Frank J. Thompson is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Administration in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark and an affiliated faculty member with the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy in New Brunswick.
Thompson is a nationally renowned scholar of politics and administration, policy implementation, public management, federalism and intergovernmental management, and health policy. Over his 40-year plus career, he has published extensively in top-tier academic journals, including Public Administration Review and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory; served in various university administration roles and on editorial boards; and been awarded numerous honors for his scholarship and service to the field.
In 2007, Thompson received a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award to study the evolution of Medicaid during the Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama administrations. The research led to Thompson’s book, Medicaid Politics: Federalism, Policy Durability, and Health Reform (Georgetown University), which is a thorough examination of the genesis and expansion of Medicaid and its impact on the American health care system. His current research expands on these topics and includes an analysis of Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations, and the politics of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). In 2014, he delivered the keynote for the Donald C. Stone Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) entitled, “The Administrative Presidency and Fractious Federalism: The Case of Obamacare.”
Thompson is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), an independent, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization chartered by Congress to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. He is the former executive director of the National Commission on State and Local Public Service (Winter Commission), and a past president of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), an international association of public affairs and administration schools that is the recognized accreditor of master's degree programs in the field.
Thompson’s numerous awards include the Donald C. Stone Distinguished Scholar Award for achievement in intergovernmental relations and management; the Dwight Waldo Award for a lifelong contribution to public administration; and the Charles H. Levine Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration which recognizes a public administration faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service to the wider community.
In 2008, Thompson joined the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark and concurrently became an affiliated faculty member of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy in New Brunswick. Prior to his tenure at Rutgers, he served as dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) in addition to other university administration positions ranging from department head to interim provost.
Thompson is an alumnus of the University of Chicago where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and the University of California, Berkley, where he received his doctoral and master’s degrees in the same discipline.