Patria de Lancer Julnes Penn State Harrisburg, USAIt may sound cliche, but I always wanted to help government do better. I’ve always felt that government’s role is to ensure a good quality of life for citizens. Otherwise, what’s the point of government? But to do this, government (everywhere) needs tools. In particular, government needs tools that can provide adequate knowledge to improve decisions that will impact the quality of life of citizens. My profession and my field have allowed me to contribute to this knowledge through my contact with students and colleagues and through my research.
But more recently, as I've reflected on my life growing up in the Dominican Republic, my efforts to establish a public administration program there, my travels around the world and the situation in the United States, I’ve become convinced that ethics is the most critical tool that government needs. Although I don’t teach a course on ethics, I include the concept in all my classes. Also, I’ve started a line of research that looks for ways to integrate ethics in every aspect of government and especially in program performance measurement. In my mind, the more ethical government is, the more likely it is to succeed in providing a good quality of life for all citizens.