Thom Reilly

Faculty w/Admin Appointment
DTPHX Campus
DTPHX Campus


Thom Reilly is currently on a leave of absence and is serving as the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. He is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and the former director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.

Reilly joined ASU from San Diego State University where he was professor and director of the School of Social Work. Previously, Reilly served as the county manager and CEO for Clark County, Nevada providing both regional and municipal-type services for more than 1.8 million residents and 44 million tourists annually. As CEO, he was responsible for the fiscal management of the County’s $5.8 billion budget and administrative oversight of close to 12,000 employees.
Reilly has held senior administrative positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education serving as vice-chancellor of the Health Sciences System, with the state of Nevada overseeing income maintenance programs and the statewide child welfare system, and as director of Clark County Administrative Services. He is also a founder of a management consulting firm and former vice president of social responsibility at Caesars Entertainment, Inc. 

Reilly has authored numerous published works on public pay and benefits, governance, HIV, and child welfare. He and his work have appeared on NPR's "Here and Now," PBS NewsHour, CNN Money, and Fox Business News, and in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Law 360, Governing, Businessweek and The Associated Press. He is co-editor of the Ethics, Corruption and Governance Series for Rowman & Littlefield Lexington Books. 

His recent books, "The Failure of Governance in Bell, California: Big-Time Corruption in a Small Town" (published by Lexington Book) was released in 2016; and "Rethinking Public Sector Compensation: What Ever Happened to the Public Interest?" (published by M.E. Sharpe, Inc.) was released in summer 2012. His edited volumes, "Pensions: Policies, New Reforms and Current Challenges," released in 2014, looks at pensions from a global perspective; and "The Governance of Local Communities: Global Perspectives and Challenges" was released in 2017.

In 2016, Reilly was honored nationally with the Anti-Corruption Award, sponsored by the New York City Independence Clubs, in acknowledgement of “the landmark work the Morrison Institute is doing to understand the emerging independent voter constituency.”

In 2005, Reilly was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.


Thom Reilly received his master's and doctorate of public administration from the University of Southern California. He earned his master of social work at ASU and a bachelor in social work from the University of Memphis.

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Public Administration

Public Management

Human Resource Management


Child Welfare

Civic Engagement


Recent Publications

Salit, J. & Reilly, T (forthcoming, 2020). Can the Independent Voter Save American Democracy? In  Orr, D; Becker, B.; Gumbel, A; and Kuttner, B. (editors).  Democracy Unchained: How to Rebuild Government for the People. New Press Publishing.

Reilly, T. (2020). Sick Leave Policies in the Public Sector. In Faramand A. (eds).Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Springer, Cham.

Reilly, T. & Singla, A. (2017). Union Business Leave (UBL) practices in large U.S. municipalities: An exploratory study.  Public  Personnel Management, 46 (4), 342- 367.

Coordes, L. & Reilly, T. (2017). Predictors of municipal bankruptcies and state intervention programs: An exploratory study. Kentucky Law Journal, 105 (3), 493-562.

Reilly, T. (2017). Editor. The Governance of Local Communities: Global Perspectives and Challenges. Happauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers

Reilly, T . (2016). The Failure of Governance in Bell, California: Big Time Corruption in a Small Town.  Lanham, Maryland:  Lexington Books: An Imprint of The Rowan Littlefield Publishing Group.

Reilly, T. (2016). Are social enterprises viable models for funding nonprofits? Human Service Organizations:                        Management, Leadership & Governance. 

Reilly, T. & Thom, M. (2015). Local government sick-leave practices: An exploratory study. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 37 (4), 492-510.

Thom, M. & Reilly, T (2015). Compensation benchmarking practices in U.S. local   governments: Results of a national survey. Public Personnel Management, 44 (3), 340-355.


See CV under Bio or go to for a complete listing of publications


Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 523The City and County Manager
PAF 591Seminar
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
PAF 591Seminar


  • Global Pathways Institute, Board Member (2015 - Present)
  • Clean The World, Board Member (2014 - Present)
  • Nevada Supreme Court Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Welfare, Board Member (2014 - Present)
  • National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), Fellow (2005 - Present)