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University of California
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Position Details

096 Public Policy Specialist


Associated Documents


This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



As co-chair of the Land Use Planning workgroup, one of the problem we have observed is that while our specialists and advisors have expertise in issues related to land use and land use change, we could greatly use the help this position could provide in understanding how to share this expertise with folks such as planning commissioners, county supervisors, and city councilmembers who could utilize this information to make more informed policy decisions.
Posted May 29, 2012 10:50 AM by Sabrina Drill
I am writing as a member of the UC Davis Community Development Graduate Group and current chair of the Regional Advisory Committee of the Center for Regional Change. This proposed position seems fundamentally consistent with the mission of UC Davis as a land-grant university--a bridge between university resources and expertise and partners in the community to address key social and educational needs. This position can add enormous value to University capacity for building trusting working relationships with decision makers at all levels and for contributing to sound public policy decision making. Effective integration of science and policy--in a host of key social, environmental and economic realms--has never been more important. And this position expands university capacity for enhancing this integration.
Posted Jun 29, 2012 8:59 AM by Dennis Pendleton
I am writing as an Advisor with extensive experience and a second MS in the environmental policy arena. This position is much needed to complement the youth/family, consumer, biological and physical sciences expertise of the majority of ANR academics. The research arena described in the PD appears to be informed by Paul Sabatier's advocacy coalition model and would work well to accomplish the goals for which the position was designed.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 12:17 PM by Leigh Johnson
Now more than ever it is apparent that communities, government and universities need to work together to build and maintain our regional systems that support our residents and local economies. UC Davis and the UC system research are an integral research arm, whose resources are often not retained by the local area. This position could facilitate talent retention and be beneficial both for the university and the region.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 9:52 AM by Mike McKeever
In my role as a Community Development Regional Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, I'm keenly aware of the challenges communities face when public officials choose to not either fully research the implications of their decisions or take into consideration the research that is publicly available to them. Many times, industry professionals/lobbyists present biased information paid for by special interest groups without input from those traditionally underrepresented in the public arena. This proposed position will benefit public processes by allowing those without the resources to gather & interpret objective data to access academic professionals trained in the art of translational research which will build the capacity of those who aren't normally part of public policy debate. A Public Policy Specialist will benefit efforts to democratize data and will strengthen our democracy by ensuring all voices are heard in the public policy arena.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 9:59 AM by Darryl Rutherford
As trustee of the Davis Joint Unified School District and a member of the California Forward ( team, I have experienced a communication gap between UCD conducted social science research and its practical application in the real world. This position, a bridge between those two worlds, would benefit local governments and non-profits through the promotion of evidence based policies. The feedback received from the "real world" would further refine and inform ongoing research, creating a virtuous cycle of improvement.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 10:31 AM by Susan Lovenburg
As a member of Center for Regional Change Regional Advisory Committee, I believe a position that will be tasked with connecting the dots between research and effective policy can be very important for accomplishing the key goal of CRC. This position can be even broader in scope than anticipated. Specifically, apart from influencing public policy that can bring about more sustainable communities, the private sector can also be engaged for the purpose of influencing employment, expansion and community out-reach policies.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 11:04 AM by Sanjay Sinha
The University of California system, and UC Davis specifically, pursues the tripartite mission of research, teaching, and public service. This position provides an excellent opportunity to maximize UCD's ability to do all three and to make those activities more relevant to the broader political world. In addition to improving the capacity of researchers to communicate in the political setting this position will also provide the opportunity to better prepare graduates, particularly graduate students, to bridge the worlds of research and policy.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 11:44 AM by Debbie Davis
As the director of the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program, I see the importance of working with a Public Policy Specialist in working with the County Extension programs and the NFCS advisors in helping to translate data and research into policy briefs and policy in general. UC CalFresh NEP serves close to 140,000 Californians who are often the most underserved and underrepresented. Translating the evaluation and research findings into policy briefs and strategic recommendations is an important aspect for UC and will allow UC ANR to be recognized for its academic contributions in our communities.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 1:26 PM by David Ginsburg
In my collaborations with local, regional, state, and federal policy leaders (including many of those who have posted supporting comments here) I hear a consistent interest in having the University of California more engaged with key policy realms such as transportation, housing, economic development, land use, education, and other socio-economic issues. A Public Policy Specialist would add great value to the Center for Regional Change, UC Davis and the UC as a whole by enhancing our capacity to translate innovative research into the policy arena, to build closer collaborations with policy actors, and to increase the positive visibility of the University with public decision-makers.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 2:23 PM by Jonathan London
Policy makers at all levels of government are confronted daily with science, pseudoscience, and plain lies masquerading as fact. An essential role of the university in our society is to translate the best thinking and research findings to the real world work or decision making. UC Davis has a strong legacy of active and effective engagement in real problems facing the local and global economy and issues facing communities. This position would add capacity to extend this impulse of the campus.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:26 PM by Don Saylor, Yolo County Supervisor
As someone who has been working at the interface of policy and (natural)science research the last 15 years, I would like to suggest some additional considerations for this position.

It would be very useful to have someone to provide more guidance within ANR on how to ensure that the research conducted addresses the needs of regulators or policy makers. The fundamental difference between a researcher and a policy maker is that the researcher does not have to make a decision (what is allowed/not allowed, what is the priority for funding, etc) based on the available information, most often without all the information being available. Many researchers do not understand the political, legal, and time pressures policy makers are under and thus why they can't wait for perfect information.

Thus, I am a little concerned that this position is too research focused itself. I would suggest that experience in the actual policy arena be a requirement in addition to the academic credentials. Not until one has participated in policy making in some fashion (worked for a regulator/agency/State legislature/lobbyist/ on the Hill, etc) can good guidance on research relevant to policy makers be provided.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 8:44 PM by Gabriele Ludwig

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