George Mason University’s State and Local Government Leadership Center focuses on the implementation of state and local policies, especially in the areas of ethics, demography, and fiscal stewardship.

As state and local governments confront perhaps the most severe challenges in more than a century, the Center provides rigorous analysis of tax, budget, and policy processes, as well as leadership and governance functionality.  A major focus of the center is on identifying and replicating best practices and policy innovations at the state and local level. This will lay the groundwork for national policy recommendations as well as practical consulting and advice for state and local officials.

With generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, the center has been able to conduct in-depth research of how the fiscal crisis has played out in six US cities facing extreme fiscal distress. The GMU project, led by Frank Shafroth, hopes to create a space where those facing the daunting challenges of leading in times of austerity can learn from other municipalities, and perhaps avoid some of the pitfalls that have weakened these particular cities. As with all of the centers work, we hope to provide practical, applicable research and tools that other localities can put to use.

As the project’s scope evolves, this blog will provide updates and additional research addressing how cities cope in times of distress.

To learn more about the State and Local Government Leadership Center, visit our website here.  

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