James Nordin

MPA Lecturer

James Nordin
Email to set up a Zoom appointment
Available By Appointment Only
Academic Interests

Social Equity; Organizational Change and Development; Supervision/Leadership


Dr. James Nordin is as an adjunct professor in the MPA program at Sonoma State University. He has taught at San Francisco State University, at the University of San Francisco and at Golden Gate University. Dr. Nordin retired from the federal government in 2000 after more than 33 years of service.  He was a Regional grants and financial director for DHHS and USDA for nearly 20 years and was a program supervisor and manager for another 5. He received his BA in Political Science in 1967 from Knox College, his MPA in 1972 from Roosevelt University and a Doctor of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California in 2004. Since retiring, Dr. Nordin has provided professional consulting in organizational development, financial and grants management and program management to local governments and non- profits through his sole proprietorship, Public Management Solutions.

He has a passion for social equity and created and endowed the Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award presented annually by the American Society for Public Administration, of which he is a life member.  He is also a founding member of ASPA’s Section on Democracy and Social Justice.  He was Chair of ASPA’s Audit Committee and served on its Governance Task Force.  He served on ASPA’s National Council from 2009 -2011 and was re-elected to serve from 2012 – 2015 and again from 2015 - 2018.  He ran unopposed for City Treasurer for the City of Rio Vista and finished a four-year term in December 2016.    When he was much younger, he wrestled then refereed high school and college wrestling. He was inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Hall of Fame in 1992.

Selected Publications & Presentations


  • “Working, Shirking and Sabotage: Bureaucratic Response to a Democratic Public”, book review of Working, Shirking and Sabotage: Bureaucratic Response to a Democratic Public by John Brehm and Scott Gates in Public Administration Review  (2000)
  • “Chronicle, Description and Remedy”, book review of Class, Tax and Power: Municipal Budgeting in the United States by Irene Rubin; Local Government Budgeting: A Managerial Approach by Gerasimos A. Gianakis and Clifford P. McCue; Privatization and Public-Private Partnerships by E. S. Savas in Public Performance & Management Review, (2001)
  • “The Federal Budget in Balance”, book review of The Federal Budget: Politics, Policy, Process by Allen Schick in The Public Manager.  (2001)
  • “Some Observations on Pay for Performance”: article in PA Times.  (2001)
  • “Paying It Forward: Nine Lessons for Managers”: article in PA Times.   (2009)
  • “Democracy and Social Justice”: article in PA Times.  (2009)
  • “Third Party Government and Social Justice”: article in PA Times.  (2009)
  • “Federal Employee Performance Measures: Continuing Issues in an Historical Context”: chapter in Studies on Administrative Reform: Building Service-oriented Government and Performance Evaluation Systems; edited by Allan Rosenbaum and Wei Liqun. (2013)
  • “Reducing Police and Community Violence: Theory and Practice” (with Linda Orrante): chapter in Social Equity in a Time of Change; edited by Richard Greggory Johnson III. (2017)


  • A Handbook for Budget Analysis

Works in Progress: 

  • Memoir: My Good Friend Sara Ann Dippity