The articles of this symposium were all part of the First Global Dialogue on Ethical and Effective Governance, a conference organized by the VU University in Amsterdam in May 2009. In this introduction we focus on the subtitle of the conference: governing with integrity and governing effectively/efficiently - both are intrinsically valued. The importance of governing with moral public values like transparency, equity, and honesty is clear. Yet it is also clear that acting on moral values does not always produce the required policy outcomes. The potential conflict between governing with integrity and governing efficiently and effectively is the central theme of this symposium. © The Author(s) 2010.