Amy K. Donahue
Department of Public Policy
B.A., Princeton University, Geological and Geophysical Sciences, 1989
M.P.A., The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 1996
Ph.D., The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Public Administration, 2000
Teaching & Research Interests
Executive leadership and management
Public safety and disaster preparedness
Public budgeting and finance
Dr. Amy K. Donahue
Dr. Amy Donahue is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut Department. As a social scientist, Dr. Donahue’s research focuses on crisis leadership, the productivity of emergency services organizations, and citizen disaster preparedness.
From 2011-2018, Dr. Donahue served as the University’s Vice Provost for Academic Operations. In that role, she was responsible for operational decision-making, crisis planning, capital planning, strategic workforce management, labor-management relations, financial resource oversight, and compliance management for an academic enterprise that included fourteen schools and colleges and five regional campuses. Prior to her service in the Provost’s Office, she was Head of the Department of Public Policy for five years.
Previously Dr. Donahue served as advisor to the Chancellor of Louisiana State University immediately following Hurricane Katrina, and was the founding director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, a research institute at Louisiana State University focused on the challenges of managing large disaster responses. From 2002-2004, on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment, Dr. Donahue was Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Homeland Security at NASA. She was the agency’s liaison to the Department of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council, and was responsible for identifying opportunities for NASA to contribute to homeland security efforts across government. From 2004-2007, Dr. Donahue served on the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, a federal advisory committee that advises NASA on how to improve safety performance. In 2003, she had a major leadership role in the field response to the crash of space shuttle Columbia.
Dr. Donahue has served on numerous panels and task forces for agencies and organizations agencies such as the Veterans Benefits Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the National Mining Association. Most of her service focuses on improving safety, preparedness, and emergency response in a variety of settings. She has served as a technical advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on an array of projects helping to meet the technological needs of emergency responders. She currently participates on a leadership advisory board for Advanced Technologies International, a major defense contractor that leads large consortia of technology development organizations, and serves on Connecticut’s Police Officer Standards and Training Council, which oversees the state’s police academies, training requirements, certification standards and policing procedures.
As a Distinguished Military Graduate of Princeton’s Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1989, she began her career serving in the U.S. Army on active duty for four years in the 6th Infantry Division, rising to the rank of Captain. Her military assignments included serving as an Officer in Charge of a Forward Surgical Team, as the training and operations Officer (S3) for the 706th Main Support Battalion, and as Chief of Mobilization, Education, Training, and Security for Bassett Army Hospital. She moved on to manage a 911 communications center, and to work as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in Fairbanks, Alaska and upstate New York.
Dr. Donahue holds her Ph.D. in Public Administration and her M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her B.A. from Princeton University is in Geological and Geophysical Sciences. She was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2011. She is certified as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician.