Meet New Secretary of the Council, Marion Orr of Brown University

marion-orrMarion Orr, Brown University

Marion Orr is the Frederick Lippitt Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies at Brown University.  Professor Orr is the former Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown.  He is also a former chair of Brown’s Political Science Department. He is the author and editor of seven books, including Black Social Capital: The Politics of School Reform in Baltimore (University Press of Kansas), which won the Policy Studies Organization’s Aaron Wildavsky Award for the best book published in 1999, and The Color of School Reform: Race, Politics and the Challenge of Urban Education (Princeton University Press), which was named the best book in 1999 by the American Political Science Association’s Urban Politics Section.

His research focuses on American politics with a focus on African-American politics, urban politics, the politics of urban schools, and community organizing.  Professor Orr is currently writing the first scholarly a biography of Charles C. Diggs, Jr, Michigan’s first Black congressman. He has held a number of fellowships, including an appointment as Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Presidential Fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellowship from the Ford Foundation.

Professor Orr has been active in the APSA.  He served as a member of the APSA’s Executive Council from 2003-2005.  He served as President of the APSA’s Urban Politics Organized Section.  In addition, he has served on numerous APSA committees, including the Committee on Education and Professional Development, APSA Strategic Planning Committee, Ralph Bunche Book Award Committee, Siting and Engagement Committee, and the Hubert H. Humphrey Award Committee.

Orr is also active and served in leadership roles in other academic societies. From 2000-2006 he was an elected member of the Governing Board of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA), an international organization devoted to the study of urban issues. In 2005-2006 he served as Chair of UAA’s Governing Board.  Professor Orr has also served as a member of the executive council of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. He has served, or is currently serving, on the editorial boards of the Journal of Urban Affairs, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Urban Affairs Review.

Statement of Views
If elected to the council, I plan to support efforts that encourage diversity within the discipline.  I will support initiatives that increase the ethnic and racial diversity of the APSA. While much progress has been made, more work is needed to expand opportunities for graduate training and to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities on political science faculties.  I will urge APSA staff to collect the necessary data so that the Council can more effectively address the recruitment and retention of African Americans, Latinos, and other racial and ethnic minorities within the discipline.

If elected to the council, I will support efforts that push APSA, and its leading journals, toward methodological diversity. My view is straightforward: the APSA should reward scholarship that is methodologically sound, relevant, and have substantive value.

Finally, I believe the APSA should make a real effort to connect with, and make the organization more hospitable toward, political scientists who are employed at small colleges and those working outside of academia.  If elected to the council, I will support policies and programs designed to bring these political scientists back into the APSA.