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Harry P. Hatry
Distinguished Fellow
Director of the Public Management Program
Former employee
It is great to have the opportunity to work to help improve the capacity of the public and private sectors’ ability to improve their effectiveness and efficiency, especially in ways that improve the quality of life of their citizens.

Harry Hatry was a distinguished fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. He joined Urban in 1968, its founding year, and was an integral part of the organization for nearly 55 years, where he led the development of performance management/measurement and evaluation procedures for public agencies since the 1970s. Widely considered “the father of performance management,” Hatry shaped landmark efforts to develop and apply actionable measurement standards and procedures, helping the public hold both government agencies and nonprofit organizations accountable for their performance. He worked with a range of local, state, and federal agencies—internationally and nationally—to develop outcome measurement procedures for such services as public safety, health, transportation, education, parks and recreation, social services, environ­mental protection, and economic development.

Hatry’s work significantly influenced both passage and implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). This groundbreaking legislation requires all federal agencies to engage in performance management tasks such as setting goals, measuring results, and reporting progress. Over the years, the White House, the Office of Management and Budget, and other agencies turned to Hatry to advise on GPRA procedures and evaluations.

Hatry was a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, was a member of the US Office of Management and Budget’s 2002–03 Performance Measurement Advisory Council, and served for several years on the US De­partment of Education’s external Evaluation Review Advisory Panel. He received the American Society for Public Administration’s “Outstanding Contributor to the Literature of Management Science and Policy Science” award in 1984, the Elmer B. Staats award for excellence in program evaluation in 1985, a National Public Service Award in 1993, and the “Evaluator of the Year” award from the Washington, DC, Evaluators Association in 1996.

In 1999, the Center for Accountability and Performance of the American Society of Public Administration established the annual Harry Hatry Award for Distinguished Practice in Performance Measurement. In 2014, his coauthored article, “The Case for Performance Monitoring,” was named one of the 75 most influential articles to have appeared in Public Administration Review since 1940.

In 2019, the Urban Institute bestowed upon Hatry the Urban Mastermind award, which recognizes scholars who contribute above and beyond to Urban’s research capacity, expertise, and renown—only the third time in Urban’s history the award has been given.

Research Areas
Nonprofits and philanthropy
Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Children and youth
Kids in context
Evidence-based policy capacity
Federal evaluation forum