USC Price School of Public Policy

Two Price alums earn national public service awards

March 20, 2014
Ronald Bates MPA ’71, PhD ’72

Ronald Bates MPA ’71, PhD ’72

USC Price School of Public Policy alumni Ronald Bates and John Shirey – both of whom are distinguished city managers – were named recipients of the National Public Service Awards, presented by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the National Academy of Public Administration.

Bates MPA ’71, PhD ’72 and Shirey MPA ’73 – along with fellow awardee Thomas Prendergast, CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York – were honored March 17 at the ASPA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

ASPA and NAPA partnered to establish the National Public Service Awards in 1983 to recognize government leaders who have made outstanding and lasting contributions in public service. Honorees exhibit the highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment.

John Shirey MPA ’73

John Shirey MPA ’73

Both Bates and Shirey have dedicated more than three decades to public service.

Bates was appointed as the city manager of Pico Rivera in 2011. He’s spent most of his career in southern California, beginning as an administrative assistant for the City of Los Angeles and was later promoted to administrative analyst in 1972. He worked for the County of Orange in 1973 as budget director, and became assistant director of general services in 1975. His first city manager position was with Buena Park, where he served until 1984, when he was appointed Anaheim assistant city manager.

In addition, Bates worked for several years in the private sector as a financial consultant before returning to public management. He served on the Los Alamitos City Council and was president of the League of California Cities and the Southern California Association of Governments.

Shirey, a longtime member of ASPA, dedicated most of his 40 years in public service to local government. As the current city manager for Sacramento, Shirey has focused his attention on stabilizing the city’s finances, expanding economic opportunities and improving public safety.

Prior to his appointment, Shirey was executive director of the California Redevelopment Association for nine years. He also served as city manager for the City of Cincinnati, assistant city manager for the City of Long Beach and assistant chief administrative officer for Los Angeles County.

He is a well-known advocate for developing other leaders and advancing intergovernmental policies and practices. And, he’s frequently called upon to speak on public administration, economic development and redevelopment issues.