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Faculty

Public Policy

William Abolt

William Abolt

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Currently teaching:
Regulatory Policy

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.


Justine Bulgar-Medina

Justine Bulgar-Medina

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Currently teaching:
The Strategic Policy Environment

Justine Bulgar-Medina is a research methodologist at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, working in the Department of Statistics and Methodology. As associated faculty in the MPPA program at Northwestern University, she teaches courses in research methods and public policy. Bulgar-Medina is an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research where she serves as the Associate Chair for the Conference Support Committee in addition to serving as Chair of the Student & Early Career Engagement Subcommittee. She is also an active member of the American Statistical Association and American Sociological Association. Prior to joining NORC at the University of Chicago and Northwestern, Bulgar-Medina was a faculty member at Merrimack College where she taught courses in research methods, statistics, public policy and criminology. Bulgar-Medina completed her doctoral work in Sociology & Survey Research at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.


Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford

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Currently teaching:
Intergovernmental Relations

Brett Crawford is a faculty member at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the Department of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, and has also held visiting positions at Stanford University and the University of Michigan. His research explores how organizations use history and policy to construct institutional meaning. He has also studied how education policy and associations’ codes of ethics shape students’ strategies for success in the health sciences. Crawford’s current research includes a pair of projects funded by separate grants. The first project explores the historicity of environmental associations, specifically how associations have reshaped the identity of actors to both protect the meaning of environmentalism and disrupt industries that threaten that meaning. The second project explores how stigmatized issues are shaped into legitimate categories through the work of organizations. Crawford earned his Phd from Copenhagen Business School.


Angela Fontes

Email Angela Fontes

Currently teaching:
Behavioral Economics

Angela Fontes is the director of the Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-making (BEAD) program area in the Department of Statistics and Methodology at NORC at the University of Chicago. At NORC, Fontes oversees academic, foundation and commercial research focused on economic decision-making and consumer behavior. She is the Principal Investigator on several projects, including a five-year contract with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct investor protection research, and NORC’s ongoing collaboration with JUST Capital and Forbes on the JUST 100: America’s Best Corporate Citizens. Fontes' personal research centers on retirement preparedness and methodologies for the collection of household finance data. In addition to utilizing a number of large national/federal data sets including the Survey of Consumer Finances, the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and the Consumer Expenditure Survey, Fontes works extensively with the Financial Well-being and Literacy data collected using NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel. Fontes' research can be found in journals such as the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 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. Prior to NORC, Fontes worked in business and market research consulting with Chamberlain Research Consultants and Leo Burnett. She was recently awarded a Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award at SPS. Fontes is an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the American Council on Consumer Interests, and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. She holds a PhD in consumer behavior and family economics with a minor in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a certified Project Management Professional.


Wendy Hassett is a clinical associate professor of public affairs at The University of Texas at Dallas. In that capacity, she teaches public affairs graduate classes focusing on the topics of local economic development, public productivity, ethics and organizational culture, and information systems in the policy environment. Prior to joining the faculty at The University of Texas at Dallas, she worked as an assistant city manager and has over twelve years of experience in local government management. Hassett is the co-author or co-editor of Local Government Management: Current Issues and Best Practices and Civic Battles: When Cities Change Their Form of Government. Her scholarly work has appeared in Public Administration Review, Public Performance & Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, and other journals, and was the recipient of the 2005 Public Administration Review Editors' Choice Award. She is a past board member of Public Administration Review. Hassett completed her doctoral work in public administration and public policy at Auburn University in Alabama.


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.


Meghann Pytka is a 2020 Postdoctoral Researcher at Polin: Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. In addition to working for Northwestern's MPPA program, she teaches at Maryville University in St. Louis. She oversees the Digital Resource Guides for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies; and previously, she was the assistant Director for the program in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (SIUC), where she was also a joint-lecturer in the Department of History and the Honors College. A scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Central and Eastern Europe, her work focuses on topics of genocide and ethnic cleansing, imperialism, anti-colonial resistance, gender inequality, and nationalism. Some of her most recent accolades include faculty fellowships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv) through the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure program (EHRI), and the Kolegium Europy Wschodniej (KEW). Pytka's research, writing, and presenting have been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Fulbright Program, the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and the Crown Center for Jewish Studies. Pytka earned her PhD in history and a graduate certificate from the interdisciplinary program in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Northwestern University. She has also received the Lacey Baldwin Smith Prize for Teaching Excellence from Northwestern and the Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at SIUC.


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.


Morris Taylor is an associate professor in the public administration and policy analysis department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has taught courses in public management, policy analysis, public law, program evaluation, ethics, homeland security and public safety. Prior to his academic career Taylor was an administrator with the Social Security Administration in St. Louis; a St. Louis city and county police officer; senior attorney negotiator for State Farm Insurance Companies; and the Ira Glasser Fellow of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, investigating racial profiling and police misconduct. His research interests include police organizations, ethics, administrative law and aspects of civic engagement. His most recent publication is a book chapter in Icons of Crime Fighting: Frank Serpico, published by Greenwood Press. Taylor received his PhD in public policy analysis with a specialization in social jurisprudence from St. Louis University.


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