Public management & finance

This field looks at the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of government management and leadership, providing valuable insights into making government work better for everyone. Notable areas of the School of Public Affairs faculty expertise include local government, budget and finance, disaster and emergency management, healthy and sustainable communities, and social equity and representation in government. Our alumni serve in government positions across Colorado, the nation, and the world.


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Alumni stories

Our School of Public Affairs alumni make a huge impact in Colorado and beyond! Read their stories.


  • Coivid-Epidemiologist-850w

    MPA alumni Bookman and Butler share experiences of leading COVID responses in Colorado

    Sep 11, 2020 by Joan Fishburn
    At both the local and state level, School of Public Affairs alumni have been instrumental in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott Bookman (MPA '15), Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment incident commander for COVID-19, and Geoff Butler (MPA '19), Battalion Chief, Poudre Valley Fire Authority, recently took some time to answer questions about their current roles addressing COVID-19 and how they have grown as leaders dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic.
    Full story
  • DCLF Alumni Spotlight: Renzo Amaya

    Aug 4, 2020 by Guest Contributor
    Renzo Amaya, Health Navigation Workforce Specialist, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, shares his experiences of participating in the School of Public Affairs Denver Community Leadership Forum.
    Full story


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Featured webinar

Fiscal Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis for State and Local Governments (and You)

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Latest news on public management & finance

  • Economic Development Class Strengthens San Luis Valley Communities throughout the years

    Nov 16, 2022
    Since 2017, students in Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) have had the opportunity to engage with Colorado communities in an experience unlike any felt in a typical classroom. Through its partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc., this SPA course allows students to become project coordinators in a process known as the Colorado Challenge Program; here, students connect with community members and experts in the field to establish a plan of work to engage public, private, and non-profit partners in addressing a significant community challenge over the course of their semester. Through their partnership, SPA students and DCI have connected with and created initiatives for almost 30 Colorado communities.
    Full story
  • Michael Penny 2022_Web Optimized (002)

    Five Questions for Michael Penny

    Oct 18, 2022 by Joan Fishburn
    For more than three decades, Michael Penny (MPA '97) has exemplified the ideals of leadership, collaboration, partnership, and teamwork as the administrative manager for both large and small municipalities across Colorado. His passion and dedication to building robust communities that address the critical needs of citizens, businesses, and industry are evidenced by the strong footprint Michael has left in each community he has touched.
    Full story
  • Mandela-Washington-Fellowship-850w

    University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs to Host 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

    Jan 26, 2022 by Toula Wellbrook
    CU Denver is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, the CU Denver School of Public Affairs will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Public Management leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
    Full story
  • New-MPP-Release

    CU Denver School of Public Affairs to launch Master of Public Policy in Fall 2022

    Nov 10, 2021 by Toula Wellbrook
    In its November meeting, the CU Board of Regents approved a new Master of Public Policy (MPP) program to be offered by the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs beginning with the fall 2022 semester.
    Full story
  • Professor and Associate Dean Christine Martell

    Martell elected vice chair of ABFM, publishes book

    Aug 16, 2021 by Toula Wellbrook
    Associate Dean and Professor Christine Martell of the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs has been elected Vice Chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) for 2022. She also recently published the book Information Resolution and Subnational Capital Markets with Oxford University Press.
    Full story
  • Deanne-Criswell

    Biden picks familiar faces for top roles at FEMA, CIAOpens in a new window

    Jan 15, 2021
    President-elect Joe Biden is nominating New York emergency department commissioner Deanne Criswell to serve as the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator. Criswell, an alum of the Master of Public Administration program at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs, is the first woman nominated to head the agency.
    Opens in a new window Full story
  • Alec-Garnett-AMPA-Alum-850w

    Alec Garnett, Colorado’s next House speaker, hopes you won’t think of himOpens in a new window

    Jan 11, 2021
    Colorado House of Representatives Alec Garnett poses for the portrait at the House chambers of Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado on Thursday. November 12, 2020. Garnett, who is a CU Denver School of Public Affairs alumnus of the Accelerated Master of Public Administration program, will lead 73rd Colorado legislative session as speaker.
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  • Alan-Kennedy-Democratic presidential elector-850w

    Colorado Democratic electors cast nine votes for Joe BidenOpens in a new window

    Dec 14, 2020
    Colorado’s nine Democratic presidential electors cast their votes for Joe Biden at the state Capitol on Monday. First-time elector Alan Kennedy, an attorney and doctoral student at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs, said he hoped Monday’s nationwide vote brings acceptance of Biden’s presidential victory.
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Featured course

  • news-old-colorado-city-850w

    Economic development class forges connections in Old Colorado City

    Sep 21, 2020 by Guest Contributor
    Since 2017, students in Randy Harrison’s Economic Development class (PUAD 5630) have had the opportunity to engage with Colorado communities in an experience unlike any felt in a typical classroom. Through its partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc., this CU Denver School of Public Affairs (SPA) course allows students to become project coordinators in a process known as the Colorado Challenge Program. Students connect with community members and experts in the field to establish a plan of work to engage public, private, and non-profit partners in addressing a significant community challenge over the course of their semester. Through their partnership, SPA students and DCI have connected with and created initiatives for almost 30 Colorado communities.
    Full story