Elizabeth Jane Beckett-Camarata, Ph.D.

Teaching Professor of Public Administration, School of Public Affairs
Professor-in-Charge, Master of Health Administration
Coordinator, Bachelor of Science in Health Administration
Coordinator, Certificate Program in Long Term Care
Office Phone
Office Location
Olmsted Building, W160-N

Dr. Beckett-Camarata is a Teaching Professor of Public Administration.  She conducts research and teaches in the Master’s and Ph.D. programs and consults in the field of public management, budgeting and finance. She has internationally recognized expertise in the use and effects of capital and operating budgeting and accounting principles and practices on state and local management, budgets and finances. Her 2020 sole-authored book, Public-Private Partnerships, Capital Infrastructure Project Investments and Infrastructure Finance: Public Policy for the 21st Century (Emerald Press), examines the relationship between public-private partnerships, budgeting, and infrastructure finance.  

Her finance teaching interests include government revenue systems, public financial management, budgeting, capital budgeting, infrastructure finance, cost accounting, and governmental and  managerial accounting. Dr. Beckett-Camarata was a recipient of a Lilly Foundation Scholar Award for the advancement of teaching excellence. She has taught university courses at three Russian Universities and was a Fulbright Scholar at Kharhiv National University in Kharkiv, Ukraine where she taught economic development finance. While at the University of North Wales, Bangor, Wales, she researched the impact of the EU on bank regulation.

Dr. Beckett-Camarata has authored many articles and book chapters. Her work has been published in the Public Productivity and Management Review, Journal of Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, Municipal Finance Journal, International Journal of Public Administration, American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Business Research, Handbook of Public Sector Economics and Handbook of Globalization, and Governance and Public Administration. She was the recipient of the Baruch College, CUNY distinguished Municipal Leadership and Finance Award which funded her 2005 summer research on changes in New York City’s pension fund assets during fiscal crisis.

Dr. Beckett-Camarata serves on Ph.D. Dissertation Committees and has supervised over 70 MPA Capstone applied research projects on such critical policy areas as Affordable Housing, Rural Homelessness, Prison Reform and Opioid Addiction and developed partnerships with Pennsylvania City and County government officials as well as State government and legislative officials. Her spring 2019 Capstone students examined Affordable Housing in the City of Harrisburg and presented their research to the Harrisburg City Council and the Mayor, as well as participated on a panel on Affordable Housing at the Penn State Harrisburg Eastgate Center. This partnership received the Best Public Partnership Award by the American Society for Public Administration, Central Pennsylvania Chapter.  Her 2020 Capstone students received the Best MPA Student Award for their research on Cost-Efficient Mitigation Strategies for Ransomware Attacks on Municipalities.  Her innovative Pandemic Simulation in the 2021 Capstone course provided students with the opportunity to theory to the management and analysis of a current, complex world-wide public policy issue. 

As a former chief financial officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, she managed operating and capital budgets, financial accounting and reporting, and revenue forecasting. She was instrumental in integrating the strategic plan into the budget and accounting system and establishing and integrating financial performance measures.

She serves as an expert reviewer for the Government Finance Officers Association and as an expert witness for the U.S. Federal Court System in government budgeting. She also serves on the editorial board of several academic journals.

Dr. Beckett-Camarata is active in professional organizations including the American Society for Public Administration, where she has served as co-chair of the Finance Committee, Executive Council, and Audit Committee;  Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, where she has served on the Board of Directors, the Program Committee and the Curro Award Committee; National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, where she has served on site visit teams and on the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA); the Government Finance Officers Association; and numerous other organizations.

Dr. Beckett-Camarata received a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University (1998); master of public administration from the American University (1989); and bachelor of science degree in finance from Syracuse University (1983).


Research Interests

Fiscal stress

Contingent liabilities

Municipal operating budget volatility and debt management

Municipal bankruptcy

State and local budgeting

Type and timeliness of financial reporting

State and local performance accounting and reporting

Revenue volatility

Infrastructure finance

Intergovernmental transfers


Beckett-Camarata, J. (2020). Public-Private Partnerships, Capital Infrastructure Project Investments and Infrastructure Finance: Public Policy for the 21st Century (Emerald Press)

Beckett-Camarata, J. (2016). (Forthcoming) Public Choice and Financing Local Government Fiscal Reform in Albania. In Positioning Markets and Governments in Public Management. (Levine and Saldavar edition)

Beckett-Camarata, J. (2015). Financial Condition. In Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy. Mel Dubnik, Ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.

Beckett-Camarata, J. (2015). Capital Budgeting. In Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, Mel Dubnik, Ed.; Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York.

Beckett-Camarata, J. (2015). Financial Emergencies. In Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy. Mel Dubnik, Ed.; Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York

Beckett-Camarata, Jane and Grizzle, Cleopatra (2014). The Financial Crisis in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. International Journal of Public Finance and Management (14) (1).

Beckett-Camarata, J. (2009). Local Government Measurement and Use of Performance Accounting and Financial Reporting Data in Planning and Budgeting Decision Support: A Multi-Case Study. Public Performance and Management Review. (33) (2) December pp. 255-265.

Beckett-Camarata, J. (2009). The Current Impact of the Tightening Credit Market on Municipal Borrowing Costs: A Case Study. Municipal Finance Journal. Winter (29) (4) Winter 2009, pp. 77-86.

Beckett-Camarata, J., Camarata, M. and Purton, G. (2009). A Strategic Regional Approach to Economic Development and School Funding in Ohio. International Journal of Public Administration.


B.S.; M.S.; Ph.D (Virginia)