Navigating the Post-Pandemic Era: Guidance for Public and Nonprofit Leaders



By Scott Lewis
Joanne Howard and her textbook

In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, how can government, health care, education, and community organizations and their leaders most effectively meet the continuing economic and social challenges and threats that are arising from this international health crisis?

A new book, edited by Industry Associate Professor of Public Administration Joanne E. Howard at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business, marshals an array of articles that present current research, theory, and practice to address that question.

The Handbook of Research on Transforming Governments, Nonprofits, and Healthcare in a Post-Pandemic Era, published by IGI Global, has been developed as a resource for professionals in education, nonprofit and community organizations, government, health care, and social services. Chapters cover topics ranging across health care during the pandemic, public sector fiscal policy, economic development, labor relations, education and mentoring, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

A member of the Stuart faculty since 2015, Howard teaches in Illinois Tech’s Master of Public Policy and Administration (M.P.P.A.) program and has extensive experience as a leader and consultant in management, program evaluation, and fundraising in the education, nonprofit, and public sectors.

The roster of more than three dozen contributors to the volume includes two of Howard’s colleagues at Stuart—Associate Dean and Industry Associate Professor of Public Administration Roland Calia and Assistant Dean for External Relations and Career Management Helen Ezenwa—as well as seven M.P.P.A. program alumni and other academics, researchers, administrators, and executives from around the world.

The authors offer insights into the ways that the pandemic has adversely effected organizations and individuals, along with lessons learned, best practices, and innovative responses to the crisis that point the way to greater resiliency, transparency, accountability, and transformational change in organizations, government, and across society.

As leaders in the public and nonprofit spheres continue to grapple with complex economic and operational challenges in a post-pandemic landscape, Howard says, communication gaps are making progress toward finding common ground and solving problems that are even more difficult.

“People are not really listening and talking to one another, and I’ve seen that same thread in community organizations, education, health care, and government,” she says. “I think it is incumbent upon the current generation [of leaders] to mentor and prepare the next generation of leaders, to listen to other people, and to be more self-reflective in terms of their managerial style. And I hope that our book can help that process.”

Photo: Industry Associate Professor of Public Administration Joanne E. Howard and the cover of her textbook