Financial management expert to lead Government Finance Research Center at UIC

Deborah Carroll, director of the Government Finance Research Center at UIC and associate professor of public administration

Deborah Carroll, a public and nonprofit financial management expert, has been named director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois Chicago. Her appointment, which received approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees July 22, becomes effective Aug. 16, 2021.

Carroll joins UIC from the University of Central Florida, where she is an associate professor in the School of Public Administration and the director of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management. Her role at UIC will also include a faculty appointment as associate professor of public administration.

She will succeed the center’s director and founder Michael A. Pagano, dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, who is retiring later this year. 

“For nearly 20 years, I have known Michael Pagano as an adviser, mentor, and friend. It is an honor to have the opportunity to carry on his legacy at the helm of the Government Finance Research Center and continue the important work of the center and its affiliated faculty. It feels like I’m coming back home,” Carroll said.

Carroll’s research focuses on management and policy issues of state and local governments, particularly related to taxation, revenue diversification, and urban economic development, as well as the interconnectedness of the public and nonprofit sectors and the implications for tax policy, nonprofit management and public service provision. She has produced more than 50 academic publications and more than a dozen grant-funded white papers and technical reports.

“Professor Carroll enjoys a national and international reputation for her scholarship in the broad area of state and local government finance. Her energy and vision will most certainly raise the visibility and impact of the center’s work. Deborah is uniquely positioned to bridge academic research and the daily world of budgeting, finance, and taxation. UIC will benefit from her energy, dynamism, and vision,” Pagano said.

Carroll is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, which focuses on providing a connection between the practice and research of public affairs.

In other service to the profession, Carroll has served on the governing boards of the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration (2011-2013) and the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (2006-2008), as editorial board member of the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management (2020-present) and Urban Affairs Review (2009-2011), as associate editor of Public Administration Review (2015-2017), and as treasurer of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (2013-2018).

Before joining UCF in 2017, Carroll was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Georgia. She began her career in public service as a budget and policy analyst for the City of Milwaukee.

Carroll earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy, a master’s degree in public administration, and a doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also received a graduate certificate in state and local taxation from the UWM Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business.

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