Manuel P. Teodoro, PhD
La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin - Madison
My research stands at the nexus of politics, public policy, and public management. I work mainly on American environmental policy design, evaluation, and implementation. This line of research includes explorations of public vs. private utility management, and regulatory implementation as a matter of environmental justice. On the public management side, my work emphasizes professional labor markets as and predictors of innovation and organizational performance. My book 2011 book Bureaucratic Ambition (Johns Hopkins University Press), argues that career concerns shape organizational innovation and democratic governance. My 2022 book The Profits of Distrust (with Samantha Zuhlke & David Switzer, Cambridge University Press) links the meteoric rise of the commercial drinking water industry to distrust in government and a broader withdrawal from civic life. New and ongoing projects include a new book on ideological composition of the public sector workforce and several efforts on effective institutions for drinking water and wastewater governance.
Perhaps my most challenging and exciting work is my applied research on water and sewer utility management, policy, and finance. I’ve served on expert advisory panels to state governments, UNICEF/World Health Organization, the American Water Works Association, and dozens of local governments. I work directly with government, community, and industry leaders to improve water affordability, equity, and regulatory implementation. To that end, in 2022 I joined the Water & Health Advisory Council.
I’m lucky to have received a classic Jesuit education at Seattle University. A Truman Scholarship sent me to Cornell for a MPA, and I earned a PhD in Public Policy & Political Science at the Ford School at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!).