Bernard Rosen, federal executive

Bernard Rosen, 92, a past executive director of the old U.S. Civil Service Commission who then spent 25 years at American University teaching graduate courses in the school of public affairs, died Jan. 27 at a hospice in San Francisco.

The cause was respiratory failure and atrial fibrillation. A son, Stephen Rosen, confirmed the death.

Mr. Rosen spent the majority of his federal career with the U.S. Civil Service Commission — now the Office of Personnel Management — and served as executive director from 1971 to 1975. He also was a member of interagency task forces involving organization, management and manpower problems.

He worked for the State Department in the early 1960s and became counselor for administrative affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

Bernard Rosen was born in New York City to Jews who had emigrated from Eastern Europe. He was a 1940 graduate of the University of Alabama, where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. In 1941, he received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois. He was an Army veteran of World War II.

His books included “Holding Government Bureaucracies Accountable,” first published in 1982. He was a senior fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. His honors included the Office of Personnel Management’s Medal for Meritorious Service.

He helped start American University’s Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership in federal government. Mr. Rosen and his wife funded a scholarship at AU for a master’s degree in public administration.

In 2009, he moved to San Francisco from Washington.

His wife of 62 years, Adele Berman Rosen, died in 2004. His brother, Louis Rosen, who died in 2009, was a nuclear physicist who helped build the first atom bomb.

Survivors include two sons, Bernard A. Rosen of Laguna Beach, Calif., and Stephen Rosen of San Francisco; and three grandsons.

— Adam Bernstein