The Government Finance Research Center at University of Illinois Chicago has tapped public and not-for-profit financial management professional Deborah Carroll to fill the director’s shoes being vacated by the retiring Michael Pagano.

Carroll comes from the University of Central Florida where she was an associate professor in the School of Public Administration and the director of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management. In addition to leading the research center at UIC, she will also serve as an associate professor of public administration.

The appointment approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees on July 22 takes effect Aug. 16. The director’s post was long held by Pagano who founded the research arm and has served as dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

“Professor Carroll enjoys a national and international reputation for her scholarship in the broad area of state and local government finance. Her energy and vision will most certainly raise the visibility and impact of the center’s work,” Pagano said in a statement. “Deborah is uniquely positioned to bridge academic research and the daily world of budgeting, finance, and taxation. UIC will benefit from her energy, dynamism, and vision.”

The two are close. “For nearly 20 years, I have known Michael Pagano as an adviser, mentor, and friend. It is an honor to have the opportunity to carry on his legacy at the helm of the Government Finance Research Center and continue the important work of the center and its affiliated faculty. It feels like I’m coming back home,” Carroll said in the statement.

Carroll brings with her a background on management and policy issues of state and local governments, particularly related to taxation, revenue diversification, and urban economic development, the interconnectedness of the public and nonprofit sectors and its implications for tax policy, nonprofit management and public service provision. Carroll has produced more than 50 academic publications and more than a dozen grant-funded white papers and technical reports.

Before joining UCF in 2017, Carroll was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Georgia and began her career in public service as a budget and policy analyst for the city of Milwaukee.

Carroll also has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs which focuses on providing a connection between the practice and research of public affairs. Carroll has served past stints on the governing boards of the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration and the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management and is currently an editorial board member of the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management.

The research center’s aim is “to shape and inform public policy and scholarly discourse on government and public finance by identifying, planning and executing research, providing periodic reports and informed analyses, and offering venues at which to convene national and local discussion on fiscal and governmental issues,” according to its website.

The center has produced a series of papers looking at COVID’s fiscal effects and policy possibilities.

Pagano has a long list of more than 80 articles on urban finance and development, infrastructure, capital budgeting, federalism, transportation policy, and fiscal policy publications under his belt and national appointments during his career. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration chartered by Congress, the author of four books, has penned the annual City Fiscal Conditions report for the National League of Cities since 1991, and has served on numerous boards including the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago, the Pension Committee of the Civic Federation, and the Urban Land Institute.