The Maxwell Public Administration Alumni Award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of public service espoused by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School’s Public Administration and International Affairs Department as articulated in the Athenian Oath. Awardees demonstrate these principles through accomplishments in support of the public interest. This year’s recipient, John Perry, will receive the award at the annual Public Administration Convocation at the end of June and will lead the graduating class in the recitation of the Athenian Oath.
Perry retired in 2009 after a 37-year career in city management. Most recently he served for 20 years as Village Administrator in Woodridge, Illinois, which was named one of the “100 Best Small Places to Live” by Money Magazine during his tenure. In addition to his service to Woodridge, his career in public service included serving as the first chairperson of the Fair Housing Coalition, as a founding member of the Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association, as a founding member and chairperson of the Illinois Risk Management Association, and as president of Illinois City/County Management Association (ILCMA). In 2009 he received the Robert B. Morris Lifetime Achievement Award from ILCMA.
His commitment to training future generations of public managers includes mentoring numerous local government professionals, teaching local government management at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and authoring the book Blueprint for Building Community: Leadership Insights for Good Government. The book begins with a passage from the Athenian Oath, which also hung on the wall of his office throughout his distinguished career.