Frank P Sherwood

11 October, 192028 August, 2019

Frank P. Sherwood, a distinguished scholar and professor in the field of public administration and the founding director of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, died on August 28, 2019 at his home in Annapolis, Maryland.

Born in October 1920, Dr. Sherwood was the only child of Dr. Clarence and Mildred Sherwood. He grew up in San Diego, California, graduating from San Diego High School. From San Diego, he attended Dartmouth College, graduating with the class of 1943. He joined the United States Army later in 1943, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant and serving overseas in Germany. During his three years of service, he served in the 10th Mountain Troop and the 99th Infantry Division, among other units. In 1946, as part of his Army service, he received a Certificate in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University in England. His postwar responsibilities in military government undoubtedly contributed to his lifelong interest in public administration and public service.

In 1950, Dr. Sherwood received a Master’s of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. In 1951, he began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in Public Administration, obtaining his Ph.D. in Political Science from USC shortly afterwards. He taught at USC until 1968, becoming the Director of the USC School of Public Administration. While at USC, he and his family lived in Rio de Janeiro, where he ran USC’s academic program in Brazil. He also taught USC courses in Pakistan and Iran.

In 1968, he was appointed the founding Director of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia where he created and conducted numerous advanced executive development programs. John Macy, then the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, described him as “perhaps the single most important person in the history of public personnel administration.” The FEI, as it became known, was an important educational and training resource for senior federal executives and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

He finished his term as FEI director in 1973 and moved to Washington, D.C. where he (and his wife) founded the Washington Public Affairs Center, an Eastern campus for USC. The WPAC was a pioneer in adult education. One of the key innovations of the WPAC was the Intensive Semester, which divided courses into three learning phases and enabled executives to secure masters and doctorates in public administration with minimal disruption to their work schedules. As a prerequisite to admission, this program required students to describe their contributions to public administration in a doctoral dissertation and to explain how a doctoral degree would further those contributions.

In 1981, he accepted an appointment as the Chairman of the Department of Public Administration at Florida State University in Tallahassee. The University subsequently named him as the first Jerry Collins Eminent Scholar in Public Administration. He served as Management Advisor to the Honorable Robert Graham, Governor of Florida. He retired from FSU in 1995.

Dr. Sherwood received many awards during his academic and professional career, including the National Newswriting Champion in High Schools (1937), Rufus Choate Scholar (Dartmouth), Class of 1926 Fellow (Dartmouth), and election to Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha. Most recently he received FEI’s First Honorary Service Award in 2018. In 1973-74, he served as National President of the American Society for Public Administration. He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 1969 and chaired various NAPA committees during his career. He served on the Board of Editors for numerous publications, including Public Administration Review and the International Journal of Public Administration.

Dr. Sherwood was a prolific author. During his career, he wrote, co-wrote and edited numerous books. The topics covered the challenges of managing sprawling federal agencies, state governments (most notably Florida and California), and city governments (most notably Los Angeles and neighboring cities). After retirement, he continued writing and publishing. Together with his wife, the late Frances (Susse) Sherwood, they published a two volume genealogical study of his Sherwood ancestors, dating back to Thomas Sherwood’s journey from England to the New World in 1634. (See A Changing America Seen Through One Sherwood Family Line 1634-2006; available through Amazon). He also edited and published three years of letters he wrote to his mother during his military service. See It Wasn’t All Combat: A Soldier’s Life in World War II (Amazon). And, after the death of his wife of 68 years, he wrote a final book about her. See My Susse: The Life of Frances Howell Sherwood (Amazon).

One of Dr. Sherwood’s most significant achievements was his enduring relationship with many of his students, especially the doctoral students at USC and FSU. He served on more than 50 doctoral committees, chairing a majority of them. On this subject, he wrote “I think one’s scholarly activity involves the great pleasure of working with doctoral students on their dissertations.” Many of these students became his closest friends and strongest supporters. They have always been part of his family.

Dr. Sherwood married the late Frances Howell in 1948 in Laguna Beach, California. They were happily married for 68 years, until her death in 2016. He was an avid tennis player, a lifelong devotee to journalism and public affairs and a loving husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by: two children: Jeffrey Kirk Sherwood of Annapolis, Maryland and Robin Ann Sherwood of West Norwalk, Connecticut; five grandchildren: Evan MacKinlay Sherwood of Alameda, California, Emily Ann Ziolkowski of London, England, Lindsay Beckwith Sherwood of Los Angeles, California, Sonya Sherwood Ziolkowski of Denver Colorado, and Amanda Persons Sherwood of Los Angeles, California; and one great-granddaughter: Quinn Jones Sherwood, of Alameda, California.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations may be made to: Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation ( or Center for Science in the Public Interest (

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 29 at 3 pm at the Annapolis Maritime Museum in Annapolis, Maryland (723 2d Street, Annapolis, MD, The service will also be live streamed (more information to follow on how to connect to the stream). Information regarding the service will also be available through his obituary, which can be found at:

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Fran and Bill Berry

September 26, 2019

I hated to see the email arrive from Frank's computer. It had to mean very sad news. Please accept my sympathy to Jeff and Robin and your extended family. I loved Frank and Susse dearly. Frank was a demanding colleague and major professor, which I witnessed as his colleague and serving on his doctoral students’ committees, yet Frank wanted his students to be successful and helped them become excellent scholars. Frank was rarely selfish, and organized so many interactions for students and faculty with public officials. He truly loved bringing people together to have dialogue and learn from each other. He was a towering figure in Public Administration, and an amazing leader in all aspects of his life.
Reflecting on Frank and Susse, many memories come forth. Frank was a family man, and he extended his biological family to include many of us who bonded with him. He kept up with us, and was attentive when we needed advice or brainstorming.
Bill and I enjoyed our friendship with Frank and Susse in the later years of their life, when they would come to Tallahassee for five months in the winter. They were clearly still in love with each other, and were fun to be with. Frank loved to talk about current events, and stories about his former students. He and Susse had a rich social network of friends. We had a wonderful time visiting Annapolis with Fran and Bob several years back, to celebrate Frank and to talk about every thing in our lives.
I know Frank’s last few years have not been easy. Life was harder without Susse, and there was no way to replace her partnership with him. But his family really supported his decisions in a way few families do, instead of taking the easier way to use institutionalization.
And all of his many dear friends must feel fortunate to have had Frank as a friend, mentor, and professional colleague over Frank’s long, rich and lucid life. We were really lucky to be in his social and professional circles.


September 12, 2019

I knew Frank from seeing him at numerous ASPA national conferences. He was a giant among the ASPA leadership and ably served as its National President in the early 1970s. May he rest in peace.

Stephen R. Rolandi
Larchmont, New York

Charlotte Featherstone

September 5, 2019

I wrote and read this letter to Frank at his home on 8/18/19 to expresses my feelings about him:

Dear Frank,

Reflecting on my last visit with you, I was reminded of what a remarkable person you are.

Seems you’ve had and done it all. You were obviously graced at birth with exceptional intelligence—of both intellectual and emotional sort. You, along with your mother and grandmother, handled the tragic young death of your father in such a way that you grew up secure, optimistic and whole. You had what it took to gain entrance to a most prestigious college. You stepped up to military service and made the most of it. You then had the pluck, energy, drive and passion to take on a newspaper venture. When hard times hit, you navigated a path to what turned out to be a stellar, multi-faceted, interesting career.

Along the way, you found and devoted yourself to your beloved Susse. I know from your book how remarkable she was and how you together lived life to the fullest. Such a match: two extraordinary souls who endlessly admired, respected and complemented each other.

And your family... Robin and Jeff exemplify how individuals flourish when graced with a loving, cohesive, kindhearted, broad-minded, stimulating family. You must be so proud when you reflect on them, their goodness and successes. And you've savored your connection to their terrific spouses, children and emerging next generation. Yours is the most admirable family I’ve ever known.

And your friends: SO MANY, and so devoted to you, no surprise or accident. You selflessly and effortlessly engage with others, remember details and show endless interest in them (seems you talk about yourself only when pressed to do so). It’s obvious that you have been an exceptionally caring, enjoyable friend and mentor to many. Your sustained interest in my son Reid is a case in point.

Thank you for the privilege of knowing you.

Terence Smith

September 3, 2019

I met Frank for the first time just a few years ago when I paid a call on him at his Shearwater condo in Eastport. His son, Jeff, a neighbor and sailing pal of mine, had introduced us. I expected a brief visit, perhaps a cup of coffee. Instead, I stayed and talked with this fascinating man for nearly three hours. His fertile mind skipped from topic to topic. He was funny, animated and a pleasure to listen to as he told me of his experiences. I was glad to have known him.

Jeff Sherwood

September 3, 2019

We received this wonderful memory from Edwin Bock:
Dear Jeff and Robin,

It was in Hanover, in the reporters' office of 'The Dartmouth', likely in the
late spring of 1941, that I first heard Frank's name. One of the sports
columnists announced that a '43 named Frank Sherwood had taken
two sets from Art Cohen, the star player of our tennis team.

This week, over 70 years later, many hundreds of people, in many parts
of the globe, will mourn the news of his passing.

And an astonishingly high proportion will feel it as the painful loss of a
dear personal friend who really understood them. I am one of
those -- hurting in a diminished existence.

Please accept my sympathies -- and my admiration for the joy
you brought to Frank and Susie's lives.

Ed Bock

Barbara French

September 3, 2019

Frank was my major professor at Florida State University and a profound influence on my career and life. His strength, intelligence, and insight opened up many paths for me. To this day, I have a passion and commitment for leadership and organizational development, much of which I owe to Frank Sherwood's influence. He was, indeed, a force to be reckoned with, and an archetype in the field of public administration. He is one of those who left the world a better place. I send my condolences to the family and all who loved, respected, and admired this incredible man.

Mike Carmichael

September 2, 2019

I had the great privilege to work for Frank Sherwood at the Federal Executive Institute from 1970 to 1973 and to have him as a good friend from that point on. At FEI Frank not only led ground-breaking advances in executive development, but he managed to bring out the best in staff and to create a sense of family. Frank’s example, as a leader, as an academician, and as a person, was a good one. Watching Frank age and go through the loss of his beloved Susse was sad, but there was also a sense of joy in the fact that—no matter what happened to him—he was always the same old Frank: very intelligent; always learning; always sharing what he learned; always blunt when bluntness was needed; and always caring and encouraging. I am so thankful for the memories! - Mike Carmichael, Redondo Beach, CA

Dominic M. Calabro

September 1, 2019

I had the distinct honor and pleasure to work with Dr. Frank Sherwood as a former graduate of the FSU Public Administration Dept. and as CEO of Florida TaxWatch. Frank was always sharp, insightful, engaging and wise in systems to build stronger organizations & communities.

Though he was 36 years my senior, in my eyes he was so much younger and always approachable, engaging and instructive. His contributions remain impressive, but I have been touched most of all by his caring heart, charming smile and indomitable spirit.

We are all the better because of Frank P. Sherwood and his life of unselfish public service.


Dominic M. Calabro
Florida TaxWatch, Inc.
Tallahassee, FL

Fran Germany-Griggs

August 31, 2019

Frank was a wonderful man, role model and great friend. He and Susse (and Rusty) have been an important part of our life for many years. Both of them will remain with us as long as we live. We have many wonderful memories to recollect and stories to share. We offer our condolences to the Sherwood family.
Warmest regards,
Bob Griggs and Fran Germany-Griggs

Judith Dunn

August 29, 2019…To…. Jeff, Jae, Robin and extended Sherwood and Ziolkowski family members. You sad news tonight has crushed me.. Every time I look across the way I think of Frank and Susie and the many, many good times we all had together. Frank is a man whom we both admired so much… as his life was in many ways a wonderment! I will always remember Frank being one a few people in life I have known to always have a positive attitude 98% of the time! We still have much of the liquor we inherited from him and I have only to walk in my closet and see and admire the wonderful chest of drawers from their home. I love my tureen from Gien, France which I inherited , as well. I will include some photos I took of Frank, Rusty and Susie and all of us. He was a very special person, and surely an ‘uncommon man’ among men, as he might say, and I knew that when I first read he is book! I will think of Frank as gone on before us, and maybe ready for a set of tennis or a cocktail way up in the beyond….. We send our sympathies and respect and love to all the family… Judi & Gerry …PS I love all these photographs of Frank, so to me he will always be right here!


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