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Public Policy

Learn about public decision-making and policy formulation by honing your analytical skills and increasing your theoretical and practical knowledge in the field. Students are able to evaluate competing demands and lead toward innovative and transformative public policy solutions.

Public Policy

Faculty

William Abolt

Bill Abolt is a vice president at Aecom Technology Corporation, where he focuses on energy, sustainability, cities and infrastructure. Prior to joining AECOM, he was a vice president at Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. He developed and led its Sustainability, Energy and Carbon Management National Practice and directed consulting projects for clients including Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy, Sustainable Chicago 2015 and the Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Boardwalk. Before Shaw, Abolt served as Environment Commissioner, Director of the Office of Budget and Management and Chief of Management, Office of the Mayor, for the City of Chicago, where he was responsible for developing Chicago's strategy to become one of the greenest cities in the United States. Abolt has over 30 years of experience managing complex energy, environmental and public issues and programs. He is a member of the Green Ribbon Committee of the Chicago Climate Action Plan; the Midwest Advisory Council of the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Civic Consulting Alliance Leadership Council; the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, Neighborhood and Placed-based Assets Strategy Team and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. He has developed and taught graduate courses on subjects including public budgeting, energy and climate policy, urban sustainability, intergovernmental management and capital and development finance. He received his MPA from Northern Illinois University.

Currently teaching:Regulatory Policy

Angela Fontes

Angela Fontes has a dual appointment as an assistant professor of human development and family resources at Illinois State University and senior economist in the statistics and methodology department at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Centering on family financial well-being, her research uses national data sets, including the Survey of Consumer Finances, the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Consumer Expenditure Survey. She is the director on several major projects of the US Census Bureau and works with a broad range of public and private clients on analytic research. Fontes’s research has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, Financial Counseling and Planning and the International Journal of Transportation Research. Before the NORC, Fontes worked in predictive analytics and market research consulting with Chamberlain Research Consultants and Leo Burnett; her clients included Wachovia Bank and Phillip Morris USA. Fontes earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in consumer behavior and family economics.

Currently teaching:Behavioral Economics

Gregory Kuhn

Gregory Kuhn currently is director of government management consulting at Sikich LLP and was assistant director for public management and training at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies. Kuhn has more than 28 years of combined governmental, consulting and higher education experience. He was the inaugural faculty director of the MPPA program and continues to be program adviser and lecturer. His primary teaching areas include public policy, leadership, public administration and budgeting. He also served as an instructor/lecturer for Northern Illinois University’s public administration program, and he has earned teaching awards at both NIU and SCS. Kuhn earned an MPA and PhD in public administration, public policy and organizational theory from Northern Illinois University.

Currently teaching:Scope and Theory of Public Policy
The Strategic Policy Environment
Intergovernmental Relations

Pamela Ransom

Pamela Ransom has been active as an environmentalist, planner, researcher, educator and community activist. For more than eight years she was special assistant for environmental affairs for New York City Mayor David Dinkins. Then she moved into international activism as director of health and environment for the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. She worked closely with the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug, spoke to a variety of UN meetings and international conferences and organized major events at venues such as the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She has also served on the faculty of Long Island University School of Business, Public Administration and Information. Ransom received her doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Currently teaching:Scope and Theory of Public Policy
Scope and Theory of Public Policy

Ricca Slone

Ricca Slone is an attorney and former state legislator. She was a consultant on regional water supply policy and lobbyist on environmental and sustainability issues for the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a regional nonprofit headquartered in Chicago. In the Illinois General Assembly, Slone chaired the Higher Education Appropriations Committee and was vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee. She was honored as Legislator of the Year by the Illinois Environmental Council for her work on clean water, land use and smart growth and sustainable development. She has traveled extensively in India to study the feasibility of distributing solar ovens as an alternative to the use of wood for cooking in off-grid rural areas. Slone has an advanced certificate in international law from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She received a JD from the University of Illinois and an MA in public administration from Ohio State University.

Currently teaching:Special Topics: US and Global Environmental Policy