Morgen Johansen

The Master of Public Administration Program (PUBA) in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been awarded accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Accredited for a period of seven years, PUBA joins NASPAA’s expansive network of more than 195 accredited graduate programs in public service that span the United States and 14 countries.

NASPAA accreditation is the global standard for graduate-level public service education and involves a rigorous peer-review process open to programs across the globe. The process requires years of self-study, peer review, and a demonstrated commitment to mission, public service values, student learning, and continuous improvement. Accredited programs are leaders in public service education, graduating public servants that connect knowledge to practice and impact public service across sectors.

“This accreditation now formally establishes the PUBA Program at UH Mānoa as the leader in training public service leaders in Hawaiʻi and the Asia Pacific Region,” said Hawaiʻi State Representative Roy Takumi, a PUBA alumnus and long-standing member of its advisory board.

Energizing institutions and increasing leadership

PUBA, which was commended by NASPAA for its strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and the traditions of Hawaiʻi, is a graduate-level program dedicated to energizing public institutions and organizations, enriching civic culture, and increasing leadership capacity through teaching, research and service in Hawaiʻi, the continental U.S. and in the Asia Pacific region. It is committed to building organizational and community collaborations for creative problem-solving and fostering connections between participants and change agents.

Hawaiʻi’s diversity and mixture of cultural traditions offer a rich setting for developing leadership styles. The program brings together participants from a variety of backgrounds to share experiences, uses collaborative teaching to view issues from different perspectives, emphasizes active engagement in classes and continuously applies theory to practice.

“Since 1984, the mission of the Public Administration Program has been to build public leadership, and we have produced more than 600 graduates who work in and contribute to Hawaiʻi’s communities every day. The accreditation of the PUBA Program is recognition of what we have always known—that our students and alumni are a vibrant, effective and relevant force for the public good in Hawaiʻi, across the nation and in the Asia Pacific region,” said Morgen Johansen, associate professor and PUBA director.

PUBA is the only Master of Public Administration Program in Hawaiʻi to be accredited by NASPAA. It currently enrolls nearly 50 students, and hosts a large alumni network of working professionals in federal, state and local public and nonprofit organizations, and international government and non-governmental organizations.

—By Lisa Shirota