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Maxwell's Campbell Public Affairs Institute names new director

October 01, 2009

Jill Leonhardt
(315) 443-5492

Dean Mitchel Wallerstein has announced that Grant Reeher has been named the new director of the Maxwell School’s Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute. The institute, created in 1996, advances scholarship in three important areas central to the school’s mission: nonprofit organization and management; law and politics; and the philosophical and political theories and practices of citizenship throughout the world. Running through these three areas is a commitment also central to Maxwell: to produce scholarship that actively engages important policy debates.

ReeherReeher has been a member of the school’s political science department since 1992, the same year that he earned his Ph.D. at Yale University. His research focuses on democratic processes and the dynamics of representation, social justice, health-care politics and policy, and legislative behavior. Reeher is the author or coauthor of three books: “Click on Democracy: The Internet’s Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action” (Westview Press, 2008); “First Person Political: Legislative Life and the Meaning of Public Service” (NYU Press, 2006); and “Narratives of Justice: Legislators’ Beliefs About Distributive Fairness” (University of Michigan Press, 1996). 

He was an editor of and contributor to several other works, including “The Trusted Leader: Building the Relationships that Make Government Work” (CQ Press, 2007) and “The Insider’s Guide to Political Internships” (Basic Books, 2002). Reeher is currently at work on two more books on political representation and equality; he writes regularly for local and national media and is a regular radio and television commentator on a range of political issues. From 1995-97, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan.

“Professor Reeher’s commitment to the Maxwell School and to the Campbell Institute’s mission of studying democracy and governance makes him an ideal choice to lead the institute through its second decade,” Wallerstein says. “Grant’s research, including his current initiative, ‘CNY Speaks’ (which he co-leads with Maxwell professor Tina Nabatchi), embodies Scholarship in Action. I think that the late professor and former dean, Alan “Scotty” Campbell, for whom public service and scholarship were so important, would be delighted with Grant’s appointment to lead the institute that bears his name.”

The Campbell Institute is home to a set of distinctive individual, complementary programs in governance and leadership, law and politics, nonprofit management and citizenship. Currently, there are 20 affiliated faculty members, seven Ph.D. students, and seven M.P.A. students. The institute facilitates scholarly discussion as well as research and teaching by sponsoring lectures and research seminars and by seeding innovative research. It is home to the popular State of Democracy Lecture Series, which provides a forum for dialogue about public issues by bringing renowned scholars to campus to speak about current events and issues.

Reeher will take on his new role immediately and says, “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to help lead Campbell. The institute is filled with great colleagues doing interesting and important work on real-world leadership challenges in politics, government, law and the nonprofit sector, and on central questions of public well-being, participation and citizenship. I look forward to working with them to strengthen and expand the institute’s mission.”

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