Public Policy Fund Established

A portrait of Caitlin Handerhan

Caitlin Handerhan is the executive director of the Public Policy Fund at Penn State Behrend. She was included in the Erie Reader's "40 Under 40" feature for 2018.

Credit: Maitham Basha-Agha / Erie Reader

The Public Policy Fund at Penn State Behrend, established with a gift from Rev. Charles Brock, launched this spring to bring together a diversity of perspectives to inform public policy decisions that affect the Erie region and similar communities in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Basin areas.

“To be effective at solving problems in their communities, leaders need to use integrative approaches that draw on knowledge, insights, and experiences from a range of disciplines,” said Caitlin Handerhan, executive director of the fund. “We are uniquely positioned to support that.”

The fund draws on the expertise of Behrend faculty members to research policy solutions of importance to the Erie region, increase the policy research available to decision-makers, emphasize the importance of research-driven policy decisions, and promote interdisciplinary approaches to policy.

Brock, a lecturer in political science and director of Behrend's Institute on the American Dream, is a longtime supporter of numerous Behrend programs. The fund is based in the political science program of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.