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Lucie Schmidt, Williams College
© Williams College

Meet the 2013 Policy Council: Lucie Schmidt

September 25, 2013 01:00 PM

Each December, the membership votes for a new cohort to serve a staggered four-year term of office in the Association’s Policy Council. Previously, the membership elected seven new members while APPAM’s Committee of Institutional Representatives elected three additional persons. As of this year, members will vote for three individuals to serve on the cohort, two academic members and one practitioner. The Committee of Institutional Representatives will vote for one institutional representative for the Policy Council at their meeting in November and one student member will be appointed to the Council.

In 2012, the membership voted for Lucie Schmidt, who serves until 2016 with the Policy Council cohort that includes Colleen Barry, David Johnson, Robert Kaestner, Mark Long, Laura Peck, and Jodi Sandfort.

Lucie Schmidt is an Associate Professor of Economics at Williams College. She is also Chair of the College’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She is an empirical microeconomist working on policy-related issues in labor economics and the economics of the family. She has written extensively on social insurance programs in the United States, with a particular focus on policies for the disabled. Schmidt's research also includes a number of papers on the economics of marriage and fertility decisions, as well as several research projects on economic issues facing the elderly.

What do you see as APPAM's biggest strength?

The high quality of multidisciplinary research done by APPAM members is evident in both the presentations at the annual Fall Conference as well as in the work published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. APPAM also brings together academic researchers and practitioners in important ways that facilitate research-based public policy.

How can that strength be leveraged in the coming year?

Member Forums with a particular theme, such as the upcoming forum on Mexico-U.S. Migration, seem particularly well-suited to bring together a diverse group of academics and policy-makers interested in the same policy issues.

What priorities do you have for the Policy Council in your coming term?

I am interested in strengthening the role that APPAM plays in policy education. I would like to find ways to better support our members who teach public policy analysis at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. I’d also like to encourage student involvement in APPAM. We already do a good job of including graduate public policy students. I’d like to expand this to the undergraduate level, possibly by strengthening relationships between APPAM members who educate policy-interested undergrads and APPAM members who hire those undergrads.

In your opinion, what are the two biggest issues facing the association today?

Growing and maintaining an engaged APPAM membership strikes me as particularly important.

Do you have ideas on how to tackle those issues?

An increased focus on policy education could help APPAM meet those goals. Getting the next generation of policy researchers and practitioners involved at early stages in their careers is likely to increase not only the number of APPAM members but also their engagement in the Association.

What excites you about the coming year?

I always look forward to the Fall Research Conference—it is a great chance to hear about new research, meet new people, and reconnect with old friends and colleagues.

How do you think members can best leverage their APPAM membership?

Be involved! Attend the annual conference, read JPAM and submit your papers, and let members of the Policy Council know what issues are most important to you.


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