Leonard Lira

Leonard Lira

Assistant Professor,

Political Science


What research questions/issues currently preoccupy you?

My research agenda is shaped and informed by my academic studies and my experience as a practitioner. My overall research interests are in general public administration scholarship. However, my experience in higher education pedagogy, organizational transformation, and collaborative policy implementation have been the thrust of my recent publications. One specific research question has pre-occupied my research since I was a doctoral student: How does collaboration affect performance? This simple question has led me on several journeys of discover, such as my current research interest in veterans policy research. As an emerging field of study, it relies heavily on collaboration between practitioners and academics from diverse fields of practice and study.

What personal factors contributed to your research?

My previous career as a military officer probably made the most impact on my intellectual curiosity. Being selected to teach Political Science at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY broaden my world and introduce me to the academic world. The Army, as one of the largest public organizations in the nation, was like working a daily case study of public management and public policy.

What has been most challenging in your RSCA?

As a new faculty member, my biggest challenge has been finding the time to balance my teaching, research, and service obligations.

How has your academic position at SJSU contributed to your RSCA?

My appointment as an assistant professor has provided me access to both funding and other resources such as King Library and a great group of senior faculty that I have been able to go to for advice.

A website/journal/newspaper (in your field?) you follow without fail:

I always follow Govexec.com and PA Times.

Advice you would give to newer faculty or to students:

Always stay curious. It’s the key to learning and teaching.

RSCA accomplishments

An Engine for Army Learning,” with Keith Beurskens, in The Journal of Military Learning, Army University Press October 2017.

“Negotiation in the Military” In The Negotiator’s Desk Reference, Volume II, eds. Andrea Kupfer Schneider and Christopher Honeyman. DRI Press: Saint Paul Minnesota. 2017. (forthcoming)

Book Review “New Wars and New Soldiers: Military Ethics in the Contemporary WorldPublic Integrity, Volume 19, Issue 5, (2017).