What is AABPA?

AABPA began in the mid-1970’s and has helped federal, state, and local government managers and analysts, corporate executives, and academic specialists meet the unique challenges of their careers.

By helping members keep up with the latest developments in their fields, establish and maintain contacts with colleagues, represent their interests, and share opportunities, AABPA serves as the key difference between simply having a job and being part of a highly respected and well-trained profession.

AABPA HISTORY

2010 marked the 35th anniversary of the founding of the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis. AABPA commemorated this milestone event by recognizing our founders and original officers and emphasizing how AABPA’s first 35 years laid the groundwork necessary to meet the professional and training challenges and needs of our membership now and in the future.


In the early 1970’s, the Federal Budget Officers Conference sought to elevate the profile of the Federal budget workforce, broaden their focus, and meet important needs for mid-career training and professional interaction. Their discussions highlighted the need for a professional organization. Additional impetus came from the proposal of the American Association of Program Analysis to merge with the professional association for budget professionals under consideration. In 1975, John Garmat, Al Kliman, Emerson Markham, Iris Lipkowitz, George Strauss, and Herb Persil – with many others – created the AABPA to serve budget and policy professionals at the Federal, State, and local levels.

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Several founding members and members of the (then) current board of Directors at our Spring Symposium in 2010.

One of the earlier accomplishments of AABPA was to partner in the late 1970’s with the Section on Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) to launch the journal Public Budgeting and Finance (PB&F). The inaugural issue appeared in the spring of 1981. This journal, which has become the premier journal for research in public finance, is “…a publication for practitioners interested in ideas and for scholars interested in practice.” AABPA members receive copies of the journal with their membership.


AABPA grew up with the implementation of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. A staple of AABPA events up through the early 1990’s was training on the Congressional budget process, reconciliation bills, impoundments, and changes in Executive Branch procedures and decisionmaking to implement the 1974 Act. Starting in the 1990’s, AABPA took the lead in providing information and training about the ongoing automation of public budgeting and performance management emphases. AABPA members have been very active in designing and implementing budget and performance management systems in the Federal Government.

More recently, AABPA has moved to strengthen its ties to the academic world and to bring students, who will be the budget and policy professionals of the future, into more active AABPA participation. These efforts have benefited significantly from the move of several active AABPA members from career public service into academic positions in public administration and policy schools. The AABPA annual summer intern program and research competition for Masters-level public administration and policy students will help those students transition into public service while providing professional support and contacts