Welcome Professor Sanjay Pandey, Shapiro Chair of Public Policy and Public Administration

August 21, 2014

“Being open to new ideas and possibilities led me to studying public management, which remains an enduring passion” said Professor Sanjay Pandey. 

When Professor Pandey entered college in India, he had the opportunity of a lifetime to study engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IITK).   While he was a studying at IITK, Professor Pandey discovered that he was fascinated by the humanities and social sciences courses, especially sociology.  He pursued this interest and joined the interdisciplinary Social Science program at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University where he planned to study science and technology policy.  Yet again, he discovered that he was fascinated even more by the organization and management of public organizations.

The biggest challenge Professor Pandey faces in his work is choosing what to work on.  There are so many fascinating intellectual puzzles in public management, with important practical implications, that it is impossible to follow every promising lead.   “There are too many interesting things to study,” he said. “I know I won’t be able to do everything I’d like to do. Yet I feel an obligation to pursue research that has an impact.  As a ‘public management generalist,’ I am drawn to promising new areas of research.  Just this past year, I initiated research projects on nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurship because I believe that these domains will be increasingly important for realizing and advancing important public purposes. ”

 “Sanjay’s engagement in public policy and public administration made him a stand-out candidate for the Trachtenberg School’s inaugural Shapiro Chair/Professor in Public Policy and Public Administration,” said Dr. Kathryn Newcomer, director of the Trachtenberg School. “His reputation in the field, prolific research and dedication to teaching will contribute to our community in many ways.”

Professor Pandey’s research is respected by others in the field. NASPAA, the global standard in public service education and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) honored Professor Pandey with their Distinguished Research Award in November 2013.  The award selection committee highlighted that his research has been recognized with numerous awards and included in leading collections. Additionally, two of his co-authored articles are included among the Public Administration Review’s 75 most influential articles.  

Professor Pandey believes his research and teaching will be enhanced by his move to the Washington, D.C. area.   “I believe my work will be more exciting by virtue of being in the nation’s capital,” Pandey said. “I hope to convene small workshops to bring together diverse groups of scholars and practitioners who share common areas of expertise but rarely communicate with each other.”

Both teaching and gardening (his favorite non-teaching activity), Professor Pandey recognizes are long-term projects that require patience, eclecticism and a willingness to learn and experiment.  Over the years, his gardens have featured an interesting mix of flowers, berries and vegetables.  Much of his gardening knowledge comes from experiments that worked well, experiments that did not and conversations with fellow gardeners.  He believes that this learning model can be applied to other areas of study as well.  It is a lesson he started learning back in those engineering classes at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, and one he now teaches to students at the Trachtenberg School. 

Professor Sanjay Pandey