Public Administration Leadership (PAL) Challenge

The Public Administration Leadership (PAL) Challenge was created in 2013 by Master of Public Administration students. The main purpose of the Challenge is to engage UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduates in relevant, community-based issues of public administration in the form of a case study competition for a prize of $1000! Through this competition, the PAL Challenge has three main goals:

  • To educate undergraduates about public administration
  • Allow students opportunities to learn about careers in public administration, practice research and analysis, and writing skills to solve real-world problems
  • To promote the mission of the School of Government and Master of Public Administration programs.

2020 Pal Challenge invitation

This year’s PAL Challenge: 

This year’s case was centered on climate change resulting in flooding that was negatively impacting a small, fictitious town in North Carolina. As we know with our recent hurricanes from last year, floodwaters can destroy homes, infrastructure, agriculture, and threaten drinking water supplies and public health. This leaves local communities and economies reeling from the potentially catastrophic impacts, and local governments are the ones faced with the costs of recovery and clean up after flooding.  This is a current and relevant issue facing local government administrators.

 The teams were asked to research and consider funding options for mitigating factors that local governments can employ, citizen engagement, health and safety impacts, and peer municipalities to limit some of the negative impacts of flooding on this town.

All four Pal Challenge winners after their presentation
All four Pal Challenge winners after their presentation

2020 PAL Challenge Winners:

The 2020 PAL Challenge winners were: The Green Beans! This year’s winning team competed against ten other teams, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning to classes from home, and presenting remotely. 

Congratulations to Abi Blanchard, Olivia Huckel, Aakash Thumaty, and Zachary Walker, who are all seniors at UNC-Chapel Hill! They were a team of diverse backgrounds and majors. We are so proud of them! Want to learn more about our winners, check out this interview of the Green Beans Team and Cara Robinson, our MPA Director of Admissions.