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About the Author

Tenured Associate Professor in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. She received her Ph.D. in Public Administration with concentration in Public Management from Rutgers University. Dr. Harris teaches in the M.P.A., M.P.A.: Health Administration and Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Policy programs. Her research encompasses the theme of equity as it relates to the military and the recruitment and retention patterns of certain segments of its population, civil rights and affirmative action, veterans’ rights and healthcare, and gender equity. Her work has appeared in such refereed journals as Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Journal of Military Studies, Public Integrity, the International Journal of Public Administration, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, among others as well as a chapter in the book A 21st Century Approach to Teaching for Social Justice: Educating for Both Advocacy and Action. Most recently, she co-edited the book and authored a chapter Women of Color in Leadership: Taking Their Rightful Place and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, the Journal of Health and Human Services Administration and the Open Journal of Political Science.


Dr. Harris’ appointment by the Provost of Portland State University as a member to the Veterans Advisory Committee where she also served as the principal investigator of an online survey for the collection of research data on the need for the development of resources for Portland State University students who considered themselves military veterans. This effort led to the first ever piloted project funded by the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs for the establishment of a Student Veterans Service Office (SVSO) at Portland State University. This effort was also the first of its kind for any academic institution in the state of Oregon. Similarly, this effort served as the impetus for a similar task force by former Governor, Ted Kulongoski (D-Oregon) that resulted in the passing of Oregon House Bill (HB) 2178 to establish SVSOs at universities and colleges within the Oregon University System (OUS). HB 2178 in turn served as the prototype for the new federal GI Bill that created SVSOs on campuses across the United States to academic institutions of higher education that receive federal funding. Dr. Harris’ work with veterans also resulted in her appointment to former Governor Kulongoski’s Legislative Task Force on Women Veterans Healthcare. The task force concluded its work for the 2009-2010 period by submitting its findings and recommendations on improving the access and healthcare for women veterans in the state of Oregon.


Most recently, Dr. Harris was installed at the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) March 2011 annual national conference as Chair of the Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD). She is a Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar (IUS) on Armed Forces and Society and a member of Women in the Military Services of America (WIMSA). Dr. Harris is also a senior field grade Commissioned Officer (Lieutenant Colonel) with the U.S. Air Force Reserve and formerly served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

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