The Sine Institute is a laboratory for university-wide collaboration and an incubator for policy innovation, convening the best and brightest in the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors, as well as journalism.
Today’s interconnected world offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring together experts and top scholars in the field with students in research and scholarship to work on the nation's most pressing challenges in a way that promotes common ground and nonpartisan policy solutions. The Sine Institute of Policy and Politics seizes that opportunity at a defining moment for our democracy and the world.
The Sine Institute harnesses AU’s capital city location at the nexus of government and a growing international business center to connect diverse perspectives from around the country and around the world with our world-class academics and research, experienced practitioners in international and domestic views, leaders in business, nonprofits, and government, and one of the most politically-active student bodies in the US to make real, lasting change in policy and politics.
The Institute stands apart through its focus on the role of business and the nonprofit community in public policy, the rise of the importance of economic regions in the United States, and international policy issues.
Meet the Spring 2024 Sine Institute Fellows
A cornerstone of the Sine Institute is its Institute Fellows program. Each Spring semester the Sine Institute hosts six Fellows. Institute Fellows are selected via a Sine Institute selection committee.
Are you a student at AU? Learn about all the ways you can engage with the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics!
- Student Associates
- Student Advisors
- Collaborative Leadership Certificate
- Sine ON: The Sine Institute Outreach Network
- Sine Institute Impact Community
The AU communitity wishes the Sine Institue a happy 5th Anniversary since its inception in 2018.
On October 14, 2023, on the Saturday night of American University's Family Weekend, the Sine Institute celebrated its 5 Year Anniversary. The evening included a gathering that included founders Jeff and Samira Sine, AU President Sylvia Burwell, board members, students, and other friends of the Sine Institute, as well as a panel discussion that drew over 850 attendess. The focus of the panel was Sine's recent poll of what a "reimagined" American Dream means to young people and what's getting in the way, optimism about the future, social media, youth enthusiasm about voting in the 2024 presidential election, and more.
The discussion was moderated by former White House Communications Director and CNN Political Commentator Kate Bedingfieldand featured panelists Goodwill Industries President and CEO Steven Preston, Millennial Action Project President and CEO Layla Zaidane, and Sine Institute Student Advisor Rohan Singh (SIS '24).
The event was cosponsored by Kennedy Political Union and Bipartisan Group of American University.
Video: introducing the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics.
The Sine Institute is 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 seasoned journalist. The gift is the manifestation of the Sines’ interest in making positive change that will inspire future generations of leaders.
“Through this gift we wanted to empower American University to make an immediate and lasting impact at the intersection of politics and policy, increasing AU’s national and international visibility.”
Joining forces, the Sines and President Sylvia Burwell will leverage their shared passion to shape the next generation of leaders.
The Institute Fellows program is a cornerstone of the Sine Institute. Selected each academic year, our six Institute Fellows will consist of innovative leaders in government, politics, journalism, nonprofits, and business. Fellows will collaborate with renowned AU academic, research and scholarship experts, as well as students, to uncover new ways to help theory inform cross-sector solutions. The entire AU community will have the opportunity to learn from the Institute Fellows and the powerful conversations they lead on these issues.
Drawing on their expertise in government, politics, academia, journalism, nonprofits, and business, Sine Institute Fellows uncovers new policy solutions and problem-solving methods informed by evidence and a cross-sector perspective. Each is asked to explore a timely aspect of policy and politics that will benefit from these dynamic conversations.
In our interconnected world, policy changes ripple through our nation at the federal level and have significant consequences at the regional level. Those ripples cross sectors and impact international and national affairs, as well as our local communities. These complex influences are the crux of the conversations to be discussed and debated by Sine Fellows.
Regional influence on politics
Cross-sector perspectives driving public policy discourse
International and domestic policy dynamics
In its 125-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.
A university-wide initiative, the Sine Institute leverages the university’s intersection of multiple sectors and industries to convene powerful conversations. The Institute engages each of AU's schools and experts throughout campus – including the School of Public Affairs, School of International Service, School of Communication, Kogod School of Business, and the Washington College of Law – to fuel and facilitate ongoing dialogue and debate to gain insights and engender knowledge.