Dr. Zach Huitink is the inaugural D’Aniello Family Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, where he works in the Research and Evaluation division on veterans’ employment, strategic planning, service delivery, and civil-military relations issues.
Dr. Huitink brings a range of research and analysis expertise to the IVMF. He previously worked for four and a half years as a research associate in Syracuse University’s Campbell Public Affairs Institute, where he contributed to several externally-funded projects addressing government contracting, public-private partnerships, strategic planning, service delivery, and organizational change at the U.S. federal, state, and local levels. He has also completed an internship in the policy research group at the Council of State Governments (CSG), where he published weekly analysis and reports on state-level economic and fiscal policy, and assisted with the management of StatesPerform, an interactive, web-based tool for comparing state-level outcomes across multiple public policy areas. Huitink has a demonstrated track record of obtaining extramural research funding and working with research sponsors, clients, and subject matter experts across the public, private, nonprofit, and university sectors. Example stakeholders with whom he has worked and interacted for research include the U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Homeland Security (DHS); the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM); the Government Accountability Office (GAO); the World Bank; the United Service Organizations (USO); and the state of New York. His work and opinions have been featured in Politico, Government Executive, and a variety of other web-based news outlets covering public policy and management.
In addition to his work at IVMF, Huitink is an externally affiliated researcher in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, and has experience as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer in master’s degree public policy, management, and national security courses at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He has also served as a course instructor in the master of public policy and human development program at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where he taught policy implementation. Prior to graduate school, he worked as an analyst in the financial services industry, and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer supporting community revitalization programs.
Huitink earned a Ph.D. with concentrations in organization theory, public management, and international security from the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs in Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, where he wrote his dissertation on U.S. weapons procurement. He maintains an active research agenda focused on government contracting, public-private partnerships, and strategic planning in the national security, defense, and veterans policy areas. Huitink holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Martin School at the University of Kentucky and an honors BA in economics from Coe College, where he won the economics department’s outstanding senior thesis award and its Harley W. Howell award for academic performance and contributions to extracurricular activities in the department and across the college.