Institute of Politics

What is the Institute?

The Institute of Politics was established more than 25 years ago as an independent, community-supported organization, operating under the auspices of the University. The mission of the Institute is to deliver timely information on complex public policy issues affecting our region to elected officials, community leaders, and the public they serve by providing a neutral forum where diverse viewpoints are discussed, digested, enriched, and applied to the goal of promoting improved quality of life, government efficiency, and economic vitality in Western Pennsylvania.    

A forum for public and private decision makers

The Institute builds consensus among regional leaders by gathering decision makers around the table and acting as a neutral catalyst for public policy discourse. The Institute advances this ongoing dialogue by offering issue-specific educational programs and services such as seminars, briefings, and publications, which enable decision makers to examine regional economic, social, and political issues within local, state, and national contexts. These programs and services alert decision makers and their constituents to innovative programs, policies, and solutions unfolding in the public policy arena.

Access to expertise and research

The Institute provides regional elected officials and foundation, community, and business leaders access to the many academic resources of the University of Pittsburgh and other area universities, and strives to apply these resources to regional policy outcomes. At the request of elected officials, Institute policy strategists are also available to provide independent, nonpartisan research and analysis of policies or projects under consideration by our legislative and executive bodies.

Student involvement

The Institute recently strengthened its student programming with the launch of the Elise Hillman Civic Forum, an initiative designed to bring young people and the community together to fuel progress in the Pittsburgh region and reflect the generosity and humanity of Elsie Hillman.

“The Institute presents an opportunity for elected officials, community, foundation, and academic leaders to discuss regional public policy challenges in an uninhibited environment free of partisan concerns and the confines of conventional wisdom. This allows for an open dialogue and the potential for consensus where it might otherwise be unattainable.”

– Dan Frankel, Democratic Caucus Chair, Pennsylvania House of Representatives