Search Google Appliance

Information for Panel Chairs

Sept. 6, 2011

Dear Panel Chairperson:

Thank you again for agreeing to serve as a panel chair for the Second International Conference on Government Performance Management & Leadership. Service as an effective panel chair is critical to the success of an international conference such as this with delegates from several nations in attendance. This memo is to help you understand the flow of conference preparations and the situation we expect you to face as a panel chair.

Click here to view detailed panel assignments and themes

We have been collecting abstracts and papers from conference participants over the past several weeks, and we expect to receive a large tranche of papers from the Chinese delegation by September 8. We plan on finalizing the membership of each panel by Sept. 12th and we will inform you of your panel members shortly thereafter. We will subsequently email you the papers or English abstracts submitted by your assigned panel members. We have also asked the members of your panel to email you a copy of their presentation talking points in English by Sept. 16, 2011. 

We have provided presentation guidelines to panel members. These guidelines are attached to the cover email for your review. We have tried to give you the greatest latitude possible in structuring and running your panel within the larger constraints of the conference. However, we would like to remind you of several important constraints.

Maintaining Conference Schedule:

• Please make every effort to close your panel on time.  Doing so will help the conference run smoothly.
• The presenter guidelines encourage panelists to aim for a 9 minute presentation, but the guidelines explain that chair has prerogative to shorten time, or add time if it’s available.


• This is truly an international conference! A large Chinese delegation will attend. Smaller delegations from Japan and Vietnam will also attend. 
• We have asked all participants to present their papers in English, however some panelists may need translation help.
• Managing non-English speakers and translation services will be an important challenge of serving as  a panel chair.  
• Whenever possible, we have reduced the number of panelists to allow sufficient time for translation.
• We have arranged a set of panels and plenaries for simultaneous translation (ST) of Mandarin and English. In Simultaneous Translation, each participant and audience member uses earphones to listen to the translated message. We will notify you if you will chair an ST panel.
• For many other panels, we have worked to carefully blend non-English speakers into the panels based on expected topics and themes. For a few presenters with weak English skills, we will have staff translators to support a presenter using consecutive translation (CT). In CT, the translator translates on a paragraph by paragraph basis. This is a slow process, and as noted we have reduced the number of panelists to accommodate the translation process. 
• Finally, we will have a small number of staff translators to accommodate Japanese and Spanish speakers on an as needed basis. Translators sitting in the panel audience may quietly provide one-on-one translation using whisper translation.
• We ask your help in accommodating the translators supporting your panel.

Audio-Visual Staff:

• We will provide each room with an overhead projector and computer. Guidelines ask presenters to bring their presentation on a thumb drive for insertion into the computer. As backup, we have asked presenters to have their presentation accessible through web email.
• Audio-visual staff will be available for each panel to get presentations loaded and to ensure that the equipment functions effectively.
• For a few panels following a plenary session or lunch, audio-visual staff may need to reconnect and reset cables before the panel can begin.  We have trimmed 5 minutes from these panels to allow time for this reset.

Role of the Panel Chair:

• We ask your help to ensure that all panelists have a chance to present and share their work, and to gain effective feedback on their themes and conclusions.
• You may order panelists and structure discussion in the manner you deem most effective. Panel chairs will open the panel, introduce each speaker, manage any translation, and monitor each speaker's time.
• Panel chairs will also control questions from the audience, pose starter questions to panel members, structure and guide the discussion, and summarize and close the session on time.

Thank you again for your service as a panel chair.

If you have already registered for the conference and made your hotel reservations, we thank you. If you have yet to register and make hotel reservations, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

If you have any questions and concerns, please contact Kent Robinson at We look forward to seeing you later this month.


Phil Keisling                                    Kent Robinson, PhD
Director, Center for Public Service    Conference Panel Coordinator
Portland State University                  Portland State University