Robert Knisely was a senior federal official and deputy director of Vice President Al Gore's Reinventing Government project. During his 30-year career (including 20 years as a senior executive), he held positions with seven Cabinet departments, three independent agencies, a regulatory commission and three presidential task forces. He ran an interagency federal program to fund the development of integrated municipal information systems at HUD. He created the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (one of the 15 national statistical agencies) and a departmental program-evaluation office at the Commerce Department. He has served on both sides of presidential transition teams. He is now an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.

August 5, 2013

How Governments Can Make Better Decisions

System dynamics was invented a half-century ago to use technology to analyze complex industrial processes. It's got a lot of potential for the public sector.
November 20, 2012

Thinking Outside the (Ballot) Box

We shouldn't have to stand in long lines to vote. If Estonians can cast their ballots over the Internet, why can't Americans?
October 30, 2012

The Right Government Tool for the Job

An illuminating book lists 14 "tools of government." The trick is employing them wisely.
October 17, 2011

What Government Can (and Can’t) Learn from Steve Jobs

Much of his distinctive and personal way of managing is a poor fit for the public sector. But there are some lessons in how he led.
August 15, 2011

How Many Governments Do We Need?

America’s web of local governments made sense in the 1600s. For efficiency’s sake, it’s time to rethink that structure.
May 12, 2011

The Secret to StateStat's Success

It is the 'in person' feature of StateStat that sets it apart from other successful performance measurement programs.
March 14, 2011

GAO and the Department of Redundancy

Real increases in both effectiveness and efficiency are waiting to be harvested. This is unlikely to happen, however, if the system isn't driven to do so.
August 23, 2010

Breaking the Tyranny of Rules

If we want more responsive government in an age of disintermediation, we need rules and regulations both tagged and accessible by everyone.
July 29, 2010

In Search of “What Works”

A popular book from the 1980s chronicled the strategies of successful companies. Government leaders today are on a similar quest for effectiveness.
December 23, 2009

Homelessness: Think Strategically, Act Humbly

The problem of homelessness has proven vexing for a long time. There were homeless people before that couple in a stable, and there still are...
October 26, 2009

Not Being There

Organizations - even Federal bureaucracies - are only information and people. The more information becomes mobile, the less people need to be. A December 2008 report...
August 7, 2009

Data to the People - A Tour of DC

The District of Columbia's Apps for Democracy initiative is turning government inside out and upside down. As a long-time resident of the DC area, I...