Robert Blair, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow | College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS)

University of Nebraska at Omaha



Dr. Blair, Professor of Public Administration and Director of Urban Studies, has been at the University of Nebraska Omaha since 1989. Previously he worked in city management, economic development and community development in Nebraska. He directs the local management program at UNO and works regularly with city managers. Prof. Blair has assisted many communities and public organizations on projects related to community and economic development. He was recognized by ICMA in 2014 for his contributions to the field of professional local government management. Prof. Blair has contributed to Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Works Management and Policy Journal, State and Local Government Review, International Journal of Public Administration, Great Plains Research, The Journal of the Community Development, Public Administration Review, and Public Administration Quarterly. Bob is another Fellow who is now teaching and researching based on lessons learned as city manager in NE communities. His research and outreach efforts have been a great resource for public administrators throughout rural NE and the midwest.

Research Interests

  • Public policy
  • State and local government
  • Urban and rural development
  • Program implementation


  • Public Administration
  • Community Development
  • City Management
  • Economic Development

Leadership Roles

  • Local Government Management Education committee for the Network of Schools of
  • Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • Vice chair of the Advisory Board on Graduate Education for the International City
  • Management Association (ICMA)


  • City Management in the United States and Norway: A Comparative Analysis of Professional Orientations. Christian Janousek, co-author. International Journal of Public Administration, 37 (8) 484-493, 2014.
  • Demographic Foundation of Rural Education in the Great Plains: The Impact of Urbanization. David Drozd and Jerry Deichert, co-authors. Great Plains Research. 23 (3) Fall 2013.
  • State Rural Development Policy: The Role of the Community Development Block Grant Program. Jerry Deichert and David Drozd, co-authors. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management. 20 (1) Spring 2008.
  • Theory-Practice Exchange in Local Government Management: Perspectives of Practitioners and Scholars. Christian Janousek, co-author. American Review of Public Administration.
  • The Emergence of Local Government Policy Leadership: A Roaring Torch or a Flickering Flame? Anthony Starke, co-author. State and Local Government Review 49 (4), 2017.


  • Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award, 2015. UNO Alumni Association.
  • Honorary Member, International City/County Management Association, 2014, for distinguished public service and contributions to the improvement and strengthening of local government, ICMA’s the highest award
  • Pi Alpha Alpha, National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration, 2004.


  • Rural Futures Institute
  • Faculty Research International
  • Omaha Public Power District