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Thom Reilly


Thom Reilly is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and co-director of the Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy at Arizona State University. He is a a former director of ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, a former chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education and a former county manager of Clark County, Nev.

Reilly has held senior administrative positions in Nevada state government, overseeing income-maintenance programs and the statewide child-welfare system. He also was managing principal and founder of the Reilly Group, a Las Vegas-based management-consulting firm, and is former vice president of social responsibility at Caesars Entertainment Inc.

Reilly is the co-author, with Jacqueline S. Salit and Omar H. Ali, of The Independent Voter, published in September 2022. His previous books include The Failure of Governance in Bell, California: Big-Time Corruption in a Small Town, published in 2016, and Rethinking Public Sector Compensation: What Ever Happened to The Public Interest?, published in 2012.

A fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, Reilly received his master's and doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California. He also earned a master's degree in social work at ASU.

As a new Arizona survey shows, voters want to take the partisanship out of how top state and local election officials are chosen. The system we use now erodes public trust.
They face many a myriad of negative outcomes, ranging from homelessness to involvement with the criminal justice system and unplanned pregnancies. But one county’s approach shows promise in helping these youth build better lives.
When partisans include independents in their networks, they’re less likely to live in alternative media realities and more likely to moderate their views, a new study suggests. There’s a role for elected officials and the media in bringing independents into the conversation.
Allowing municipal employees to conduct union business while on the clock is widespread. It could use a dose of transparency.
Few cities and counties have taken the steps they should to get these costs under control.
Too few local governments are taking advantage of a valuable tool: benchmarking compensation among their public- and private-sector peers.
Traditional public pensions widen the public-private pay gap, and they aren't a good fit for a younger government workforce.