Deborah L. Kerr, PhD, joined the graduate faculty of the Bush School of Government and Public Service in 1999 and is a professor of the practice. She teaches graduate courses in public policy theory, organizational performance measurement, and management. Her teaching has been recognized with the University's 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching (based on nomination and support from current and former graduate students) and with Silver Star Awards given by the Classes of 2009, 2014, and 2015 for outstanding service and dedication.
She has worked as an executive in private, public, and nonprofit organizations. Her expertise includes performance management and measurement, talent management, and manager and executive performance.
While an executive at the Texas State Auditor's Office (SAO), she led the development of one of the nation's first public sector balanced scorecards; and in 2004, the SAO and its measurement system was recognized as one of the world's best when it was elected to the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame. She also helped implement other innovative work processes that were adopted by audit organizations across the US. She also served as an executive at the American Heart Association.
Dr. Kerr teaches occasional classes for the University of Texas’ Continuing Professional Education program; in 2016 she received the UT Continuing Professional Education Excellence Award for outstanding teaching and service. For the Maxwell School of Government, Syracuse University, she served on the National Advisory Panel for Human Resource Performance Measurement to develop public sector performance measures for the "Grading Government" studies published by Governing magazine.
Dr. Kerr has worked with various public, nonprofit, and private sector organizations to improve performance and measurement. Her measurement work has been called "best practice" by the Society for Human Resource Management. Her work has also been written about in Austin American-Statesman, Austin Woman, and Financial World magazine, and her work on performance measurement systems was featured in both Paul Niven's book Balanced Scorecard Step by Step and Mohan Nair's Essentials of the Balanced Scorecard.
Dr. Kerr's articles have been published in Texas CEO, The Austin Chamber Magazine, Perform magazine, and the Journal of Accountancy; her articles have been re-published in Italy and India as well. She co-authored a chapter on consulting to public sector organizations for the textbook In Action: Building a Successful Consulting Practice. She blogs and writes on evidence-based management at www.affintus.com.
She is frequently asked to speak at national, regional, and state conferences about measuring results and evidence-based management. She holds degrees from St. Mary's College (Notre Dame), Columbia University (New York), and The University of Texas at Austin.