Academic Advisory Council



The ASU School of Public Affairs' mission is to understand and address society's grandest challenges in public management, policy and governance. We seek to maximize our impact through rigorous transdisciplinary research, project-based education, collaborative and inclusive community engagement, experiential learning and innovative solutions.


To provide guidance and counsel on the academic preparation and competencies of school graduates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  This collaboration will be used to develop course work, guide research of relevant centers, and identify practical experience opportunities for students.



 Karen Mossberger Photo
Karen Mossberger, Director, School of Public Affairs
Karen Mossberger is a professor in the School of Public Affairs within the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University.  Her research interests include local governance, urban policy, digital inequality, evaluation of broadband programs and e-government.

 George Pettit Photo
George Pettit, Professor of Practice, School of Public Affairs
George Pettit joined ASU as a Professor of Practice in May, 2012.  He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is a graduate of the Harvard Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.  He served in local government for over 30 years starting in Des Moines, Iowa and completing his career with 25 years’ service to the Town of Gilbert Arizona including eight years as Manager.  In that time Gilbert grew from 12,105 to 204,000 people.  His areas of expertise include all aspects of financial planning and management, strategic planning, and general management.  Included in his current ASU responsibilities is coordination of the Marvin Andrews Fellowship at ASU, a program dedicated to developing the next generation of municipal managers.  He was appointed as Associate Director of the School of Public Affairs in July, 2013, completing the appointment in August,2015.

 Jennifer Marson Photo
Jen Marsn, Executive Director, Arizona Association of Counties
Jen Marson is the Executive Director at the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo). She manages the daily operations of the Association and the Government Services Foundation, directs the state and federal government affairs program and cultivates new business and membership opportunities. She also serves as the primary liaison to the National Association of Counties and other state associations and coordinates the Association’s educational outreach programs. Jen’s research and advocacy areas of expertise include elections, property taxes, public records, criminal justice, law enforcement, justice and superior courts and education. Marsn has been with AACo since 2002 when she started as the legislative intern. Since then she has worn nearly every hat in the Association before being selected as Executive Director in 2013. Jen received the “Friend of Education” award in 2013 and has been a Certified Election Officer since 2007. In 2013 she was nominated by the capitol community as of the of the “Best Female Lobbyists Under 40”. Marsn is a native of Arizona and received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies from Arizona State University with an emphasis in rhetoric and advocacy.

 James Jayne Photo
James Jayne, County Manager, Navajo County
James Jayne became Navajo County Manger in 2003.  Prior to joining Navajo County, he served as Executive Secretary for the Arizona Corporation Commission, Chief of Staff for the AZ House of Representatives, worked at the Arizona Water Banking Authority and in the US Congress.  Jayne received his undergraduate degree from NAU, his MPA and Certified Public Manager Certification from ASU and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In February 2011, Jayne was awarded the John J. DeBolske Award – the highest achievement for the public management profession in Arizona.  July 2013 Jayne received the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award for Innovation - a statewide award for non-elected public servants.Jayne serves on the Alliance for Innovation Board, ASU School of Public Affairs Academic Advisory Council, AZ Town Hall Executive Board, Show Low Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and several other national and state professional organizations. Jayne and his wife of 24 years Lisa were both raised in Gilbert and moved to Show Low in 1999.  Jayne and his family enjoy spending time outdoors together and attending the children’s school and extracurricular activities.

Cindy Kolaczynski Photo 
Cindy Kolaczynski, Director Maricopa County Library District
As Director, Cindy oversees operations of 17 public libraries to meet present and future library service needs. She also serves as the County Librarian for Maricopa County. Cindy has presented programs nationally addressing public library planning and management issues. Since joining the Library District in 2004 Cindy has held positions as Deputy Director, Branch Operations Coordinator, Regional Manager and Youth Services Supervisor. Her experience also includes working as a School Library Media Specialist in Western New York.

Mike Hutchinson Photo
Mike Hutchinson, Retired Manager, City of Mesa, Local Government Representative
Mike Hutchinson has worked at the East Valley Partnership since 2008. He is currently serving as the Interim CEO and President until mid-summer of 2016, when Mayor John Lewis of Gilbert will assume the CEO position. Prior to this Interim role, he served as the Project Manager for the PHX East Valley Branding Project, as well as the Superstition Vistas Project. He has also served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including: A New Leaf, Arizona Academic Decathlon Association, Mesa United Way, Mesa Public Safety Foundation, Visit Mesa, Mesa Arts Center Foundation and Gateway Commercial Bank. Prior to his employment at the East Valley Partnership, Mike worked for the City of Mesa for 28 years, serving as City Manager from 2000-2005.  During his career he received several professional awards and was the Mesa Chamber of Commerce 2006 recipient of the 21st Century Business Leadership Award for the public sector. He was named Mesa Man of the Year for 2011, in recognition of his volunteer work in the community. He is a Life Member of both the Arizona City/County Management and the International City/County Management Association and continues to be active in city management issues and education in Arizona. Hutchinson received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1975 and a Master’s in Public Administration from Arizona State University in 1977. He is married to Marcie Jergel Hutchinson. They have two adult children; Erin and Mary Beth.

 Tom Belshe Photo
Tom Belshe, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
Tom Belshe is the Deputy Director for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.  From October 2001 until December of 2004, Tom served as an Assistant Deputy Director for the Department of Commerce overseeing the operations of the Community Development Division.  He also served as Executive Director of the Greater Arizona Development Authority (GADA) where he was appointed in September of 1999.  From July of 1998 until his appointment as Executive Director, Mr. Belshe worked as the Community Development Manager for GADA developing the Technical Assistance and the Community Outreach Programs.  Before joining the GADA staff, he worked for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns for five years where he coordinated the Technical Assistance program which includes the League’s training program, publications, conferences, website and inquiry program.  Belshe also worked in the City Manager’s Office for the City of Provo, Utah. Belshe received his Bachelor of Science in Economics and his Master of Public Administration degree from Brigham Young University.

 Ed Zuercher Photo
Ed Zuercher, City Manager, City of Phoenix
Ed Zuercher was appointed Phoenix City Manager on Feb. 19, 2014.  In this role, Zuercher is the Chief Administrative Officer for the city of Phoenix and oversees the largest council-manager form of government in the United States, with 14,500 city employees, including seven employee unions and associations. He encourages city employees to focus on working smarter, saving money aggressively and treating residents kindly in order to maintain residents' high public approval ratings for city services. Working with the Mayor and City Council, he is responsible for a city budget of $3.2 billion, including airport, water/wastewater, solid waste, convention center and hotel, transit system and general city services. Zuercher’s twenty year career with the city started as a Management Intern and grew to include Assistant to the City Manager, Public Transit Director, Deputy City Manager, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, and Assistant City Manager. He received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and his B.A. in English/secondary education from Goshen College in Indiana. Prior to his time at the city of Phoenix, Ed taught high school English and American History. He enjoys life in central Phoenix with his wife and two teenage daughters.

 Gerald Richard Photo
Gerald P. Richard II, Retired, City of Phoenix Police Department
Gerald P. Richard II, Esq., currently is a member of the Department of Justice, Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) Collaborative Reform Initiative Team focusing on the Salinas, California police department.  He recently served on the IIR After-Action Assessment Team for Ferguson, Missouri.  He retired after serving as assistant to the Chief of Police of the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department.  He was responsible for overseeing the Phoenix Police Training Academy and the Employment Services Bureau as well as department leadership development and training.  He was also responsible for implementing recommendations submitted by the Community Engagement and Outreach Task Force and community advisory boards, overall police and community relations, and legislative issues.  Previously, Mr. Richard served the Arizona Attorney General’s Office as a Special Policy Advisor for Law Enforcement.  His experience includes positive and proactive police/community development, negotiations, and resolutions; passive and large-scaled, highly charged controversial demonstrations; public safety and emergency management; local, regional, and federal planning; corporate communications; intra- and intergovernmental relations; grant oversight; community-oriented crime prevention and intervention services; and other core public services  He is an experienced litigator, arbitrator, and legal advisor for local, state, federal, community, and faith-based organizations.  He has extensive experience serving as adjunct faculty/guest lecturer.  He is a member or past member of numerous professional associations, boards, and commissions.  He is the pastor of Harbert Chapel A.M.E. Church in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 Nicole Lance Photo
Nicole Lance, Deputy City Manager Surprise, AZ for Arizona City County Management Association
Nicole Lance is a native Arizonan and Sun Devil through and through, holding a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Urban Management from ASU. Lance serves as the Deputy City Manager for the City of Surprise, focusing on building the City’s partnerships with schools, Luke Air Force Base, the Chamber of Commerce, non-profits, faith-based, business, and community organizations. She also serves as the city’s liaison with other cities, state, county and federal government agencies and presents legislative goals and updates to the City Council. In addition, she oversees the Human Service and Community Vitality Department, supporting social, Senior, and Veterans service needs in the city. Prior to Surprise, Nicole served as a Budget and Financial Planning Analyst and Assistant to the Town Manager in Gilbert, Arizona, leading the Town’s Public Works Department for most of 2013. Lance’s previous municipal government experience includes service as the Assistant to the Manager and Director of Parks and Recreation operations for the City of Maricopa, Arizona. Outside of the government arena, she coordinated local and international service programs and community development activities for the Newman Center at Arizona State University. She is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA), winning the ACMA’s Associate Member of the Year award in 2012 and currently serving on the statewide board of directors. She also serves with the Southwestern Business Financing Corporation Executive Committee and Board.

 Joy Rich Photo
Joy Rich, AICP
Joy Rich was named County Manager of Maricopa County, Arizona in May, 2016. Prior to her appointment as County Manager, she served as Deputy County Manager, Assistant County Manager, and Planning & Development Director. Before joining Maricopa County, she worked for both the cities of Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona as a planner and neighborhood programs administrator. Ms. Rich holds Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography and Master of Public Administration degrees from Arizona State University.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, the Arizona Planning Association, and the Arizona City/County Management Association.  

 Mindy Russell Photo
Mindy Russell, Management Assistant City of Peoria, for Arizona Government Finance Officers Association
Mindy Russell is the Management Assistant in the City of Peoria Finance and Budget Department.  She has spent the majority of her career in the public sector, and she has been with the City of Peoria since 1992.  Mindy has had the opportunity to work in several areas including Public Works, Fire Department, Community Services and the City Manager’s office, and has spent the past 18 years in Finance and Budget.  Russell has been a member of the Government Finance Officers Association of Arizona (GFOAz) for 16 years.  She has served on the GFOAz Board for the past eight years, and is currently the Immediate Past President.   She has also served on the GFOAz Education Committee for the past 13 years, acting as the committee chair for six years.

Kari Kent Photo
Kari Kent, Deputy City Manager, City of Mesa, Alumni Representative
Kari Kent has been Assistant City Manager since June 2007 and currently oversees the Development Services; Energy Resources; Engineering; Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities; Transportation and Water Resources Departments. Kent began her career with Mesa as a Management Assistant and was promoted to Solid Waste Management Director in 1999, Assistant Development Services Director in July 2001 and Neighborhood Services Director in June 2006. Prior to coming to the City of Mesa, Ms. Kent was a Budget Analyst for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Kent is currently the Past President of the Arizona City/County Management Association, a Board member on the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs Advisory Council and the Local Support Initiatives Corporation Local Advisory Board, and a member of the International City/County Management Association. Kent received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Northern Arizona University and a Masters of Public Administration from Arizona State University.