The University of Utah is set to announce The Policy Institute, an institution created to provide independent economic, demographic, and public policy decision support across Utah. Housed within the David Eccles School of Business, the new institute will bring together the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), and the Center for Public Policy & Administration (CPPA).
The institute’s mission will be to support informed decision-making that will strengthen the Utah economy. In support of this mission, the Eccles School is naming the following leadership team for The Policy Institute:
Natalie Gochnour, Director and Associate Dean of the David Eccles School of Business. Natalie Gochnour will serve as director of The Policy Institute. In addition to overseeing all primary operations and staff, Gochnour will work closely with faculty advisers from both the Eccles School and the College of Social and Behavioral Science to help facilitate the objectives of the institute. Prior to her position with the University of Utah, she served under several Utah governors and was a political appointee in Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Robinson, Associate Director. Jennifer Robinson will serve as associate director of The Policy Institute and will supervise all of the institute’s business operations. Robinson also will serve as acting director of the Leadership and Training Team that will convene state and local officials and business leaders to learn about issues impacting the state. She has led multiple public policy research projects and is the author of numerous books and articles on political behavior, voting, and elections.
Juliette Tennert, Director of Economic Research. Juliette Tennert comes to The Policy Institute as the former budget director and chief economist for Utah Governor Gary Herbert. Tennert will serve as director of economic research for the institute, which will include research efforts across several sectors of the Utah economy as well as networking programs for members of Utah’s economic community.
Pamela Perlich, Director of Demographic Research. Dr. Pamela Perlich, current senior research economist at BEBR, brings many years of experience to her new role as director of demographic research for The Policy Institute. This research will focus on the ongoing demographic, economic, and cultural transformations in Utah. Perlich has published extensively on these topics and has received numerous awards for teaching, publication, and public service.
Dianne Meppen, Director of Survey Research. Dianne Meppen will serve as the director of survey research for The Policy Institute, working to produce survey results and special studies on a wide range of pertinent economic and business topics. Working in the survey industry for more than 30 years, Meppen has frequently served as a guest instructor at the University of Utah and has collaborated with many private and public entities on survey research initiatives.
James Wood, Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow for Housing, Construction and Real Estate. James Wood will serve as the Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow at The Policy Institute, specializing in housing, construction, real estate, and economic impact research. He will provide research expertise for the Ivory-Boyer Real Estate Center within the Eccles School and continue to serve in a leadership role at the institute. Wood has served at the David Eccles School of Business since 1975 and has spent more than 25 years conducting economic research.
The University of Utah will announce ongoing community support for The Policy Institute over the course of summer 2015. The new institute will be headquartered in the newly restored Enos Wall Mansion, located on Salt Lake City’s historic South Temple Street, set to be completed in spring 2016.