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Professor of Public Sector Management, Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)

John Alford is Professor of Public Sector Management at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and at the Melbourne Business School (MBS), University of Melbourne, from which he is on extended secondment. He joined the MBS as a lecturer in 1988, had before then been a manager in the Victorian government, responsible for industrial relations policy and change management, and lectured at RMIT. In 1982 he was a member of the Ministry of Transport Project Team which restructured the State's transport authorities, and in 1990 a member of the panel appointed by the Premier to conduct the Review of Public Service Personnel Management.

Prof. Alford leads the subject ‘Delivering Public Value’ in ANZSOG's Executive Master of Public Administration, as well as teaching in executive programs for public sector managers. He also directed the flagship Executive Fellows Program from its inception in 2003 until 2010.

He is an experienced case teacher, having taught with cases for over 20 years. He has also delivered workshops on case and interactive teaching at the University of Warwick and the Institute for Government in the UK, the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, the National Institute of Development Administration in Thailand, at VUW, and at the following universities in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Monash, Victoria, ANU, Canberra, Griffith, UWA and Curtin. He has also written or supervised over 100 teaching cases set in government organisations. He has recently taken up the responsibility of Director, Teaching Development for ANZSOG.

His research, published in a variety of international journals, focuses on strategic management in the public sector, contracting and partnering, tackling wicked problems, and client-organisation relationships (see below). His article ‘Towards a New Public Management Model: Beyond “Managerialism” and Its Critics’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 52(2), June 1993, was the winner of the Institute of Public Administration Australia prize for ‘the most important or most influential article’ published in the journal.

John Alford gained his MBA and PhD from the University of Melbourne. He has been a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He is a member of the editorial board of the American Review of Public Administration. In 2007 he was made a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.


  • 2003–present
    Professor of Public Sector Management, Australia New Zealand School of Government