The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) recently elected University of New Mexico Regents’ Professor Mario A. Rivera a Fellow of the Academy.

Dr. Rivera is the first UNM faculty member elected a NAPA Fellow since former UNM President and School of Public Administration founder Dr. Ferrel Heady. The stated criterion for election is a sustained and outstanding contribution to the field of public administration through public service and scholarship.

“I now understand what people mean when they say ‘This is a humbling honor,” said Dr. Rivera. “I will do my best to represent well both the University and the School of Public Administration at the National Academy of Public Administration. This is all part of the great legacy of the late Ferrel Heady, who was a major force in the creation of NAPA.”

Mario Rivera
Regents’ Professor Mario A. Rivera

Among prospective projects, Dr. Rivera will work on the Standing Panel on Social Equity in Governance, which focuses on issues of social justice, civil rights, and inclusion in varied public contexts, including education, policing, social welfare, housing, and transportation. “I see my work there, with the Standing Panel in particular, as an extension of my advocacy efforts through the UNM Diversity Council and the Division for Equity and Inclusion,” Dr. Rivera said. “I have been elected in large part in recognition of that work, as well as for scholarship undertaken during my 25 years with SPA.”

NAPA is one of two organizations (the other the National Academy of Sciences) chartered by Congress to serve the public interest and the advancement of knowledge. It is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization aimed at assisting all levels of government in building more effective, accountable, and transparent organizations. Its Fellows are leaders in the profession—former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, prominent scholars, business executives, and public managers. With expertise in a wide range of administrative functions, they carry out critical public policy and administration studies and projects. 

Recent Fellows have included President Barack Obama, Donna Shalala (former Secretary of Health and Human Services), Colin Powell (former Secretary of State), and scholars James Perry, Robert Agranoff, Barbara Romzek, and Susan Gooden.

Directed primarily by Congress and executive branch agencies seeking guidance with complex, applied management problems, the Academy provides a full range of advisory services to federal departments, with a particular focus on organizational assessments, policy and program evaluation, performance measurement, strategy development, implementation support, technical assistance, and stakeholder outreach and collaboration.

For more information, visit NAPA.