Don Moynihan

Professor and inaugural McCourt Chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Donald Moynihan is the inaugural McCourt Chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy. His research seeks to improve how government works. He examines the behavioral effects of efforts to improve public sector outcomes through government reform, as well as the administrative burdens people encounter in their interactions with government.

Moynihan has presented his research on public sector performance to policymakers at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the World Bank, OECD, as well as governments all around the world. His writing and research has been cited in President Obama’s budget proposal, OMB policy guidance under President Biden, and media such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Atlantic and other publications.

Prior to joining Georgetown University, Professor Moynihan previously served as the Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a Visiting Professor at Aarhus University and previously at the University of Oxford . He is past president of the Public Management Research Association, and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration.

In 2014, Moynihan was awarded the Kershaw Award, which is provided every two years by Mathematica and the Association of Public Policy and Management to one scholar under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the study of public policy and management.

Journal articles Moynihan has authored have won awards from the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management (2002, 2017), the American Review of Public Administration (2003), Public Administration Review (2007), and Public Administration (2013). Public Administration Review also selected two of his articles on leadership and motivation among the 75 most influential papers in its 75-year history. On three occasions, Moynihan has won the American Society for Public Administration Wholey Award for outstanding scholarship on performance in public and nonprofit organizations (2009, 2011, and 2013). His book on performance management won awards from the American Political Science Association and the Academy of Management, and his 2018 book on administrative burdens received awards from from the National Academy of Public Administration, the American Society of Public Administration, and the Academy of Management. In 2011 he won the National Academy of Public Administration award for scholarship in social equity. Moynihan received the 2012 Distinguished Research Award from ASPA and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

A native of Ireland, Moynihan completed his bachelor of arts degree in public administration at the University of Limerick, and his master's and Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.