The History of Public Administration Service


Public Administration Service (PAS) was chartered in 1933 in the State of Illinois to provide professional management consulting services, applied research, technical assistance, and training to government and quasi-government departments and agencies.  PAS had its origins in the United Statesí New Deal period, though as a Midwest organization, its primary focus was on local government.  This focus provided organization and management consulting services to local governments to assist them in coping with problems that were beyond their capability to solve.  Though the organization worked for all levels of government in the United States, it remained true to its tradition of concern for local government development.

The first President of PAS, Donald Stone, was the founder of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.  He was also instrumental in integrating the Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget) into the Executive Branch.  In a financial sense, this essentially created the modern Presidency.

Another founder of PAS, as well as the second President, was Louis Brownlow, a distinguished New Deal practitioner and academic.  PAS published his book The President and the Presidency in 1949, which was one of the first attempts to define executive government.  PAS continued this research focus throughout its first twenty years, creating a respectable list of published books under its imprint, while being funded exclusively through grants.

In its early years, PASí consulting work was United States. based, focusing on state and local government.  After the Second World War, and particularly by the early 1950s, PAS began to work intensively overseas.  In support of this effort, as early as 1954 PAS published a book entitled Fifty Years of Technical Assistance.  Today, PAS continues to work both within the United States and throughout the world.  The fact that PAS has worked as a public interest group for almost three quarters of a century is an important factor in generating trust and mutual respect with its clients.

H.G. Pope served as President and Executive Director of PAS until the early 1970s.  In 1977, PAS moved its headquarters to Washington DC, and Theodore Sitkoff became President.  Sitkoff served as the President of PAS until April 30, 2002.  During his tenure, he played a major role in internationalizing PAS and restoring it to financial health in the 1980s.  Throughout this period, PAS focused entirely on domestic and international consulting.

PAS has shrunk in size over the past twenty years.  It has moved from an organization in the 1960s that had 70 staff, to one in the early 1990s that had 20 staff.  Currently, PAS has fewer than eight people on some kind of a continuing basis and 25-30 regular consultants who are available on a contract basis.  PAS supplements its capacity by seeking additional consultant strength based on the nature of the task.

Today, PAS is a non-profit organization that is able to compete in a for-profit world.  Since 1933, PAS' scope of services has been broadened to include assistance not only to local governments in the United States, but also to local, state, and federal governments both domestically and internationally.  PAS currently provides professional consulting, technical assistance, and training services to a highly diverse clientele in the United States and throughout the world.

Currently in its 69th year, PAS has carried out more than 2,800 consulting and technical assistance projects in almost every governmental field.  PAS has served more than 1,200 institutions, agencies and jurisdictions; at the local, regional, state, provincial and national levels; both in the United States and other countries.  In addition, PAS has provided consulting services to international organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development, United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank, among others.  Public Administration Service remains committed to excellence in public management and service both in the United States and internationally.