Professor Tao is the first international professor of public administration at Incheon National University (INU) in Songdo International City, located on the west coast of Incheon in the Republic of Korea. Her recent research examines the behavior of local government officials, especially as innovators in the political and economic policy behavior of the state. From a policy perspective, she is particularly interested in how public organizations evolve over time in relation to the issues they address, issues of a chronic yet pressing nature: poverty, intergenerational sustainability, and resource depletion. From an organizational perspective, she is currently involved in research projects investigating local government behavior in implementing environmental policy in China, and the influence of Confucian management norms on organizational decision-making. She has published in a wide variety of public administration and public policy journals (American Review of Public Administration, State and Local Government Review, Review of Policy Research, Public Administration Quarterly, Korean Journal of Policy Studies, among others) and co-authored a book on urban policy and administration in the Republic of Korea. She served as the first international Dean of the Office of International Affairs at Incheon National University, during which time the office won an award for productivity.
She will be working with UNU-EGOV on a comparative project examining the effects of culture (East Asian versus Western European) on how local officials utilize social media platforms, and whether such differences have demonstrable effects on important governing conditions, such as transparency, trust, and participation.