Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

John D. Donahue


John D. Donahue is a GOVERNING contributor. He is the Raymond Vernon Lecturer in Public Policy, and faculty chair of the Harvard Kennedy School Case Program and the SLATE teaching initiative. His teaching, writing, and research mostly deal with public sector reform and with the distribution of public responsibilities across levels of government and sectors of the economy, including extensive work with the Harvard Kennedy School-Harvard Business School joint degree program. He has written or edited ten books, including "Disunited States" (1997), "The Privatization Decision" (1989, with four translations 1990-92) and "The Warping of Government Work" (2008). He served in the first Clinton administration as an Assistant Secretary, and then as Counselor to the Secretary of Labor.  A native of Indiana, he holds a BA from Indiana University and an MPP and Ph.D from Harvard.

Don't ask how much the private sector should be involved in government, but how it should be involved.
Transparency isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes, it does actual damage to the public at large.
For years, government's greatest collaborator has been its greatest competitor. Can government and business ever realize a happy ending?
Successful campaigns to alter public behavior share common features.
It's always tempting to seize on the latest fad. But slow, steady change is usually the right idea.
As services are increasingly outsourced to non-profits, John D. Donahue writes, government's role becomes even more important.
Hint: It mostly doesn't happen inside the Beltway.
The risk to the public regarding privatizing public assets seems limited. It's investors who may be in for a few nasty surprises.
Unlike the private sector, the public sector is accountable to multiple stakeholders with different priorities. John D. Donahue provides guidance on managing these competing demands.
As private-sector hiring slows, government has better odds of getting the top talent it so urgently needs.