PPIA Program

“Diversity & Leadership in Public Service”

Ford School of Public Policy Celebrating a Century of Impact!

A major milestone took place for the faculty, students, alumni and staff of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan: the school celebrated its 100th anniversary on October 31, 2014.

ford school_blogIn 1999, the University of Michigan named its school of public policy after the 38th president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, a 1935 University of Michigan graduate.

Even as a student, Ford had been a natural leader. He captained the University of Michigan Wolverines, earned impressive grades, took a stand against racial discrimination, and was active in social and service organizations while holding down several part-time jobs.

After graduation, Ford dedicated himself to public service — first as a moderate Republican congressman from Grand Rapids, later as House minority leader, then as vice president and president in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

But the Ford School predates Gerald Ford. In fact, it was America’s first graduate training program in public administration, with origins in the Progressive Era.

Progressive Era-roots

One hundred years ago, the telephone, the phonograph and the incandescent light bulb had been invented, along with air conditioning, airplanes and, in Detroit, the Model T and the world’s first assembly line. But while exciting new horizons were opening regularly in science, engineering and industry, social challenges were continuing, unabated.

ford_picCitizens wanted safer working conditions, shorter workdays, wages they could live on, and protection against monopolistic business practices. They looked to their elected officials for help, but too many of those officials were poorly trained or corrupt. Calls for reform and government intervention were growing.

It was in this climate that Jesse Reeves, chair of the University of Michigan’s political science department, proposed to pioneer a brand new type of graduate degree.

Reeves believed that the same kind of educational systems and scientific methods that had driven so much technological advancement could be used by public servants, leading to better and safer cities, industries and schools. It was a visionary idea.

The university recognized that vision, and in 1914, the program was launched. Many other colleges and universities adopted similar models in the years that followed.

With the training they received at the University of Michigan, the school’s early alumni would go on to do important work in the world.

ford school2_blogCharlotte Mary Conover Jones (MMA ’27) would coordinate citizenship schools for women in the wake of women’s suffrage. Rudolfo Kawi Hidalgo (MMA ’27), the son of a rice farmer, would represent his province in the Philippine Legislature. Harold D. Smith (MMA ’25) would oversee the U.S. budget from the end of the Great Depression to the launch of the United Nations and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, part of today’s World Bank.

Pioneers of a new degree: Master of Public Policy

In the late 1960s, the University of Michigan again led a major shift in graduate education for aspiring public servants. Professor John Patrick Crecine (then just 29 years old) and an interdisciplinary group of colleagues pioneered the Master of Public Policy degree, and reshaped the curriculum to take advantage of advances in the social sciences.

The new social science focus emphasized economic and statistical analysis, the political environment of policymaking, and the importance of organizations to the successful implementation of policy. It employed computing technologies to more quickly and accurately assemble and evaluate data.

The shift from “administration” to “policy” was a shift toward focusing on systemic solutions to complex societal challenges. How can we reduce unemployment, and grow our economy, in struggling Rust Belt cities like Detroit and in developing economies around the world?  How can we ensure human rights while preventing threats to national security?

Again, the University of Michigan curriculum became the gold standard approach. Now more than 150 schools in the United States and many others abroad offer degrees in public policy.

ford school3_blogAn era of growth

Ned Gramlich, a nationally recognized economist and member of the Federal Reserve Board, served several stints as director of the program from the late 1970s to the late ’90s. Gramlich led the transition from an institute to a fully-fledged school in 1995, and served as its first dean.

With the ability to hire and grant tenure, the school expanded its already deeply interdisciplinary faculty, nearly all the members of which held joint appointments in economics, political science, sociology, law, business, education, social work, urban planning and other fields.

Rebecca Blank became dean in 1999 and led an era of tremendous growth. Now chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Blank was a catalyst behind the school being named for President Ford. She oversaw the fundraising for and construction of the school’s first real home, Joan and Sanford Weill Hall. She helped launch the school’s pioneering joint-Ph.D. and undergraduate degrees in 2001 and 2007, respectively.

In 2007, Susan M. Collins was named dean of the Ford School. An international economist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Collins’ research focuses on economic growth in developed and developing economies.

Collins, who is president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, has strengthened the international dimensions of the school’s work. She’s also led major initiatives designed to grow the school’s visibility and deepen faculty and student engagement with policy communities in Washington, D.C, and within the state of Michigan.

Today — on the cusp of its second century — the school is known around the world as an elite policy program housed at a world-class university.

Three Ford School faculty members hold the highest appointment at the University of Michigan, that of Distinguished University Professor. Thirteen hold named professorships. Others have been recognized — nationally and internationally — for game-changing discoveries, exceptional teaching and mentoring, constructive policy engagement and more.

The Ford School’s 3,000 living alumni are tackling some of the world’s most pressing, urgent issues. They’re managing multimillion-dollar support programs for farmers in Afghanistan. They’re crafting market regulations at the Federal Reserve Bank. They’re directing successful political campaigns. They’re improving health policy in West Africa. And they’re leading national land and water conservation efforts for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A year of intellectual and celebratory activities came to a close on October 31, as the Ford School hosted its Centennial Reunion — honoring the accomplishments of the past and launching the school’s next century.

View more pictures and highlights from the school’s history: http://fordschool.umich.edu/timeline/


Address the Great Challenges of Our Time with a Degree from American University’s School of International Service

exteriorThe great challenges of our time demand a global perspective. The School of International Service (SIS) at American University produces cutting edge research and prepares the next generation of leaders to address global challenges. A top ten school of international relations located in Washington, DC, our school provides opportunities for academic excellence, professional training, service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

SIS features a comprehensive liberal arts program for undergraduate students, professional training in international affairs for master’s students, including an innovative, live, online degree program, and a multidisciplinary program for doctoral students. Our school’s numerous and flexible programs of study offer students a wide range of opportunities that include dual degrees, graduate certificates, online classes, executive degrees, a BA/MA, a three-year BA, a program for Peace Corps volunteers, a pre-college program, and more.

SIS, led by Dean James Goldgeier, is notable among international affairs schools in its breadth and depth, with students learning from leading scholars, researchers, and senior practitioners, including political scientists, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, geographers, and historians.

israelipalestinianwaterCAROUSELOur nearly 120 full-time SIS faculty are specialists in foreign policy and national security, international development, global and regional governance, international economics, peace and conflict resolution, ethics and human rights, communications, energy and environment, social enterprise, regional and comparative studies, global health, and more. Moreover, SIS faculty specialize in nearly every region of the world—including East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, North America, Russia and Eurasia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

SIS was founded in 1957 through a call by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to train students of international affairs to “wage peace.” Nearly six decades later, SIS continues to emphasize service to the global community, broadly defined. The service mission guides the school in its goal to educate individuals who offer the promise of success in an increasingly interconnected and complex world.

Our spectacular LEED-gold certified building supports the school’s goal of environmental sustainability and is a vibrant forum for debates and events featuring government, NGO, and industry leaders.

SIS is strategically located in Washington, DC, where students can take advantage of the vast wealth of professional, intellectual, educational, and cultural resources available in the nation’s capital. The city offers unique opportunities to study and conduct research and actively engage in the ongoing work of international relations.

The school’s relationships with the policy and business worlds and its university partnerships enable students to study abroad, secure internships, and launch successful careers. The school’s worldwide alumni offer students a large and extensive network in their internship and career explorations.

SIS students are current and aspiring global leaders, committed to international careers and service. Originating from diverse domestic and international backgrounds, they are united by their spirit of inquiry and engagement. They routinely win prestigious national scholarships, fellowships, and awards. Our students play an active role in the life of the school and are involved in the Washington, DC, community, and in communities around the world.

We encourage you to visit our website to learn more.

Think Beyond the Beltway at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies!


The Josef Korbel School of International Studies is one of the world’s leading schools for the study of international relations. Located in Denver, Colorado, the Josef Korbel School invites students from around the globe to think beyond the Beltway with innovative interdisciplinary programs.

Korbel_3As a top ranked school for the study of international affairs, the Josef Korbel School offers intellectually rigorous programs that prepare students for careers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The Josef Korbel School offers unique, flexible, degree programs that provide the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in your career and to understand the challenges of our world. Each year our MA degree programs enroll approximately 200 students from across the globe. Since the school’s founding in 1964, its graduates have become leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

Our degree programs include:

StudentsKorbel_4 pursuing our MA degree programs can also incorporate one of our graduate certificates in: Global Health Affairs, Homeland Security, and Humanitarian Assistance.

In addition to on-campus learning in Denver, Korbel has two off campus programs  Through the Geneva program, Korbel students spend six months in Geneva, Switzerland as part of an academic exchange with the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies. Student participants intern at a Geneva-based organization and to complete two graduate-level courses during their stay.

The Josef Korbel School has a distinct presence in Washington D.C. . In conjunction with Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), the Josef Korbel School participates in the Global Security and Development program in D.C.  This program builds professional skills needed for career opportunities through a combination of coursework and supervised internships.

Korbel_1The Josef Korbel School’s internationally respected faculty conducts world-class teaching and research. Our professors are as invested in their students, courses and mentoring as they are in their research. Our degree directors are focused on the real world, identifying new employment opportunities in their respective specialties and new skills employers in those fields demand. Our school also benefits from the expertise of practitioners, adjuncts and visiting professors from around the world. The School is home to a number of research centers, institutes and clinics that add depth and breadth to the school’s commitment to integrating teaching, research and practical problem solving. Students gain enriching research and internship opportunities through these centers, where they work alongside and network with world-renowned scholars, practitioners and experts.

Korbel_5Hailing from around the world, students at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies are ethnically, culturally and spiritually diverse. What binds us together is a commitment to new experiences, a love of diverse perspectives, scholarly excellence, and an insatiable curiosity and drive to make a difference. At the Josef Korbel School, we’ve created an intimate, enriching environment for sharing concepts that reach beyond conventional thought. You’ll be challenged in your studies and inspired by the caliber of ideas that spill out of the classroom and into the School community.