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Bob O’Neill Named 2016 Administrator of the Year

photo of ICMA Executive director Bob O'Neill

Brigham Young University’s Romney Institute of Public Management will honor ICMA Executive Director O'Neill on March 10.

Brigham Young University’s Romney Institute of Public Management named ICMA Executive Director Bob O’Neill 2016 Administrator of the Year for his leadership in creating excellence in local governance.

The award is presented annually to an outstanding public sector administrator who has demonstrated an ethical and moral commitment to service and who displays the personal and professional qualities that are recognized by peers and that graduates in the Romney MPA program are expected to emulate. 

Past recipients include former FDIC chair Shelia Bair and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. Last year’s award recipient was Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.

“This is a significant honor for me because the Romney Institute is focused on preparing its students to make a difference from day one in their careers,” O’Neill said. “There has never been a more exciting time to enter public service, particularly local government, and I view this award as recognizing all of those individuals who work at the local level to improve our communities.”

During his visit, O’Neill will meet with the dean of the Marriott School, as well as the director of the Romney Institute; hold a Q&A session with MPA students; and  be honored on March 10 at a campus banquet. During that event, O’Neill will receive the award and address an audience of students and faculty on leadership lessons he has learned during his career.  

“The keys to leading in the public sector are the ability to work across sectors—public, private, and intergovernmental—and across disciplines, all in a very big fish bowl,” O’Neill said. “You have to be transparent and work collaboratively without the expectation of getting ‘credit’ for what’s accomplished. The difference you can make at the local and ultimately global level by sharing best practices is truly amazing.”

About the Romney Institute

The Romney Institute of Public Management, part of the Marriott School’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, was named in 1998 for three-term Michigan Governor George W. Romney. A part of the Brigham Young University’s Marriott School, the Romney Institute offers a master’s degree in public administration through pre-service and executive programs. The Romney Institute has a long tradition of preparing young people for careers in public service and is dedicated to educating men and women of faith, character, and professional ability who will become outstanding managers and leaders in public and not-for-profit institutions. Brigham Young University is the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States.

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James Bennett

A very deserving award for an excellent leader who has done so much for local government professionals. His work and legacy will be felt for generations. Congratulations Bob and thank you for all you do and have done for our profession.

Melvin Kleckner

Well said. Congratulations, Bob. We are proud!

Jay Covington

Bob, Congratulations! I'm proud of my alma mater for selecting you, but not surprised, as you emulate all of the attirbutes students should aspire to. Wish I could be there to shake your hand in person. Enjoy!

Susan Thorpe

Congratulations, Bob on a "Life, Well Run" in public service!

Robert Larson

On behalf of your colleagues in the great state of Washington and WCMA's Board of Directors, congratulations, Bob! You are truly deserving of this exceptional recognition. Looking forward to seeing you at our annual conference in August in Walla Walla!
Sincerely, Bob L

Terrence Moore

Once again, Bob, congratulations. Well deserved. Way to go!


Brigham Young University; Provo, UT

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