Katherine has spent the last 30 years teaching, conducting research and consulting regarding public management, budgeting and finance. She has internationally recognized expertise of the legal foundations, use and effects of performance budgeting on U.S. state management, budgets and finances. Her 2001 book co-authored with Dr. Kurt Thurmaier (Northern Illinois University) examines the relationship between budgeting and policy development on the part of analysts employed in executive budget offices in U.S. state governments in the South and Midwest. She served as grading team leader of budget and financial management for two iterations of the Government Performance Project, a national research effort funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts that examined management in the 50 American states. Her 2014 book co-edited with Dr. Marilyn Rubin (Rutgers) assesses revenues, expenditures and debt management in state governments. Her sole authored 2014 book, Public Budgeting in Context, examines budgeting at every level of government in the United States, with comparison to such practices in six other countries around the world. Katherine's most recent book, co-authored with Elaine Yi Lu (CUNY), Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice, is a first of its kind to spotlight budget practice through the lens of state managed juvenile justice services, providing a framework for understanding the use and impacts of performance budgeting on policy to effect budget change. Katherine has taught graduate courses in public management, budgeting and finance, financial management, and research methods and has taught undergraduate, graduate and doctoral courses in public budgeting and finance. Dr. Willoughby has an extensive background in consulting with and training of numerous management, budget, finance and other government officials from around the globe regarding budgeting and management best practices.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My research concentrates on practice and reform in public budgeting and management, both here and abroad. I have investigated public budgetary decision making as well as the context of public budgeting in order to understand the predictors of budgeting results. I am interested in continuing to study these areas of public administration in order to inform theory through the production of enlightening frameworks, as well as to contribute to practice that strengthens governments and their ability to solve public problems.