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Robert Denhardt

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Emeritus Professor

Robert B. Denhardt is Regents and Emeritus Professor, and has served as Lattie and Elva Coor Presidential Chair, Lincoln Professor of Leadership and Ethics, and director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. He is also a distinguished visiting scholar at the University of Delaware.

Professor Denhardt is a past president of the American Society for Public Administration, a nationwide organization of academics and practitioners in the field of public administration at all levels of government. He was the founder and first chair of ASPA's National Campaign for Public Service, an effort to assert the dignity and worth of public service across the nation. He is also a member of the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration, the field's equivalent of the National Academy of Science. He was the 2004 recipient of ASPA's Dwight Waldo Award, celebrating lifetime achievement in scholarship in public administration.

Denhardt has published 21 books, including "The New Public Service," "Managing Human Behavior in Public and Nonprofit Organizations," "The Pursuit of Significance," "In the Shadow of Organization," "Theories of Public Organization," "Public Administration: An Action Orientation," "Executive Leadership in the Public Service," "The Revitalization of the Public Service" and "Pollution and Public Policy." He has published more than 100 articles in professional journals, primarily in the areas of public administration theory and organizational behavior, especially leadership and organizational change. His latest book (with Janet Denhardt) is "The Dance of Leadership."

Prior to joining the faculty at ASU, Denhardt was the Charles P. Messick Professor of Public Administration at the University of Delaware. He previously taught at the universities of Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, New Orleans and Central Florida. He has held several major administrative positions in these universities, serving as vice provost at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia in 1990.

Denhardt has also been a consultant to various public and private organizations, including public universities, primarily in the areas of strategic planning, leadership and organization development, productivity improvement, and quality service. He was appointed by Governor Kit Bond to chair the Missouri Governor's Advisory Council on Productivity and was re-appointed by Governor John Ashcroft.

Denhardt is a native of Kentucky and received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 1968.


Ph.D. University of Kentucky 1968

Research Interests: 

Leadership and Ethics; Organizational Change

Research Activity: