Institute of Politics

Policy Committees

The role of each policy committee is to assess public policy needs within their domain and to recommend targets for programming that will measurably affect the development of public policy. The committee co-chairs and members are expected to assume leadership roles in the development, implementation, evaluation, and follow-through of Institute programming in their areas.

The Institute's eight policy committees are comprised of stakeholders from the 10 county regions and beyond, who bring a wide range of knowledge and expertise to the table.

Economic Development

The Economic Development Committee is devoted to examining public issues that impact economic growth and development in Southwestern Pennsylvania. This work spans across several different disciplines, including but not limited to the examination of emerging industries and technology, as well as the development of a public climate that supports both small business development and provides a favorable environment for global companies to take root. Click here to learn more. 


The Education Committee examines issues pertaining to K-12 education to provide Southwestern Pennsylvanian students with the best opportunities to learn in and outside of the classroom, and succeed in the workforce of the future. The committee’s work spans a broad array of topics, including basic education funding, innovative best practices in education, and career and technical education. Click here to learn more. 


The Environmental Committee focuses on issues related to current and potential impacts to our region’s clean air, water, and soil. The committee’s work tackles a wide variety of issues, including shale gas development, developing a regional energy strategy, and incorporating green infrastructure to address stormwater problems. Click here to learn more. 

Fiscal Policy and Governance

The Fiscal Policy and Governance Committee looks at policy solutions for issues affecting the administration and delivery of services to Southwestern Pennsylvania residents. The committee focuses on an array of topics, including land banks, the future of libraries, municipal pensions, and government innovation. Click here to learn more. 

Health and Human Services

The Health and Human Services Committee examines policy issues and solutions related to public health, healthcare, and human service delivery. The committee’s work has touched a variety of topic areas including healthcare cost containment, the integration of human services, and improving primary care. Click here to learn more. 


The Infrastructure Committee investigates issues related to our region’s physical systems that serve the public by facilitating transportation, communication, and essential daily processes, such as stormwater and sewers. The scope of the committee’s work includes green infrastructure, an infrastructure needs assessment, and transportation innovation. Click here to learn more. 

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

The Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee examines issues related to emergency first responders and the preparation by governments and organizations for potential manmade and environmental emergencies. The work of the committee is devoted to a broad range of topics, including volunteer firefighters, police, community resiliency, and emergency coordination. Click here to learn more. 

Workforce Development

The Workforce Development Committee works to identify key issues in our region’s employment pipeline and enhance educational and training opportunities for students and workers to be prepared for current and future high-demand employment. The committee works on a range of topics including career and technical education, CareerLinks, and Ready-to-work grant opportunities. Click here to learn more.