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SPA Welcomes New Faculty in the 2023-24 Academic Year

2023-24 New Faculty

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University is pleased to announce experts to the school in academic year 2023-24, including tenure and term faculty members. Learn more below:
Daniel Barkley: Daniel Barkley is a Professorial Lecturer in the SPA’s Department of Public Administration and Policy, where he teaches Quantitative Methods. He has previously taught at the University of California system (Irvine, San Diego, and Riverside), the American University of Nigeria, the University of Colorado, the University of Cincinnati and Xiamen University, Tan Kah Kee College in the Peoples Republic of China. Daniel is also founder and Executive Director of Economics On The Move (EOTM) a nonprofit organization dedicated to experiential learning and economic research that organizes behind-the-scenes company tours to show students how theoretical economics gets used in everyday business operations. Dr. Barkley has led students on company tours in China, Nigeria, and the United States. His engaged research includes: the examination of the USPS banking and payday lending, youth unemployment in China, industrial clusters in Nigeria, and ESG policy in China. 
Robert Engel: Robert Engel is a professorial lecturer in SPA’s Department of Government, and has been teaching politics, elections, and disability college level courses since the 1990s. Rob spent 10 years as the Vice President of Domestic Policy for the American Automotive Policy Council (a Washington Industry Group representing the common public policy interests of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (currently Stellantis), the Ford Motor Company and the General Motors Company), and also worked for the Democratic National Committee focusing on party organization and serving as Senior Advisor to the Democratic Disability Community. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002, Rob has been active in State and National Multiple Sclerosis Society Boards and Events and is an Ambassador and Board Member at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Project Restore (collaborative research study to develop therapies for neuroimmunolgic disorders such as Multiple Scoliosis and Transverse Myelitis).
Craig French: Craig French is a professorial lecturer in SPA’s Department of Government, where he teaches classes in political theory. His teaching and research interests include political realism, democratic theory, global justice, the ethics of immigration, and theories of political legitimacy. He is also interested in the reception of figures usually associated with Continental philosophy into contemporary Anglo-American political thought, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Hannah Arendt. Craig previously taught at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar, the University of South Florida, The College of William & Mary, and The George Washington University. His articles have appeared in Polity and The Journal of International Political Theory.
John Marvel: John Marvel is an Associate Professor in SPA’s Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP). He holds a BA in economics from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in public administration from American University, and his research focuses on public management issues, including inequality in public sector organizations, leader emergence, and team dynamics. His research is published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, and other journals. John previously served as a Fellow with the federal government’s Office of Evaluation Sciences ( As a Fellow, he collaborated with a team of social and behavioral scientists to design, implement, and analyze field experiments with the aim of making federal policies and programs more effective and cost-efficient. 
Russell Robinson: Russell Robinson joins SPA as an executive-in-residence in our Department of Public Administration and Policy and the Key Executive Program. He is the founder of Amplified Research + Consulting, LLC, where his work focuses on conducting research and providing solutions to employee engagement, employee voice and talent management challenges, and he has a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Russell received his BS from the University of Dayton, and MPA from SPA, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) focused on Human Organizational Learning from The George Washington University.