Areas of Expertise
- Program Evaluation
- Research methods
- Applied statistics
Kathryn Newcomer is a professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University where she teaches graduate level courses on public and nonprofit program evaluation, and research design. She served as the Trachtenberg School director for over 12 years, until July 2019. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and currently serves on the Comptroller General’s Educators’ Advisory Panel. She served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) (2013-2015 and 2016-2018), and as AEA president for 2017. She served as President of the Network of the Association of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) for 2006-2007. She routinely conducts research and training for federal and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations on performance measurement and program evaluation, and has designed and conducted evaluations for many U.S. federal agencies and dozens of nonprofit organizations.
Dr. Newcomer was recently selected by the board of the American Society for Public Administration’s Center for Accountability and Performance to receive the 2021 Joseph Wholey Distinguished Scholarship Award for her scholarly work and lifetime achievement in the areas of performance management, government accountability, and program evaluation.
Dr. Newcomer has published six books, including U.S. Inspectors General: Truth Tellers in Turbulent Times (2020 by Brookings), The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation (4th edition 2015), and over 60 articles in journals including the Public Administration Review and the American Journal of Evaluation. She has received two Fulbright awards, one for Taiwan (1993) and one for Egypt (2001-04). She has lectured on performance measurement and public sector evaluation in Ukraine, Honduras, Canada, Australia, China, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Costa Rica, Egypt, Taiwan, Colombia, Nicaragua, and the UK.
She has served on six Committees of the National Academy of Sciences:
NRC Committee on Approaches for an Evaluation of the NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program (2008);
NRC Review of United States Institute of Peace Senior Fellows Program (2008-09);
NRC Committee on Laboratory Security and Personnel Assurance Systems for Laboratories Conducting Research on Biological Select Agents and Toxins (2009-10);
NRC External Evaluation of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (2010-12);
Review of Specialized Degree-Granting Graduate Programs of the Department of Defense in STEM and Management (2014-17);
Committee on Assessing the Minerva Research Initiative and the Contribution of Social Science to Addressing Security Concerns (2018-19).
She has received many awards for her teaching and service, including: the Peter Vail Award for Excellence in Education,1995; The George Washington Award, 2000; The Elmer Staats Award for Achievement in Government Accountability, awarded by the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, 2008; the Peter Konwerski Award for Service, 2013; the Oscar and Shoshanna Trachtenberg Prize for Service, 2014; and the Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award awarded by NASPAA, 2016.
Dr. Newcomer earned a B.S. in secondary education and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Kansas, and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa.
- Public and nonprofit performance measurement and evaluation
- The role of the U.S. Federal Offices of Inspector General
PhD, Political Science, University of Iowa
MA, Political Science, University of Kansas
BS, Education, University of Kansas
Making Federal Agencies Evidence-Based: The Key Role of Learning. February 2021. Washington, DC: IBM Center for the Business of Government. Co-authored with Nick Hart and Karol Olejniczak.
“Performance: Making Sense of Forests and Trees.” in The Handbook of Theories of Public Administration and Management, edited by Thomas Bryer. New York: Edward Edgar Publisher, 2021. Co-author: Clint Brass.
“Approaches to Improving Performance in Government: Making Sense of Where We’ve Been and What’s Next? in Public Productivity and Performance Handbook,( 3rd ed), edited by Marc Holzer.. New York: Routledge, 2021. Co-Author: Clint Brass.
“Effective Faculty Development.” in Bruce McDonald and William Hatcher, (eds.), The Public Affairs Faculty Manual: A Guide to the Effective Management of Public Affairs Programs, 2020. Co-author: Jasmine Johnson.
“Advancing evaluation practice with serious games.” 2020. American Journal of Evaluation, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1098214020905897 Co-authors: Karol Olejniczak and Sebastiaan Meijer.
“Leading and Learning Through Dynamic Performance Management in Government. 2020. Public Administration Review, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/puar.13126 Co-author: Ioana Munteanu.
“U.S. Inspectors General and the CARES Act: Accountability through Independent Audits, Investigations and Evaluations” in PA Times, Fall 2020 Vol. 6, issue 2 pp 3-5. Co-author: Charles Johnson.
“Accountability and trust in government: what’s next?” Revista da CGU • Volume 12 • Nº 22 • Jul-Dez 2020, pages 344-349.
“Supporting the AEA Mission of Improving Evaluation Practice, Methods, and Use: The Timely Value of a National Academy of Evaluation.” American Journal of Evaluation, 2018, Volume 39 Number 4. Co-author: George Julnes.
“Getting Performance from Performance Management: A Framework for Strategic Management Choices.” 2018. International Journal of Public Administration. Volume 41, Issue 15, pp. 1228-1242. Co-authors: Stuart Kasdin and Burt Barnow.
“Presidential Evidence Initiatives: Lessons from the Bush and Obama Administrations’ Efforts to Improve Government Performance.” Bipartisan Policy Center Technical Paper, February, 2018. Co-author: Nick Hart.
“Forging a Strategic and Comprehensive Approach to Evaluation Within Public and Nonprofit Organizations: Integrating Measurement and Analytics Within Evaluation.” American Journal of Evaluation 37, no. 1 (2016): 80–99. Co-authored with Clint Brass.
“Developing and Sustaining Effective Faculty Mentoring Programs.” Journal of Public Affairs Education (2016): 483–506. Co-authored with Joselynn Fountain.
Balancing Independence and Positive Engagement: How Inspectors General Work with Agencies and Congress. Washington, DC: IBM Center for the Business of Government, 2015. Co-authored with Charles Johnson.
- Body pump and kickboxing
- Elected President of the American Evaluation Association, 2017
- Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award, awarded by NASPPA, 2016
- Elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, 1996.
- Served as President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration(NASPAA) for 2006-2007.
- Elected to the Board of the American Evaluation Association for 2012-2014.
- Distinguished Public Service Award from the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, 1990.
- Fulbright Fellowship, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, Spring, 1993.
- Award from The National Science Council, Republic of China, Spring, 1993.
- Fulbright Award for Bilateral Curriculum Development with Cairo University, 2001-2004.
- Appointments to the Following Committees of the National Academy of Sciences
- NRC Committee on Approaches for an Evaluation of the NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program (2008)
- NRC Review of United States Institute of Peace Senior Fellows Program (2008)
- NRC Committee on Laboratory Security and Personnel Assurance Systems for Laboratories Conducting Research on Biological Select Agents and Toxins (2009)
- NRC External Evaluation of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (2010)
- Review of Specialized Degree-Granting Graduate Programs of the Department of Defense in STEM and Management (2014)
- Committee on Assessing the Minerva Research Initiative and the Contribution of Social Science to Addressing Security Concerns (2017)
- Appointed to the Advisory Committee on Business and Operations of the National Science Foundation, 2008-2014.
- The Elmer Staats Award for Achievements in Government Accountability, awarded by the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, May 8, 2008
Awards within the George Washington University
- Peter Vaill Award for Excellence in Education, December 1995
- The George Washington Award, May 2000
- Elected to the GW Faculty Senate, 2011-2018
- Peter Konwerski Award for Service, May, 2013
- Oscar and Shoshanna Trachtenberg Prize for Service, 2014
PPPA 6016 Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation
PPPA 8101 Research Methods