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Sine Institute of Policy & Politics Announces New Class of Fellows Prominent experts in business, politics, policy, and food security will work with students and faculty to address complex challenges of the 21st century

Headshots of Sine Fellows

Gathering momentum as one of the Capital Region’s premier forums for the study and discussion of the most pressing challenges, the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics, a university-wide initiative at American University, has announced the next class of Fellows. These experts with top-level experience in government, the corporate and non-profit sectors, and media will lead discussions and study sessions with students, convene and participate in campus-wide events, and help faculty and students to uncover new, innovative pathways to inform cross-sectoral policy solutions. This year’s cohort includes:

  • Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President George W. Bush
  • Cody Keenan, Chief Speechwriter for President Barack Obama
  • Susan Molinari, Strategist and former Vice President, Google; Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (New York)
  • John Tass-Parker, Head of Politics and Government, Instagram
  • Katherine Miller, Vice President of Impact, The James Beard Foundation
  • Janet Rodriguez, White House Correspondent, Univision

The Sine Institute also welcomes as distinguished lecturers: Dina Powell, Management Committee Goldman Sachs, former US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy; and Joseph Hockey, Ambassador of Australia to the United States.

“This exciting next class of fellows and distinguished lecturers is a great group that builds on the success of last spring’s class,” said Sylvia M. Burwell, President of American University. “Through their wide array of diverse experience, and the seminars and broader community events they will host, they will advance our scholarship and our students’ learning and expand the impact of the Sine Institute of Policy and Politics.”

“I am very proud of the highly distinguished group that is joining us this year,” said Amy Dacey, executive director of the Sine Institute for Policy & Politics. “Next semester, this very diverse group across many disciplines will work with students, faculty and staff to enhance and improve our conversation on the most important issues that America and the world face today.”

The Sine Institute is an incubator for policy innovation and a convener of the best minds in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and journalism. It is committed to bringing students together with experts and top scholars to discover common ground and offer nonpartisan policy solutions.

Since its inception in 2018, the Sine Institute has hosted and co-hosted events on topics ranging from foreign and domestic policy, to women’s empowerment, the 2020 elections, and the role of business in a civil society. Led by the first cohort of fellows, these events demonstrated the university’s role in finding nonpartisan solutions to the challenges of the 21st century and its commitment to raising the next generation of changemakers.

The Sine Institute is a university-wide initiative made possible through a milestone gift of $10 million from AU alumnus, trustee, and entrepreneur Jeff Sine, SIS/BA ’76, and Samira Sine, an advocate for women and children and a seasoned journalist.  

In its 126-year history, American University has established a reputation for producing changemakers focused on the challenges of a changing world. AU has garnered recognition for global education, public service, experiential learning, and politically active and diverse students, as well as academic and research expertise in a wide range of areas, including business and communication, political science and policy, governance, law, and diplomacy.

Established in 1934, AU’s School of Public Affairs, home of the university-wide Sine Institute, is ranked third in the US and first in the DC area for Leadership and Public Management by U.S. News & World Report. Its faculty members are leading scholars in public policy, public administration, political science, criminology, and other complex fields.