L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Richard Huff

Associate professor, assistant chair - Master of Public Administration program

Scherer Hall, Room 318 Phone: (804) 828-9813 Email: rrhuff@vcu.edu


  • Government reform and transparency
  • Military policy issues and social/governing impacts
  • Organizational theory and behavior


B.S., Public Administration, University of Arizona
M.S.W., Social Work, Arizona State University
Ph.D., Public Policy and Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University


Huff is an assistant professor of Public Policy and Administration at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he teaches graduate courses in public policy, administration and personnel management and chairs the Master of Public Administration program.

Research interests

Dr. Huff’s academic research has focused primarily on relationships between government personnel, policy reform and organization performance. Additional research interests include theoretical applications to practice areas associated with public leadership, reform and organizational performance, as well as comparative studies focused on the effects of civil service reforms in developed and developing countries.


Richard Huff is an Associate Professor in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program.  He served as Chair of the MPA Program from August 2015 – August 2018.  He also served as the Director of Graduate Studies from 2010 – 2015 for the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.  He received his BS from the University of Arizona and MSW from Arizona State University.  Following a career with the federal government he earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from VCU in 2007.  Most recently, he received a Certificate in Applied Psychoanalytic Theory, International Society of Applied Psychoanalysis, Montpellier, France in December 2019.

Dr. Huff served in both the US Air Force and US Army.  As a commissioned officer in the Army he worked in corrections, substance abuse and family support programs in the US and in Germany. As a member of the federal civil service he was appointed to a number of operational and executive positions primarily within US Army, Europe.  Recognition for his work includes the U.S. Army Commendation Medal, Commander's Award for Civilian Service, Superior Civilian Service Award (two awards), and Meritorious Award for Civilian Service.  He was also recognized for his role in serving on the US Army Europe Family Support Task Force during Operation Desert Shield in 1990 – 1991.

His academic interests fall primarily in studying relationships between government reform and organization performance, government transparency, public administration theory, and comparative studies regarding civil service reform. He teaches graduate courses in the principles of public administration, human resources, organization behavior, policy analysis and public administration theory.  Dr. Huff has published in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Politics & Policy Journal, Global Virtue Ethics Review Journal, the International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, Transforming Government: People, Process, and Policy, Political and Military Sociology, and the Encyclopedia of Governance.  He has also co-authored policy evaluation reports for the VCU Center for Public Policy. 

In 2012, Dr. Huff received an award for best article published in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA) for 2011 (Vol. 13).  An adjudication committee of the International Comparative Policy Analysis (ICPA) Forum, including faculty from Yale University; American University; University of Sydney, Australia; Bocconi University, Milan, Italy; and Baruch College, CUNY selected his article for this annual award.  It was presented in November 2012 at the 4th ICPA-Forum Comparative Research Symposium at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Dr. Huff also served as an external member of the Management, Policy and Sustainability Component Team at the US Office of Personnel Management.   From August 2010 through 2012, he contributed to developing a plan for this federal agency to enhance internal and external collaboration, participation and transparency throughout the organization as part of the President’s Open Government initiative.  In this role he was a contributing author to A Guide to Owning Transparency: How Federal Agencies can Implement and Benefit from Transparency, Burke, W. M., Teller, M. Editors, Open Forum

Selected publications

Huff, R., Cors C. (2016). Of Rhizomes and Pointillism: David John Farmer’s Influence, Method and Art in the Field. International Journal of Organizational Theory and Behavior, Issue 1, Vol. 19 (March 2016).

Ruijer, H., Huff, R. (2016). Breaking Through Barriers: The Impact of Organizational Culture on Open Government Reform. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy.

Huff, Richard F. (2011). Chapter 6, Building a Foundation for Transparency in Government and co-author of Chapter 7, A Framework for Owning Transparency in A Guide to Owning Transparency: How Federal Agencies can Implement and Benefit from Transparency, Burke, W. M., Teller, M. Editors, Open Forum Foundation. http://openforumfoundation.org/2011/10/03/owning-transparency/

Huff, Richard F. (2011). Measuring Performance in US Municipalities: Do Personnel Policies Predict System Level Outcomes? Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Vol. 13, No. 1, 11-33, February 2011.

Huff, Richard F. (2009). Measuring System Level Performance Outcomes in Local Government: Do Human Resource Management Reforms Really Matter? Saarbrucken, Germany: VDM Publishing.

Huff, Richard F. (2006). Entries for: Transnationalism, Human Capital, Governmentality and Organization Culture. In Mark Bevir (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Governance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Huff, Richard F. (2004). Book review. The postnational self: Belonging & Identity. By Ulf Hedetoft and Mette Hjort (Eds.), 2002. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press,Politics & Policy Journal, Vol. 32, No.2, June 2004, pp 385-387.

Huff, Richard F. (2003). Creating the future through relationships: A Native American view of modern administration. Global Virtue Ethics Review Journal, 4, 1, 2003, pp. 4-28

Barrett, K; Brubaker, S.J.; Daniels, S.E.; Holsworth, R.; Huff, R.; Safford, L.; S. Daniels; Sanderson, H. (2002). A preliminary report on studies assessing potential implications of the reauthorization of The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant (TANFII) for Virginia. Prepared by The Center for Public Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University and submitted to the Virginia Department of Social Services June 30, 2002.