Former PAR President Receives National Award
Contact: Robert Travis Scott
(225) 926-8414, ext. 221
Former PAR President James C. “Jim” Brandt was honored Tuesday night for his numerous contributions to and longtime service in governmental research.
Brandt, who retired as PAR’s president at the end of 2010, was awarded the Frederick P. Gruenberg Award by the Governmental Research Association at the organization’s annual conference in New Orleans this week. The GRA has given the Gruenberg Award since 1975 to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. Brandt is the second PAR staff member to receive the award in the past two years. In 2010, former senior research associate Richard T. “Ty” Keller was honored with the award.
Brandt began his public policy career in New Orleans City Hall in 1970 during former Mayor Moon Landrieu’s administration. From there, he moved to the Institute for Governmental Studies at Loyola University, serving as assistant director and senior associate. He also served as deputy director of the Downtown Development District and was a leading planner of the New Orleans World’s Fair. After a few years in private consulting, he took over the presidency of a struggling Bureau of Governmental Research in 1987. Brandt returned the organization to structural and financial health and oversaw the landmark studies BGR continues to build on today.
After 12 years, Brandt moved again, this time to take over as president of the Public Affairs Research Council in Baton Rouge. In his nearly 12 years at PAR’s helm, Brandt brought about another organizational transformation. He led the development of a $3 million permanent endowment fund for research and raised the organization’s reputation. Under his leadership, PAR became the leading resource on state ethics reform and sunshine laws.
During his more than 40-year career in government affairs, Brandt was the author of more than 75 reports focused on governmental structure and organization. He received numerous national, state and local awards for his work, and served as president of the Governmental Research Association. Brandt, a native of North Dakota, earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, majoring in history and political science. He received his master’s degree in community organization and planning from Tulane University.
In its farewell tribute to Brandt, PAR wrote: “Jim’s careful stewardship of PAR’s reputation and financial stability has ensured that we can continue to provide the credible and independent scrutiny of state government that our mission demands. His leadership is revered by those who have worked with him over the years. Jim set an unforgettable tone of consistency, order and respect that built an uncommon loyalty among board members and staff alike.”
PAR is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan public policy research organization focused on pointing the way toward a more efficient, effective, transparent and accountable Louisiana government. PAR was founded in 1950 and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations.