Last week Utah Foundation received a Certificate of Merit at the Governmental Research Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. The recognition, for Shawn’s work on economic mobility, was in the category of most effective education.
GRA is a national organization of individuals professionally engaged in policy research. During the three day conference, Shawn presented and moderated a panel on economic mobility alongside two directors from Pew’s Financial Security and Mobility group. The panel covered findings from several of Pew’s reports, as well as how Shawn applied some of their principles to analysis in Utah.
The conference featured presentations from many different member groups, as well as presentations from the Pew Charitable Trusts, which served as the host. Some of our favorite presentations, outside of the economic mobility panel, included:
- Education funding – discussing issues in Colorado, opportunities in California, and analysis of charter schools in Philadelphia
- Results First Initiative – a presentation by Pew about their work to create comprehensive, state-based frameworks to show cost/benefit analysis of different social policies
- Transportation issues – a lively panel discussing different approaches to transportation funding, as well as potential challenges faced by states who rely heavily on Federal transportation money
The conference also provided a great opportunity to talk with our peers in other member organizations about their projects, approaches to outreach, and how they work. One project we learned about during one of these conversations was performed by the Public Policy Forum of Milwaukee. Their study examined the costs of continuing to fund the city’s cultural assets, including performing arts and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ran Coble, Executive Director of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, won the Gruenberg Award for Outstanding Contributions to Governmental Research. His work and the work of NCCPPR has long inspired Utah Foundation, and this recognition was well deserved.
All in all, the conference was a great chance to get to meet other people who do research and it was exciting to hear about their work.