Matthew Fairholm

Man in a blue suit with a red tie

Matthew Fairholm

Senior Fellow

Matt Fairholm is a Professor of Public Administration with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the W. O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership at The University of South Dakota.  His academic and professional interests focus on public administration, leadership theory and practice, and constitutional governance. He has received a number of teaching and research awards. Prior to coming to USD, Dr. Fairholm was the Director of Leadership Studies and Development at the Center for Excellence in Municipal Management (currently the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership) and Instructor of Public Administration at the George Washington University, where he continues to serve as a Senior Fellow.  

His teaching and training experience spans the public, private, non-profit, and university settings and has trained and consulted in a number of organizations. Dr. Fairholm worked in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), entering the federal service as a Presidential Management Intern. He received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the George Washington University, with an emphasis in leadership theory and practice. He received both his B.A. and M.A. in Public Policy from Brigham Young University.  

His published articles appear in several public administration and leadership journals and is the author, with his father, of the book Understanding Leadership Perspectives: Theoretical and Practical Applications (Springer 2009). He most recently wrote Putting Your Values to Work: Becoming the Leader Others Want to Follow (Praeger 2013). Matt was raised in Richmond, VA.  His interests include spending time with family, camping and collecting antique books.  He lived in Brazil for two years and used to be fluent in Portuguese.  Matt, his wife Shannon, and their sons, Carl, Ben, Nate, and Will currently live in Vermillion, SD.