Dr. Katherine Willoughby seeks to promote improved budgeting and financial management practices in the public sector. Her primary focus of research is on state government budgetary and fiscal management. Her book, Policy and Politics in State Budgeting, coauthored with Dr. Kurt Thurmaier, examines the relationship between budgeting and policy development as seen through the eyes of analysts employed in executive budget offices in 11 American state governments in the South and Midwest. Currently, Willoughby is a grading team leader in the area of MONEY for the 2005 Government Performance Project, a national effort funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, through the University of Richmond, to assess the management capacity of the American States. Results from the most recent survey are available at www.results.gpponline.org.
Willoughby has also conducted several studies about local government budgeting and management practices. Her recent research in this area examines the decision making activities of government budget analysts in three American cities. Other research and applied projects include collaboration with GASB regarding the study of state government performance measurement applications and reforms; assessment of the development of statewide immunization registries and their implications for individual privacy; and assistance with the development of an applied knowledge assessment tool for local government managers. Her most recent training initiatives include a two-week session for government budget and finance officers from Thailand regarding the budget and finance practices of governments in the United States.