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The SPA Policy Explainer

SPA: The Policy Explainer LIVE

Objective faculty experts, on Facebook, answering your questions, in real time

American University’s School of Public Affairs will host faculty experts on Facebook Live to help answer your questions in real time.

1 issue. 1 expert. 30 minutes.

It’s hard to keep up with the news right now. But SPA faculty experts have spent years studying the very topics making headlines. They are objective leaders in their fields, and have answers to your burning questions.

Join us for the SPA Policy Explainer – LIVE – on our Facebook page. Check back for updates or view the archives below.

What do you want to hear about? Send us your questions via form or on Twitter: #PolicyExplainer and @AU_SPA.

Facebook LIVE with Professor Patrick Malone

Patrick Malone, Executive in Residence and the Director of SPA's Key Executive Leadership Programs, answered questions about the federal hiring freeze.

View the Recording

Early Childcare Policy Explainer

Early Childcare, An SPA Policy Explainer with Assistant Professor Taryn Morrissey.

SPA Assistant Professor Taryn Morrissey's work centers on examining and improving public policies for vulnerable children. Ongoing research examines the social determinants of food insecurity and obesity, and the impacts of neighborhood poverty and family instability on children's development. She is one of the authors of the book, Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality.

Early Childcare Policy Explainer

Politics of Science

The Politics of Science an SPA Policy Explainer with Assistant Professor Liz Suhay

In an era of political polarization, science is sometimes used as rhetorical weapon. Research findings for a wide variety of issues – ranging from the economy to climate change, poverty to immunizations – have become political talking points. Watch as SPA Assistant Professor Liz Suhay, an expert in political bias, talks about the politics of science.

Politics of Science

Supreme Court Nominee Policy Explainer

Supreme Court Nominee Policy Explainer with SPA Professor Jon Gould

Nearly a full year after Justice Antonin Scalia's death left the Supreme Court with a vacancy, President Trump nominated Colorado federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the spot. SPA Professor Jon Gould, an expert justice and court issues, weighs in and talks about the nominee.

Supreme Court Nominee

Federal Hiring Freeze Policy Explainer

Federal Hiring Freeze Policy Explainer with Key Executive Leadership Program Director Patrick Malone

President Trump issued an across-the-board employment freeze for the federal government on January 23, halting hiring for all new and existing positions, with few exceptions. Director of SPA’s Key Leadership Program Patrick Malone, an expert on federal government issues, talks about the freeze.

Federal Hiring Freeze

Immigration Policy Explainer

Tile: Matt Wright Immigration Policy Explainer

President Trump issued an executive order on January 27 temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Watch as SPA Assistant Professor Matthew Wright, an expert on immigration policy weighs in and talks about immigration policy reform.

Immigration Policy

How Much Power Can a President Have?

Tile for YouTube video: How Much Power Can a President Have?

When it comes to presidential power, Chris Edelson, assistant professor at American University’s School of Public Affairs, has a lot to say. Edelson’s teaching and research interests focus presidential national security power under the U.S. Constitution.

Presidential Power

America's First Ladies: In Service to Our Nation

YouTube video tile: America's First Ladies-In Service to Our Nation

Anita McBride, executive in residence and Director of the First Ladies Initiative at American University School of Public Affairs, speaks about the 2016 First Ladies Conference.

First Ladies Policy Explainer

How to Behave Like a 2016 Voter

How to Behave Like a 2016 Voter: An SPA Policy Explainer with Professor Jan Leighley

Understanding voter behavior can tell us a lot about elections. In fact, turnout for an election could all depend on a combination of sociological factors, including education, income, gender, age, and race. But how does it all work?

Voter Behavior & Turnout

Women, Politics & The 2016 Election

Women, Politics & the 2016 Election policy explainer with SPA Professor Jennifer Lawless.

It is impossible to deny the incredible progress women have recently made in government and politics. American not only has a woman running for president, but she is now the first to be nominated by a major political party.

Women & Politics Policy Explainer

What is Campaign Finance?

What is Campaign Finance? The SPA Policy Explainer with Professor Jim Thurber

The 2016 election cycle is in full swing. When it comes to campaign finance, James Thurber, distinguished professor at SPA, has a lot to say.

Campaign Finance Policy Explainer

The Texas Abortion Law Policy Explainer

The Texas Abortion Law Policy Explainer with SPA Associate Dean Jessica Waters.

In June 2016, the Supreme Court struck down a pair of restrictive Texas abortion laws. In this Policy Explainer, Jessica Waters, an expert on reproductive rights law, discusses what the decision means nationwide.

Abortion Law Policy Explainer

The EITC Policy Explainer

The EITC Policy Explainer with SPA Assistant Professor Bradley Hardy

With Tax Day 2016 arriving soon, the SPA Policy Explainer features Assistant Professor Bradley Hardy to discuss a program considered one of the country's most effective anti-poverty programs: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

EITC Policy Explainer

The Cuban Policy Explainer

The Cuban Policy Explainer with SPA Professor Bill LeoGrande

In March 2016, President Barack Obama became the first sitting president in 88 years to visit the island nation of Cuba. SPA Professor William LeoGrande, an expert on U.S. policy toward Cuba, discussed the impact of this historic visit.

Cuban Policy Explainer

The #COP21 Policy Explainer

Daniel Fiorino, Director of SPA's Center for Environmental Policy, on The SPA Policy Explainer

SPA Professor Todd Eisenstadt, and Director of SPA's Center for Environmental Policy Dan Fiorino sat down for the first ever SPA Policy Explainer to share their thoughts and expectations on #COP21.

#COP21 Policy Explainer