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Keiser Named Director of the Truman School of Public Affairs

July 24th, 2017

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353,

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Patricia Okker, interim dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri, today announced that Lael Keiser, professor of public policy and administration, has been appointed director of the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at MU, effective Sept. 1. On that date, the Truman School will incorporate into the College of Arts and Science.

“Dr. Keiser is uniquely qualified to lead the Truman School of Public Affairs as it transitions into the College of Arts and Science,” Okker said. “She is committed to building on the Truman School’s tradition of interdisciplinary work by building new collaborations both on and off campus.”

In her role as director of the Truman School, Keiser will manage the operations of the Truman School while simultaneously coordinating a strategic plan to create opportunities for research, education and outreach in public affairs.

“I am excited to serve the Truman School during this period of transition,” Keiser said. “This program is committed to preparing students for professional excellence and leadership in public policy, public management and public service. I look forward to serving the students, faculty and staff of the University of Missouri in this role.”

Keiser joined the MU faculty in 1996 as an assistant professor of political science. In 2003, she began serving a dual appointment between political science and the Truman School. Her primary research interests focus on administrative politics, public management and policy process. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Public Administration Review and the Journal of Public Administration: Research and Theory. 

Her research contributions have been widely recognized. She has received the Herbert Simon Award from the Midwest Political Science Association; the Rita Mae Kelly Award from the American Society for Public Administration; and the Wilder School Award for Scholarship in Social Equity and Public Policy Analysis.

“Throughout her 14 years in the Truman School, Dr. Keiser played an instrumental role in educating and developing the next generation of public service leaders,” said Bart Wechsler, professor of public affairs and dean of the Truman School. “She is a talented researcher and scholar and will bring those talents to the new position. I am confident that she will lead the Truman School’s students, faculty and staff effectively.” Dean Wechsler previously announced he is retiring as dean, effective Sept. 1.

The Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs advances the study and practice of governance in Missouri, the nation and the world through faculty research, public affairs education and the Institute of Public Policy. The Truman School’s faculty, staff and students make important contributions to theory and practice across diverse areas of scholarship. Over ninety percent of Truman School MPA graduates find employment in their respective fields within six months of graduating.