent activities:
• In March 2010, was an expert consultant to the OECD Senior Budget Officers advisory group meeting on accrual budgeting and long-term fiscal planning, Paris.
• In January 2012, consulted with Indonesian government officials and addressed an international seminar on performance budgeting in Jakarta, discussing U.S. experience with performance assessment.
• In April 2013, lectured at the Taiwan National Academy of the Civil Service on how to help public managers think strategically and keynoted a panel at the National Open University in Taipei on government performance and civic engagement.
• In May 2013, presented to the Strategy and Delivery Division of the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet of the Australian Government in Canberra on the U.S. fiscal challenge.
• In June 2014, presented a paper on emerging strategic management networks in the U.S. federal government at the Transatlantic Dialogue 10 meeting in Lugano Switzerland and reviewed and commented on papers on the financial crisis at the International Congress of the IIAS in Ifrane, Morocco.
• From 2014 to present, member of the National Budgeting Roundtable, a group of leading budget experts in Washington, D.C., with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In July 2014, his paper on principles for a reformed federal budget process was delivered to the Roundtable and presented at the Western Economic Association International meeting in Denver, Colorado. Presented paper on “Budgeting for National Goals” at the American Political Science Association meeting in San Francisco, September, 2015.
• In 2016, served on the steering committee, joint project of National Academy of Public Administration and ASPA for the 2016 Presidential transition.
• In June 2016, presented a paper on the politics of fiscal austerity at the Transatlantic Dialogue 12 conference in Ghent, Belgium.
• On July 6, 2016, testified before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, on alternative approaches to federal budgeting.
• June 2014 to present, participant in the National Budgeting Roundtable at the Brookings
Institution: In October 2016, presented ideas for federal budget process reform at the Brookings Institution / NAPA conference on budgeting reform. Authored and presented papers and policy briefs on various budget process reform ideas.
• In 2016, organized and chaired the regular meetings of the Government Performance Coalition, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
• In April 2017, conducted seminars for senior staff of Director-General for Budget, Indonesia Ministry of Finance, Jakarta, on budget and policy issues and program assessment processes for health, education, and infrastructure, advised on design of spending reviews and role of budget analysts in the U.S.
• Participant in research by a special panel of National Academy of Public Administration fellows and co-author of the panel’s report on organizational health and government performance.
• Participant in special NAPA panel assessing the Administration’s reform and reorganization proposals for the Office of Management and Budget, September 2018 – January 2019.
• In January 2019, conducted seminars for senior staff of the Ministry of Finance and Bappenas (development planning ministry) of the Government of Indonesia, Jakarta, on use of spending reviews and related processes to accelerate a major Presidential initiative to reduce stunting and malnutrition in young children; co-authored paper for the World Bank describing and proposing use of spending reviews to inform budget and management improvements for this and other thematic programs of the Government.
• In April 2019, served as an expert for the International Monetary Fund and traveled to Beijing to present in the Ministry of Finance on the U.S. use of performance information in the budget process and to offer advice on use of spending reviews as part of the budget process for China.
• September 2019, guest lecturer on federal budget process and institutions for the National Academy of Medicine to the new class of health policy fellows, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
• October 4-5, 2019, invited participant in international workshop on public spending and fiscal constitutions at Nuffield College, Oxford, co-author of a workshop paper on “Spending Reviews as an Emerging Feature of Budget Processes”
• December 12, 2019, conducted in-house day long course on ‘communicating with busy policy officials’ for the World Bank HQ budget staff.
• August 2020, co-editor and co-author of The Office of Management & Budget: An Insider’s Guide (PDF), written by former OMB executives for the White House Transition Project.
• June 2015 – February 2020, comparative study of European fiscal policy and policies, with Tonya Neaves Thornton, George Mason University, conducting interviews and writing case studies of France, Italy, Portugal and the U.K., with implications for the U.S., funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation; final report and book manuscript in draft.
• October 2020 – June 2021, chaired NAPA study panel, National Marine Fisheries Service Budget Structure and Allocation Review, final report co-author.
• June 2021,100th Anniversary Celebration of the 1921 Budget and Accounting Act, presenter on Congress and executive branch roles in budget process and moderator, panel on reimagining the federal budget process.
Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Political Science, 1970.
B.A., Pennsylvania State University, English, 1966.
Professorial Lecturer, George Washington University, School of Public Policy and Public Administration, 2004 – Present. Teaching advanced graduate course on the federal government’s budget institutions and processes. Developed and taught on-line version of the course in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021.
Director, Fiscal Studies, George Mason University, Centers on the Public Service, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. 2014 – 2017. Directed projects to develop new ideas for reforming the federal budget process, to study comparative fiscal politics in Europe, and to develop a multi-media collection of video interviews, documents, and other materials to support study of federal budgeting.
Consultant, The World Bank, U.S. and Indonesia, April 2017 to December 2019. Developed report and recommendations on design and conduct of spending reviews in selected priority policy areas for Ministry of Finance, DG Budget, in Jakarta, Indonesia, and advised on parliamentary budget engagement.
Expert, International Monetary Fund, Fiscal Affairs, April 2019. Presented on performance-informed budgeting and spending reviews practices in the U.S. at an IMF-organized workshop in the Chinese Ministry of Finance, Beijing, and offered advice to the Ministry on international best practices.
Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon Heinz College, Adelaide Australia, 2010 – 2014. Taught graduate courses on public policy analysis and strategic planning and lectured on strategic budget challenges and performance management, fall 2010 and summer 2011. Lectured on U.S. government and political leadership to students of the CMU-University of Adelaide U.S. advanced study tour, summer 2014.
Study Director, National Academy of Sciences, 2008 – 2014. Directed study of the fiscal future of the United States, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and co-edited report for joint study committee of NAS and the National Academy of Public Administration, Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future, presenting alternative scenarios and policy options for long-term budget sustainability, published late 2009. Directed study of the U.S. immigration enforcement system as mandated by Congress, to improve resource estimation for Department of Justice components of the system and co-edited final report, Budgeting for Immigration Enforcement, A Path to Better Performance, December 2011. Directed study of high rates of incarceration in the U.S. for the National Institute of Justice and the MacArthur Foundation; co-edited final report, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, April 2014.
Project Director, Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform, 2010—2011. Led preparation of report, Getting Back in the Black, presenting the Commission’s recommendations for comprehensive U.S. federal government budget process reform and a series of papers on special topics in budget reform.
Performance Budget Advisor, Kosovo V, BearingPoint, Inc., January –August 2007. Resident advisor to the Ministry on budget issues and procedures, assisting in institutionalizing best budget practice, developing and executing training and individual development plans for budget analysts, advising on analysis of capital spending and reforms to improve future budget execution, participating in development of a medium-term expenditure framework, and advising on procedures for development of the 2008 Kosovo budget.
Project Director, National Academy of Public Administration, July 2006 to January 2007, September 2007 - 2009. Directed study of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ management of care for returning Iraq and Afghan war veterans. Previously directed management studies for the Department of Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration. Researched and prepared papers on budget process for studies of the U.S. federal Judiciary, Administrative Office of the Courts, and NASA’s launch services program at the Cape Canaveral Space Center. Authored working paper on managing and strengthening the budget process in fragile states for the Academy’s “Institutions for Fragile States” project.
Chief, Housing Branch, General Government Programs, Senior Executive Service, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President of USA, May 1993 – April 2006. Led staff responsible for advising the President and his senior staff on all aspects of budget, policy, legislation, and regulations concerning the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies. Provided options and analysis for policy, management, and spending in the areas of housing, economic development, community development, and urban policy.
Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration, 2002 – Present. Chaired panel and advised the Government of Colombia on a national accountability strategy. Co-chair, panel on performance and planning for the National Marine Sanctuaries program, 2006. Chair, panel on evaluation of NOAA’s habitat matrix program, 2008. Chair, standing panel on executive organization and management, 2001 – 2012, and co-author of panel white paper on strengthening Presidential management of the federal executive branch. Elected in 2013 to the Academy’s board of directors. Academy Treasurer, 2015 – 2016. Author of two books for the Academy, including a volume on managing and budgeting for performance.
Advisor in residence, Office of Control, President of the Russian Federation, Moscow, May 1993. USIA exchange program, exchanges on structure and functions of OMB and other control bodies in the U.S. and Russia. Consulting and lecturing in Russia (Yekaterinburg, Saratov, Moscow), 1994, USIA exchange program. Provided training on federal structure and intergovernmental finance.
Senior Economist, Special Studies/Economics & Government, Office of Management and Budget, 1986 – 1993. Analyzed causes and estimated budgetary costs and prepared options for dealing with a major financial crisis in the U.S. savings and loan industry. Co-authored a chapter of the Department of Treasury’s 1993 report on deposit insurance reform.
Senior Research Analyst, Office of Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research; U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, 1980 – 1986. Led evaluations of major programs for public housing, mortgage finance, and economic development. Briefed senior policy officials on options to strengthen these programs.
Director, Center for Urban Studies, Youngstown State University, 1976 – 1980. Developed an interdisciplinary program of applied research and leadership training for the metropolitan region. Worked with local and State officials to respond to an economic crisis, analyzed the community impacts of steel mill closings, and developed alternatives to restore lost employment.
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Youngstown State University, 1970 – 1976. Developed and taught courses in political science.
Reading knowledge of French and Italian.