RDA - Resource Development Associates

“Organizations must learn to continuously respond to the changing environment.”

Roberta Chambers, Psy.D.
Senior Associate


Public Sector Leadership

In the 21st Century

Resource Development Associates has launched an effort to identify and understand the unique qualities of public sector leaders and how their approaches and competencies enable them to meet the growing demands placed on them in the 21st Century while they facilitate transformative change and accountability efforts in their organizations.

RDA’s objective is to “enable public sector and nonprofit leaders to increase their effectiveness by providing them with a “snapshot” of how their peers are leading systems change throughout their organizations.”

Through our work, we have learned that the role of leadership is critical to addressing important systems change and improvement efforts. Today, public sector leaders are faced with challenges that include:

  • High rates of retirement while balancing historical knowledge with innovation
  • Major reform in almost every public sector, including a shift towards measuring outcomes instead of counting units of service.
  • A legacy of continuous reduced funding combined with increased need for services
  • Increasing call for collaboration between agencies and jurisdictions
  • Accountability and data-informed decision making to inform policy and resource allocation

As part of this study, we are interviewing government and non-profit leaders from across California. Directors of public agencies and non-profit organizations who are recognized in their respective fields as leaders are being invited to participate based on a variety of factors including geographical distribution, the size of their organization, and the size and type of the communities in which they work.  

It is our hope that this study will provide useful information to support public sector and nonprofit leaders as well as contribute to the literature in the field.

This research project is 100% funded by RDA; no public funds are supporting this research.