Leadership Team

Barry Bales
Executive Education Advisor
Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Clinical Professor of Public Policy Practice, LBJ School of Public Affairs; Director of Governor's Executive Development Program
EMPL Executive Education Advisor; Courses: Gateway to Executive Leadership, Capstone, and Leading Organizational Change

Dr. Barry Bales has been with the LBJ School of Public Affairs since 1981, previously serving as Assistant and Director of the Office of Conferences and Training. Currently serving as Assistant Dean for Professional Development, Dr. Bales develops, organizes and administers professional development seminars for government officials and holds administrative responsibilities for the Governor's Center for Management Development, a program that trains over 2,500 Texas state agency managers each year in management, leadership and quality skills. In addition, Dr. Bales directs the Governor's Executive Development Program, a nationally recognized leadership course for managers in Texas state agencies and universities, and works with the Office of Conferences and Training, which provides professional development programs for public sector officials.

Dr. Bales is a frequent speaker in the areas of leadership, systems thinking, strategic planning and executive development, and has taught, consulted with and coached leaders and executives in fifteen states and nine foreign countries. He has a Ph.D. in Human Resource Development Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, is a Fellow of the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas at Austin, former chair of the National Conference on Management and Executive Education, and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Master in Public Administration program at Texas State University.

Selena Walsh
Director
Director of Executive Master in Public Leadership Program and Instructor, LBJ School of Public Affairs
EMPL Course: Capstone

Selena Walsh has served over twenty years in the political, legislative and non-profit arena.  In Washington, DC  she worked as the Executive Director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and as the National Director of Policy and Communication for LULAC.  Returning to Texas, Selena served as the Executive Director for the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus and the Interim ED for the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus Institute.   Selena has worked for and with many elected officials helping coordinate policy interests into legislative agendas that unite members on shared interests inviting collaboration and the resolution of complex issues.

Selena also has extensive experience in the non-profit sector.  In 2003 she partnered with the Founder and CEO of Clean Water Action to co-found Proyecto Buena Vista and Buena Vista Fund, a national program ultimately dedicated to improving the education and outreach model for under-represented populations on the topic of environment.  In 2008 Selena served as the first Director of Governmental Relations for Neighborhood Centers Inc. one of the largest non-profits in Texas where she won an employee award for her work on disaster recovery and the national extension of the Social Services Block Grant; she also identified an error in the Head Start funding formula which brought over one million in additional dollars to the Houston area. 

In 2015 Selena accepted the position of Director of Administration with the North American Development Bank (NADB) joining an international team playing a key role in its merger with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC).    Selena currently serves as the Director of the Executive Master in Public Leadership (EMPL) program at The University of Texas’s  LBJ School of Public Affairs. 

Selena graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine with an interdisciplinary degree in Social Culture Anthropology, and is a proud graduate of the Executive Masters in Public Leadership program.

Barry Bales
Barry Bales
Executive Education Advisor
Selena Walsh
Selena Walsh
Director
Jeremi Suri
Graduate Advisor
Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs and Department of History
EMPL Academic Advisor; EMPL Courses: Gateway to Executive Leadership, Capstone, and Leadership Strategy & Decision-making

Dr. Jeremi Suri has a joint appointment in the LBJ School and the Department of History. Previously, he was with the University of Wisconsin, where he was the E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, the Director of the European Union Center of Excellence and the Director of the Grand Strategy Program.

Dr. Suri has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, including being named one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences by Smithsonian Magazine in 2007. He is the author of four books, including Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Harvard University Press, 2007) and Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from Washington to Obama (Free Press/ Simon and Schuster, 2011).

Dr. Suri earned his B.A. in History from Stanford University in 1994, an M.A. in History from Ohio University in 1996 and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2001. His research interests include the formation and spread of nation-states; the emergence of modern international relations; the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics; the rise of knowledge of institutions as global actors; contemporary foreign policy; international security; protest and dissident movements and globalization. He regularly blogs on foreign policy and contemporary politics at http://globalbrief.ca, and you can follow him on Twitter at @jeremisuri.

Danielle Kahikina
Program Coordinator
Academic Program Coordinator

Danielle Kahikina joined the EMPL Program as the Program Coordinator in July 2018. She began her career in administration in 2008 at Chicago's oldest camera store, Central Camera Company. Danielle joined The University of Texas at Austin in September 2015 where she worked with the Academic Foundation Initiatives and College Readiness programs for The Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) in the College of Education. In 2016 she joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs working in the Office of the Dean and the Academic Affairs department.

Jeremi Suri
Jeremi Suri
Graduate Advisor
Danielle Kahikina
Danielle Kahikina
Program Coordinator

Faculty

Patrick Brockett
Faculty
Professor, Center for Risk Management and Insurance, McCombs School of Business
EMPL Courses: Risk and Crisis Management

Dr. Patrick Brockett is the Gus Wortham Memorial Chair in Risk Management and Insurance in the Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management at the McCombs School of Business.

Dr. Brockett received his B.A. in Mathematics from California State University at Long Beach and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California at Irvine. His research and teaching interests include insurance, risk theory, risk management, statistics, actuarial science, data envelopment analysis and quantitative models in business.

John Daly
Faculty
Professor, Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication
EMPL Courses: Risk and Crisis Management

Dr. John Daly is the Liddell Centennial Professor of Communication, as well as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, TCB Professor of Management and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy.

Dr. Daly's interests focus on practical ways of improving the communication skills of individuals. He examines topics such as shyness, personality difference in communication, communication difficulties people experience in their personal and professional relationships and ways people advocate for their ideas. He has published more than one hundred articles and chapters in academic publications, completed six books and was named a Fellow of the International Communication Association in recognition of his scholarly work. In addition, he has served as editor of Communication Education and co-editor of Written Communication, as well as a member of the editorial boards of numerous academic journals.

In recent years, Dr. Daly has worked with the White House on issues related to customer service and communication. His past work also includes serving on the Board of Directors of the International Customer Service Association and the Administrative Council of the National Communication Association, and acting as President of the National Communication Association and Chair of the Council of Communication Societies.

Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1977. At the University of Texas, he has been the recipient of every campus-wide undergraduate teaching award.  

Patrick Brockett
Patrick Brockett
Faculty
John Daly
John Daly
Faculty
David Eaton
Faculty
Bess Harris Jones Centennial Professor in Natural Resource Policy Studies, LBJ School of Public Affairs
EMPL Courses: Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

Dr. David Eaton has lectured in twenty countries and conducted field research in fifteen. His research concerns sustainable development in international river basins, evaluation of energy and water conservation programs and prevention of pollution. His current focuses are U.S.–Mexico environmental cooperation, new methods for evaluation of air pollution emissions, joint management by Palestinians and Israelis of shared groundwater and water conservation in Texas. He also directed research on tort reform that the Texas Department of Insurance used as evidence to justify rebates of over $1.3 billion for liability insurance in Texas in 1997­–1999.

Dr. Easton teaches courses on systems analysis, environmental and energy policy and nonprofit management and has written on rural water supply, international water resource conflicts, energy management, environmental problems of industries, management of emergency medical services, applications of mathematical programming to resource problems, insurance and agriculture. Among his recent publications are the NAFTA Handbook for Water Resource Managers and Engineers, Emergency Medical Services in Travis County, Texas and The Impacts of Trade Agreements on State Provincial Laws.

Dr. Eaton received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Geography from the Johns Hopkins University. 

Sharon Jarvis
Faculty
Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Moody College of Communication; Associate Director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation
EMPL Courses: Understanding and Shaping Opinions

Dr. Sharon E. Jarvis teaches and conducts research on political communication, persuasion and research methods. She has been the principal and co-principal investigator on projects focused on the politics of youth and has headed an evaluation team for an intervention in San Antonio High Schools.

Dr. Jarvis’ published books and articles explore the intersection of language use, politics and persuasion. Her authored and co-authored titles include The Talk of the Party: Political Labels, Symbolic Capital & American Life (Rowman & Littlefield) and Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us (Oxford University Press). Her articles, chapters and reviews have appeared in Journal of Communication, Political Psychology, American Behavioral Scientist, Political Communication, Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Rhetoric and Public Affairs and Howard Journal of Communications.

Dr. Jarvis holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. As a professor, she has received numerous teaching awards and honors, including the Texas Exes Outstanding Professor for the College of Communication, the Eyes of Texas Teaching Award and Outstanding Professor in the College of Communication. In 2005, she was the second Assistant Professor ever to receive the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship, the largest undergraduate teaching honor at the University.

David Eaton
David Eaton
Faculty
Sharon Jarvis
Sharon Jarvis
Faculty
Martin Luby
Faculty
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs
EMPL Courses: Executive Toolkit

Martin J. Luby held academic positions at DePaul University, Ohio State University and University of Illinois before joining The University of Texas faculty. He is an assistant professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs. His teaching and research broadly focuses on public finance with an emphasis in public financial management.

Much of his research has focused on the municipal securities market and the use of debt finance by state and local governments. He has published on innovative government financial instruments, federal financing techniques and regulation of the municipal securities market. He has extensive consultant and advisory experience with the federal government and many state and local governments. 

Recently, he served as a consultant to the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Transportation, the Task Force on the State Budget Crisis co-chaired by Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority. He is a registered municipal advisor representative with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Series 50 Qualification) and regulated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

John O’Brien
Instructor
Director of Texas Legislative Budget Board

John O’Brien is an alumnus of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He began his public service career with the City of Austin, where he worked for seven years prior to joining the Texas Legislative Budget Board in 1989. Before his 2012 retirement, he served as the Board’s director, responsible for day-to-day management and oversight of the agency, including preparation of budget and policy recommendations and analysis of the fiscal impact of proposed legislation. 

Mr. O’Brien has also served as liaison to the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee and as the president of the NCSL’s National Association of Legislative Fiscal Officers. He is also an active member of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In 2005, Mr. O’Brien received the Texas State Agency Business Administrators’ Association Administrator of the Year Award. He was also awarded the 2011 LBJ School Alumni Association Distinguished Public Service Award, honoring his public policy contributions, community service engagement, demonstrated leadership and commitment to promotion of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. 

Martin Luby
Martin Luby
Faculty
John O’Brien
John O’Brien
Instructor
Cynthia Osborne
Faculty
Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership, LBJ School of Public Affairs
EMPL Courses: Data Analytics/Predictive Analytics

Dr. Osborne is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Health and Social Policy at the LBJ School. She is also the Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership, a research group at the LBJ School that conducts rigorous research on policy issues related to young children, adolescents, and their parents. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of social policy, poverty and inequality, family and child wellbeing, and family demography. She has extensive experience conducting long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works and why, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies. Dr. Osborne specializes in collaborative partnerships and the real world application of academic research. She previously was Director of the Project on Education Effectiveness and Quality (PEEQ), an initiative of the LBJ School, that measured state educator preparation programs’ influence on student achievement. She joined the faculty of the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2005 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University. Dr. Osborne holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Public Affairs from Princeton University, Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Master of Arts in Education from Claremont Graduate University. Previously, she taught middle school in a low-income community in California.

Craig Pedersen
Faculty
Lecturer, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Former EMPL Director; EMPL Courses: Organizational Excellence and Executive Leadership, and Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

Craig Pedersen was the first Director of the Executive Master in Public Leadership Program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He held this position from January 2014 through February 2016.  He has been a member of the faculty of the EMPL Program since 2015. 

Prior to coming to the LBJ School, Mr. Pedersen successfully led large and complex organizations in both the public and private sectors.  He has extensive executive and legislative experience; and relationships with local, state and federal government organizations and with many nonprofits. He served as a legislative and executive aide, as the CEO of a state agency, as a regional business line leader and office manager of a 300-person profit center for a Fortune 500 engineering company, and as Senior Vice President of a technology startup company in the water industry, a position he continues to hold.  

He had career in Texas state government from 1981-2002, which included both administrative and policy positions, culminating in 11 years as the Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board, the state water infrastructure financing and planning agency.  He was recognized for organizational innovation in both management and policy. He served in that position longer than anyone has and under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.  He also has the experience of having developed policies and programs in the legislative process and, subsequently, implemented them as a state agency head.  He has served with and for some of the most influential leaders in recent Texas state history, including Lt. Governor William P. Hobby and Comptroller Bob Bullock. 

Mr. Pedersen has nearly 40 years of professional experience in organizational management and leadership; state and local governance and finances; and water policy, planning, and financing. He has extensive knowledge of state, national, and international issues related to water and infrastructure development. 

Cynthia Osborne
Cynthia Osborne
Faculty
Craig Pedersen
Craig Pedersen
Faculty
Miha Vindis
Faculty
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs
EMPL Courses: Organizational Excellence and Executive Leadership

Dr. Miha Vindis is a founding partner at Engage Leadership Consulting and has extensive experience in management, strategic leadership, and supply chain planning. He has been involved in leadership and management consulting since 2010 and is a regular speaker and lecturer at leadership conferences, classes, and workshops. Dr. Vindis’ professional career includes time as a consultant at Deloitte and manager at Royal Dutch/Shell. He also has extensive international experience and has lived/worked in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Dr. Vindis holds a B.A. in International Business Management and English Literature. He is an alumnus of the LBJ School of Public Affairs where he earned a master’s degree in Global Policy Studies and a Ph.D. in Public Policy.   

Since 2015, Dr. Vindis has been involved as an investor and a mentor to a handful of local entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. His research interests include gamification, leadership, strategic planning, and behavioral economics.

Miha Vindis
Miha Vindis
Faculty