Portraits of Public Service

Untold Stories from the Front Lines

Expected to ship: 2023-07-01

Reveals the often-untold stories of front-line public servants.


Community health workers, elections officers, emergency managers, air traffic controllers, government meteorologists, US federal service photographers, and arts and cultural workers perform critical roles, though rarely receive public attention. Their stories told here help reveal this hidden world to provide a rare view of government service.

Staci M. Zavattaro is Professor of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. Jessica E. Sowa is Professor in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. Alexander C. Henderson is Associate Professor in the School of Management at Marist College. Lauren Hamilton Edwards is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


"Grounded in the experiences and knowledge of public servants, Portraits of Public Service provides concrete examples of why people choose public service and exactly what the job of public servants entails. This is key for not only our primary student body, but it also serves as an important example of a methodology that needs to be adopted more broadly in the field: storytelling and narrative inquiry."— Norma M. Riccucci, author of Critical Race Theory: Exploring its Application to Public Administration

"This is an excellent book for introduction to public administration at the graduate level and would also be appropriate for an undergraduate course directed at college seniors. Public administration is a vast field; this book reveals how big that tent really is. By reframing all of these occupations as public servants, the essays within this volume offer a way to connect the many disparate jobs performed by public administrators in a very thoughtful and powerful way."— Domonic A. Bearfield, coauthor of The Myth of Bureaucratic Neutrality: An Examination of Merit and Representation