Dr. Tonya T. Neaves


Dr. Tonya T. Neaves is the Director for Extramural Projects with George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. In this role, she works closely with faculty in developing proposals and securing contracts for the policy and administrative sciences. She is also the Director for the Schar School’s Centers on the Public service that conducts research, provides training and education, and offers thought leadership to advance the work of management officials across all sectors of government. As part of her faculty appointment, Dr. Neaves serves as an Assistant Professor in the Master of Public Administration program and is the Coordinator for its Emergency Management and Homeland Security graduate certificate, in which it recently was ranked 3rd in the nation. In addition to this, she is the Director for the Virginia Certified Public Manager® Program. Prior to joining Mason, Dr. Neaves was the Director for the Mississippi Public Safety Data Laboratory at Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center. During that time, she worked closely with the Mississippi Highway Patrol in developing computational programs that analyze real-time traffic records. As a scholar, Dr. Neaves research portfolio has included securing contracts from the Sandia National Laboratories, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Transportation Security Administration, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. To date, her total research funding approximates $6 million. Dr. Neaves has also published her efforts in the Review of Policy Research, Journal of Emergency Management, Review of Public Personnel Management, and the American Journal of Public Health.

Dr. Neaves is very involved in her field as well. As an active member of the American Society for Public Administration, she now serves as a Viewpoint Associate Editor for its Public Administration Review, the premiere journal for public administration, which focuses on connecting scholars with communities of practice. Dr. Neaves has a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University, where she also earned a Master of Public Policy and Administration. She has a strong planning and analysis background, with an emphasis in project management. She pursues innovative leadership, problem solving, and has been developing a model for the 3C’s (increased communication, enhanced coordination, and meaningful collaboration). Her areas of expertise include emergency management, communal resiliency, high threats, and critical infrastructure.