Gail C. Christopher, director of the Alliance for Redesigning Government and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, has been named executive director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Kennedy School of Government.
As director, Christopher plans to seize the opportunities presented by today’s electronic technology to expand the role the Innovations Program plays in local communities and to expand its influence on public policy.
The Innovations in American Government Program identifies public sector programs that have successfully implemented a fresh approach to a problem of significant concern. All units of government that focus on domestic programs federal, state, and local, tribal and territorial are eligible for recognition and awards.
Christopher is a licensed holistic health practitioner, a naprapath. She attributes her commitment to public sector innovation to insights gained through her work with thousands of patients during the 1970s and 80s. She says, “It became clear to me, as I helped people become more empowered to take responsibility for their own health and well-being, that government-sponsored programs that addressed such issues as disease prevention, violence reduction, and economic development had to become more accountable for performance and results. My work at the Alliance for Redesigning Government focused primarily on performance and innovation within state and local governments.”
“Gail Christopher’s expertise in state and local government makes her a natural choice for director of the Innovations Program,” said Dean Joseph S. Nye Jr. “Her ideas for transforming the Program and giving it a larger role in the public policy arena are right in line with the work the Kennedy School is doing with the Visions of Governance for the 21th Century project.”
Christopher adds, “I am excited to join the Kennedy School and begin work on this new phase of the Innovations Program. The Program has built a strong reputation over the past decade and I hope to not only sustain, but expand, the breadth and reach of its work.”
As director of the Alliance of Redesigning Government at the National Academy of Public Administration, Christopher was responsible for managing several ongoing national projects, including: consultant services to government agencies, a nonprofit/public sector performance design lab, a learning network Website, a nationally distributed quarterly magazine on public sector innovation, and a citizen trust and engagement project.
In addition to her work at the Alliance, Christopher worked at the Howard University School of Divinity overseeing national outreach and organizational development for its Information and Services Clearinghouse. While there she helped to generate $3 million in foundation grants and awards and generated the first federal funding for the project which helps faith-based organizations implement programs that respond to critical social concerns.
Prior to that, Christopher was co-creator and director of Americans All National Education Program a multicultural education curriculum and teacher training program. She has also worked as executive director of the Family Resource Coalition of America.
Christopher joined the Kennedy School on Tuesday, January 18.