Susan Chandler, Public Administration Program, UH Mānoa

Susan Chandler



I worked as a community organizer attempting to improve health and mental health services. I learned about the need to understand public policy issues, legislative processes, and models of organizational change. I taught in the School of Social Work for many years and served as the Hawaiʻi Director of the Department of Human Services. There, I learned first hand about public administration including administrative rules, bureaucracies, budgets, and organizations. My recent research interests are organizational facilitation, collaboration, and child welfare. I love to teach and learn from students.


  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1976
  • Certificate in Public Administration, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 1994
  • MSW, University of Hawaiʻi, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, 1970
  • BS, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1967


  • PUBA 609: Policy Analysis and Implementation
  • PUBA 626: Collaborative Public Management
  • PUBA 630: Nonprofit Management
  • PUBA 667: Special Topics
  • PUBA 695: Capstone Planning Seminar
  • PUBA 696: Capstone Seminar


I am currently writing a book called Making Collaboratives Work (Routledge Press). My areas of research include strategies to successfully manage innovative collaborations, designs for successful facilitations of public sector/private sector partnerships and organizational change. My substantive areas of expertise include health policy, mental health services, at-risk children and child welfare reform. My most recent published piece is about improving the lives of children at risk of abuse or neglect through family engagement. I hope to continue in this field.

Community Engagement

As the Director of Human Services, I introduced Family Group Conferencing to Hawaiʻi. It is now a statewide model of practice that includes families in the decision-making about their children in the child protection system. I also led the initiative to increase collaboration across several state agencies (called Wraparound) for high-risk youth. I am currently leading a process evaluation of a 5-year demonstration program attempting to improve child welfare services and see how successful the state is in utilizing new, evidence-based practices in their work with children and families.