Paul Posner Remembered for His Wisdom, Humor, Dedication

Paul L. Posner, professor and director of the Master of Public Administration program at Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government, died on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at the age of 70. He is survived by his wife Arlene, daughter Jenny, and two grandsons.

Dr. Posner joined the faculty of George Mason University in 2005. He served as chairman of the board of the National Academy of Public Administration, and was formerly the managing director for strategic issues at the General Accounting Office, where he worked for more than 30 years. As Dr. Posner once stated, “We enter our profession not because it is easy, but because it is hard. When the going gets tough, it is our business to rise to the challenge.”

From 2010-11, Dr. Posner was the President of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). Janice Lachance, the current president of ASPA, said upon learning of his passing, “Paul was one of the best people I have ever known and one of the best that public administration has to offer. He was a steadfast friend, an extraordinarily dedicated public servant, and he will be missed.”

Posner was the author or editor of several books, including The Pathways to Power (2014), a capstone for years of work on national policymaking processes, and the recently published Governing Under Stress (January 2017).

For Schar School friends and colleagues, Dr. Posner was more than an academic and a professional. “Paul has been a dear friend and supportive colleague. He has been steadfastly committed to his research, his teaching, and his public service, as well as a generous mentor to graduate students and junior faculty,” said close friend and colleague Dr. Priscilla Regan. “We will all miss Paul’s sense of humor, his good counsel, his leadership, and his warmth.”

To honor Dr. Posner’s memory, the Schar School has established the “Paul L. Posner MPA Scholarship Endowment” for the purpose of awarding scholarships to qualified MPA students. Those interested in supporting the fund can donate online.

Donate to the Posner Scholarship Endowment

Donations by check should be made payable to the “George Mason University Foundation,” with “Paul L. Posner MPA Scholarship Endowment” noted in the memo line. Donations may be mailed to:

Zavin R. Smith
Office of Development & Alumni Relations
Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University
3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201

For further information, please email Zavin R. Smith at zsmith@gmu.edu.

July 20, 2017