Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems

We are pleased to present a conversation with Bill Eggers on his new book, Bridgebuilders. Co-authored with Don Kettl. The book focuses on how government can master the art of working across sectors in order to be more effective and better solve society’s biggest challenges. It builds on work that Eggers and Kettl have done for more than three decades on public sector management and public-private partnerships.

Egger’s presentation, will be followed by a discussion with Mark Baldassare, Senior Fellow, The Bedrosian Center, and Robin Kramer, Managing Director, The Smidt Foundation.


About the Book

We are facing a new generation of complex problems, stretching across the public and private sectors and flowing over organizational boundaries. Historically we have looked to government for big solutions, but the reality is, the government we have now is often a poor match for the problems we face. We need a fresh, new approach. We need a government of bridgebuilders, public managers and leaders who collaborate with partners, both inside and outside government, to get the job done. They manage horizontally instead of vertically; they see their role as connectors; and they identify which players have the assets needed to solve the problems at hand. Bridgebuilders provides a new model that leaders can apply right now to transform government performance and restore public trust.

About the Speakers

William D. Eggers

William D. Eggers is the Executive Director of Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights where he is responsible for the firm’s public sector thought leadership.

He is the author of numerous books. His new book, Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems (Harvard Review Business Press (2023), shows how governments at all levels can more effectively tackle society’s toughest challenges by collaborating with bridgebuilders who bring together different parts of government and tap into other sectors of society.

His other books include Delivering on Digital, The Solution Revolution, named to ten best-book-of-the-year lists, The Washington Post best seller If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, The Public Innovator’s Playbook, and Governing by Network (2004), the winner of the Louis Brownlow book award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of public administration. He coined the term Government 2.0 in a book by the same name. His books have won numerous other national best-book awards.

He also serves as a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, a governance futures council member at the World Economic Forum, an advisory board member at What Works Cities and chairs the Leadership Council for New America. His commentary has appeared in dozens of major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The Guardian.


Mark Baldassare 

Mark Baldassare is senior fellow, Bedrosian Center on Governance in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. He is statewide survey director and the Miller Chair in public policy at the Public Policy Institute of California. For the previous 15 years, he also served as president and CEO of PPIC. Prior to that, he served as PPIC’s director of research and senior fellow. He is a leading expert on public opinion and survey methodology, and has directed the PPIC Statewide Survey since its founding in 1998. He is an authority on elections, voter behavior, and political and fiscal reform, authoring ten books, including, The Coming Age of Direct Democracy: California’s Recall and Beyond, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World, and When Government Fails: The Orange County Bankruptcy and numerous articles and reports on these topics. He often provides testimony before legislative committees and state commissions. Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, where he held the Johnson Chair in Civic Governance. He has conducted surveys for the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the California Business Roundtable. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.


Robin Kramer

Robin Kramer is managing director of the Smidt Foundation, whose mission is to support courageous people building, repairing and making our communities safe.

She brings to this work a varied background in public, private, and nonprofit leadership. Previously, she served as chief of staff to two Los Angeles mayors, Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan— the first woman in the city’s history to serve in this post—and was later a Commissioner for the Port of Los Angeles.  Robin has held senior positions at the Broad Foundation, the California Community Foundation, and the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands; she also worked extensively as an independent consultant for a variety of entities focused on advancing access, equity, and engagement in civic life, public education, and the arts. Earlier in her career, she was chief deputy for Los Angeles city councilmembers Richard Alatorre and Bob Ronka, director of the Democratic Party of Southern California, and executive director of two terrific nonprofit organizations (Coro and Reboot). She helped lead several local ballot measure campaigns, including securing broad reforms in the Los Angeles Police Department.  A volunteer board member for many community-serving nonprofits over the years, she completed two terms as chair of the Pitzer College board of trustees and served as president of her congregation, Temple Israel of Hollywood.  She is currently a trustee of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and the Partnership for LA Schools.

Robin holds an MA in urban studies from Occidental College and a BA in political studies and journalism from Pitzer College.