Professor receives international award for gender equality research

Professor Karen Johnston

A University of Portsmouth Professor has received a prestigious international award in recognition of her research into gender equality.

Karen Johnston, Professor of Organisational Studies, has been awarded the 2018 Julia J. Henderson International Award from the Section on Women in Public Administration (SWPA) in the United States. The SWPA is a section of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) dedicated to building networks between women practitioners and academics in the field of public administration.

Professor Johnston’s research promotes the interests of women globally and this led to her nomination for this award. The Award, originally established in 2007, recognises commitment to international public administration, in particular, or to international public service in general, by a lifetime of public service; or to careers in international public administration and public service.

Professor Johnston said: “I am deeply honoured to receive this award. I am particularly humbled that a prestigious learned society has thought me worthy of such an award named in honour of Dr Henderson, who was a pioneer in public administration scholarship. She was the first director of the Bureau of Social Affairs in the United Nations and throughout her career advanced the rights of women.”

Dr Hillary Knepper, Chair of the SWPA National Awards Committee, said: “On behalf of the SWPA National Awards committee, we are thrilled to award Professor Karen Johnston our 2018 Julia J. Henderson International Award. With this award, she has been inducted into a prestigious group of highly influential scholars.

“Professor Johnston has turned the international spotlight on critical gender issues in public management through her rich scholarship and service activities. We are excited to recognise her dedication, success and significant work and are gratified she will be joining us.”

Throughout the course of her career, Professor Johnston has made enormous contributions to the literature on gender equality and representativeness. Her work has appeared in top-ranked journals and Professor Johnston has served on the governing boards of two leading international public administration groups, the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) and the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA).

Karen presenting at the ASPA Conference.

Professor Johnston has presented her research on gender issues at major conferences across the globe and has widened the scope of the discussion greatly. Her research has been widely published in multiple outlets, from books to journals such as Public Administration, Policy and Politics and the International Review of Administrative Science. These high visibility journals have raised global awareness about gender and the representation of women.

Professor Johnston will receive her at the SWPA national awards ceremony on Monday 12 March. The ceremony is major event of the ASPA Annual Conference with approximately 1200 scholars and practitioners in attendance.  She added: “It was a very interesting and useful conference. The night before they had a drinks reception for awardees. I never thought I would see my profile rotating around a room. The award ceremony itself was indeed an honour to attend.”

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