Mr. Volcker will declare another war on Wednesday, this time on the public’s eroding faith in government. He plans to begin a foundation called the Volcker Alliance, aimed at improving how government works at the local, state and federal levels.
Mr. Volcker, whose goal is to start with a budget of about $5 million a year, plans to finance a substantial part of that personally, and will raise money from outside donors.
The group will work with universities as well as private entities like the RAND Corporation and the Partnership for Public Service, supporting research projects, awarding fellowships and holding conferences on how to make government work better.
Despite well-financed programs at Ivy League universities like Harvard and Princeton and elsewhere, in some academic quarters, “public administration is almost a bad word,” Mr. Volcker said in an interview on Tuesday at his office in Rockefeller Center. Too often, he said, the focus is on theory rather than the nuts and bolts of governance.
“We’re not going to be a think tank,” he said. Initially, “We’re going to be a catalyst, a coordinator, with a couple of senior people, a few junior people and some nonresident fellows.”
“So much energy goes into getting a law passed,” Ms. Metzenbaum said. “There isn’t the same impetus in terms of implementation.”
“It’s about accountability,” she added. “How do we get government agencies to keep moving forward?”