An international year in review

Kaye Sullivan
APWA Deputy Executive Director
Kansas City, Missouri

The mission of the International Affairs Committee of the American Public Works Association is to enhance the quality and efficiency with which public works infrastructure and services are provided around the world by facilitating the development and exchange of ideas, information and technology among persons professionally involved in the delivery of such facilities and services.

APWA believes that sharing public works knowledge and experience with other countries benefits us all. It is the charge of this committee to find appropriate mechanisms to increase the benefits to all APWA members resulting from international programs and individual activities. This is achieved largely through the initiative and participation of our membership who have volunteered to work on this committee and its task forces.

It has been a very busy and productive year for the International Affairs Committee. Hopefully you have read the international articles in each of the last eleven issues of the Reporter. We have provided you with relevant information on a range of topics in these articles, including features on public works conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and the Slovak and Czech Republics; skills shortages in Australia's local government; an International Roundtable on Asset Management and asset risk assessment and stakeholder tradeoffs in New Zealand; a public works delegation to India; ICMA International's work overseas; and IFME, the International Federation of Municipal Engineers.

Monthly conference calls of the committee and the work of its task forces have resulted in creative planning and successful achievements for our partnerships with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia; INGENIUM (Association of Local Government Engineering New Zealand Incorporated); the Asociacion de Municipios de Mexico; and the Slovak and Czech Republics Public Works Associations. Some of the more significant achievements of these partnerships include:

  • Board and member participation at each of the associations' major conferences. Identifying ways to better serve our respective organizations and members through corroboration and exchange of information in education, training, technology and management practices.

  • Hosting 17 public works professionals from the Czech and Slovak Republics at the 2006 Congress in Kansas City.

  • Hosting a number of public works professionals from Mexico at the 2007 Congress in San Antonio.

  • Hosting public works professionals from Australia and New Zealand at each of the APWA Congresses.

  • Worked with the Jennings Randolph Fund, established through the Eisenhower Institute, to provide four APWA members with fellowships to present public works papers at our international partners' conferences with a study tour as an extension of the presentation.

The committee also prepared international educational sessions for the 2007 Congress in San Antonio. If you are at Congress this year, please consider attending these sessions.

The International Affairs Committee is anxious to hear from you. Please let us know if there is a particular international program on which you would like us to work or a particular international public works issue you would like to hear about in an article in the Reporter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of members of the International Affairs Committee or attend the IAC meeting at the 2007 Congress.

The members of the 2006-2007 International Affairs Committee are as follows:

  • Robert Kass (Chair), Public Works Director, City of Campbell, California
  • Armando (Rocky) Aranda, Jr., Aranda Infrastructure Management, Atascosa, Texas
  • Leonard K. Bernstein, P.E., Special Projects Coordinator, City of Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Geoff Greenough, P.Eng., Retired Commissioner of Public Works, Moncton, New Brunswick
  • Abdullah Hajer, Engineer Administrator, Fulton County, Georgia
  • Brian W. Pettet, Director of Public Works, Pitkin County, Colorado
  • Chris Champion, P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia, Sydney, Australia
  • Ross Vincent, Chief Executive, INGENIUM, Thames, New Zealand
  • Diane Linderman, P.E. (Board Liaison), Director of Urban Infrastructure & Development, VHB, Inc., Richmond, Virginia
  • Kaye Sullivan (Staff Liaison), APWA Deputy Executive Director, Kansas City, Missouri

Kaye Sullivan can be reached at (816) 595-5233 or

Call for applicants for 2008 Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program

The APWA International Affairs Committee is pleased to announce the call for applicants for the 2008 Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program. This fund was originally established by the APWA International Public Works Federation (IPWF) at the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute in 1987. In 2007, four APWA members were funded for study tours in Australia and the Slovak and Czech Republics.

It is the intent of the International Affairs Committee (IAC) to award two to three fellowships per year for APWA members to travel to countries with which APWA has formal international partnerships with other public works associations.

The criterion for the program is as follows:

APWA members will present public works/infrastructure-related papers at APWA's international partnership countries' public works-related conferences; coupled with a one-week or more extended study tour of public works facilities in that country; and a paper regarding that tour presented at the next available APWA Congress or the Fellow's respective chapter conference and other professional organizations; and preparation of an article in the APWA Reporter.

At this time, it is the intention that fellowships be made available for attendance at the IPWEA, INGENIUM and SPWA/CZPWA conferences every other year and the AMMAC conference annually. The Jennings Randolph Fellowship will be awarded on the basis of funding available each year through interest earned in the fund. Some years may be more lucrative than others and the committee hopes to be able to award more than one fellowship per year.

APWA international partner conferences are generally held as follows:

  • Slovakia Public Works Association (SPWA) and Czech Republic Public Works Association (CZPWA) - October of every year (Fellowship for 2009)

  • Asociacion de Municipios de Mexico, A.C. (AMMAC) - usually November of every year (Fellowship for 2008)

  • Association of Local Government Engineering New Zealand (INGENIUM) - June of every year (Fellowship for 2008)

  • Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) - August of every odd year (Fellowship for 2009)

The proposed study topic should be mutually relevant to the specific country and to APWA members. The fellowship will generally cover the airfare expenses. The registration fee for the host conference will be complimentary.

For additional information and an application form, please access APWA's website at and locate guidelines and an application for the Jennings Randolph Fellowship program on the "About APWA" page under "International Activities." Or you may contact Kaye Sullivan, APWA Deputy Executive Director, at 800/848-APWA (2792), extension 5233 or To be eligible for 2008 fellowships, applications must be received at APWA headquarters by 5:00 p.m., Central on October 31, 2007. The successful applicant(s) will be notified by January 31, 2008.