Dr. Ronald Sanders

Man with a light blue shirt, striped tie and dark jacket looking aside and talking

Dr. Ronald Sanders

Senior Fellow


Office Phone: (703) 819-4893

A Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a member of the American Society for Public Administration’s National Council, a decorated, 20+ year member of the US Federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES), and a Presidential appointee, Dr. Ron Sanders has helped lead some of the most historic organizational transformations in US government history…as the US Defense Department’s Director of Civilian Personnel (1990-1998); Chief HR Officer for the US Internal Revenue Service (1998-2002); Associate Director of the US Office of Personnel Management (2002-2005); and Associate Director of National Intelligence for the US Intelligence Community (2005-2010). 

Among other honors, Dr. Sanders is the recipient of three Presidential Rank Awards, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and a prestigious Innovations in American Government award from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Appointed by the President in 2018 to chair the Federal Salary Council, he was also a Vice President for Booz Allen Hamilton, as well as the firm's first Fellow (2010 to 2017); Director of the University of South Florida's School of Public Affairs (2017-2020); and later, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (2020-2022). Now semi-retired, he is currently a Senior Fellow with GWU’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership—an organization he helped found in 1996—as well as President and CEO of Publica Virtù, a consulting business dedicated to helping public servants develop smart strategies for their agencies and themselves.

  • Human Resources Management 
  • Civil Service Laws 
  • Leadership Theory and Practice 
  • Labor/Employee Relations 
  • Organizational Change
  • Co-editor/author, The Great Power Competition (Singer Press, 2022)
  • Co-editor/author, Building a 21st Century Senior Executive Service (National Academy of Public Administration, 2017)
  • Co-author, I Won't Back Down: Complexity and Courage in US Federal Executive Decision-Making (Public Administration Review, September 2013)
  • Co-editor/author, Tackling Wicked Government Problems (Brookings Institution Press, 2013)
  • Co-author, Civil Service Reform: Building a Government that Works (Brookings Institution Press, 1996)

Married for over 52 years to his wife Elizabeth, Dr. Sanders is a certified SCUBA diver, keelboat sailor, and amateur astronomer; he also flies WWII 'war birds' (the AT-6 Texan, P-40, and P-51) as a hobby.