About the Center for The Business of Government: Connecting Research to Practice


About the Center for The Business of Government: Connecting Research to Practice

Monday, August 5th, 2013 - 10:14

Our mission

The IBM Center for The Business of Government connects research to practice, applying scholarship to real world issues and decisions for government. The Center stimulates research and facilitates discussion of new approaches to improving the effectiveness of government at the federal, state, local, and international levels.

The Center’s publications focus on major management issues facing governments today, including the use of technology and social media, financial management, human capital, performance and results, risk management, innovation, collaboration, and transformation. Our intent is to spark creativity in addressing pressing public sector challenges—crafting new ways of improving government by identifying trends, ideas, and best practices in public management that can help government leaders respond more effectively to their mission and management priorities.

Since its creation in 1998, the Center has awarded research stipends to public management researchers in the academic and non-profit communities that have resulted in nearly 350 reports - all of which are available on the Center’s website.



What we offer


Research Reports

The Center has commissioned over 350 reports that focus on major issues facing all governments today. Topics include acquisition, collaboration, transparency, healthcare, performance, innovation, leadership, risk, security, and technology.

The Business of Government Hour

Every week the Center interviews leaders who are changing the way government does business. Over 520 government executives have been interviewed about their careers, agency accomplishments and management, and the future of government in the 21st century. 

Past guests include Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Operating Officers, and Commissioners from a range of federal agencies as well as state and local government executives. Tune in on Federal News Radio WFED 1500AM weekdays Monday at 11 a.m., Friday at 1 p.m., and Wednesdays at noon as available. Or, you can download interviews and read the program transcripts on our site.

The Business of Government Magazine

Published twice a year, the Business of Government magazine offers leadership profiles and fresh perspectives on government today.


The Business of Government – A range of voices from the Center, academe, and IBM business practitioners examine issues facing public managers as they work to accomplish their missions. The blog looks at the evolution of the Obama administration’s new transparency initiatives and the challenges of performance and collaboration in the workplace.

Strategies to Cut Costs and Improve Performance – This archive includes a variety of bloggers within IBM that provided specific strategies that federal agencies could undertake to achieve savings in operational functions. A brief description of each cost-saving strategy is presented along with other helpful references such as case studies (in both the government and private sector), articles, and other web resources.

Implementing Health Care Reform – This archive includes the writings of Don Kettl, Dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Through this blog, Kettl and featured guests discussed emerging challenges such as enrolling some 16 million new Medicaid and SCHIP applicants, establishing state insurance exchanges, and finding enough doctors and nurses to meet the needs of a growing aging population. His first post was April 2010 and the last on our website was July 2012.  Subsequent posts are located on the University of Maryland website.

Implementation of the Recovery Act for State and Local Government, Cost Cutting, Education, and Performance – This archive includes the voices of Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene.  They began writing for the IBM Center for The Business of Government on their blog covering the Implementation of the Recovery Act. Their first post was in March 2010 and the last of their almost 200 posts appeared in December 2010. Barrett and Greene also write about Performance and Cost Cutting measures in a column on our website. View their previous blog posts and columns.


Our books explore new approaches to improving the effectiveness of government at the federal, state, and local levels. They provide cutting-edge knowledge to government leaders, academics, and students about the management of government in the 21st century.

Research Stipends

Research Announcement

The aim of the IBM Center is to tap into the best minds in academe and the nonprofit sector who can use rigorous public management research and analysis to produce reports with practical advice and insight for public sector executives and managers to improve the effectiveness of government. We are looking for very practical findings and recommendations - not just theory or concepts - in order to assist executives and managers to more effectively respond to mission and management challenges. Learn more or apply online.



Visiting Fellows

The IBM Center occasionally hosts Fellows from other organizations to enhance our ability to help government in emerging areas.  Our current Fellows are Patrick Lester and Praja Trivedi. 

  • Patrick Lester works with the Social Innovation Research Center, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that prepares reports on highly effective government programs and nonprofits. Mr. Lester will highlight progress in the field of evidence-based decisionmaking and will develop case studies of specific initiatives underway in states, localities, nonprofits, and the federal government. Read more about Mr. Lester. 
  • Professor Praja Trivedi is a Senior Fellow (Governance) and an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business and is the Faculty Chair for the Management Programme in Public Policy. In addition, he is a Visiting Economics Faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Professor Trivedi will highlight government performance management with a focus on other countries' programs, best practices, and challenges.  Read more about Mr. Trivedi.

Visiting Fellows write blogs and reports on their field of interest to share important insights with our colleagues and stakeholders across government, industry, and academia.

Former Government Executives Council

In addition to our Visiting Fellows, we also benefit from the perspectives of multiple leaders who formerly served in senior positions at the Federal, State and local level. Given the breadth and depth of their experience, the Center has partnered with a council of advisors who bring this insight: the Former Government Executives Council (FGEC).

Members of the FEGC offer innovative ideas to improve government based on their past and extensive experience in government. They provide thought leadership that draws on lessons learned and effective practice developed during their careers in government.

Good Government Community

The Center is a part of a growing "Good Government" community, which is comprised of organizations that make it their mission to improve the effectiveness of government.