Career & Education Resources


APPAM Communities


APPAM Communities

In 2019, APPAM began offering Communities at the Annual Fall Research Conference. The idea was for members to create a group meeting, based on an element/idea around which a community could be created such as religion, research type, geography and many more. Because the creation of a community transcends one meeting in one place, we decided to make these communities ongoing so they allow members to connect over a commonality, shared interest or value throughout the year, both virtually and in person. These Communities provide invaluable opportunity for connection.

Members of Communities connect virtually through our online platform, Circle, led by the Community Co-chairs. Each Community has their own space to chat, post content, hold virtual meetings and connect. Meetings for Communities will also be held at the Annual Fall Research Conference held in November.

Please see APPAM's current communities below. We take proposals for new communities and encourage members to submit ideas and chair suggestions to Please note: you MUST be a professional, active member to suggest an idea for a new Community. There is no guarantee that it will be accepted.

Interested in joining? Fill out this form and we’ll send you a link to join the Circle space of your chosen Community. Communities are what you make of them so participate, talk to people, share resources and make connections.  



Active Communities

BIPOC in Public Policy 

This Community was created to help support Black, Indigenous and People of Color engaged in research. Discussions include challenges faced by BIPOC researchers, challenges in the field itself, and ways APPAM and other stakeholders can help engage and promote DEI.


Co-chair: Joseph Benitez, University of Kentucky


Co-chair: Robynn Cox, University of California, Riverside

Data Science

This Community explores data science topics and applications in public policy and management. It takes a broad view of data science, including quantitative skills, domain expertise, and “soft skills,” such as ethics and communication. Anticipated community discussions are the alignment of data science and public policy and management training as well as the impact of data science on public policy and management careers and research.


Co-chair: Frances Carter-Johnson, National Science Foundation


Co-chair: Torbet McNeil, University of Arizona

Early Career Professionals

This Community is for those new to the research world (less than 10 years post terminal degree) and is meant to help support those just starting out in their career, whether academia, government, think tank, NGO, non-profit or a corporate role. 


Chair: Lindsay Moore, Veteran's Health Administration

First-Gen Researchers

First generation college graduates or those whose parents do not have four-year degrees can gather to create a space to discuss this  aspect of diversity. Join the Community to make new connections, discuss your own perspectives on policy research as a first generation researcher and find ways APPAM can continue to support this group.


Co-chair: Kandice Kapinos, RAND Corporation and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Co-chair: Samuel Mann, Vanderbilt University

LGBTQ+ Researchers

This Community was created to help better support LGBTQ+ members and increase inclusivity and diversity. Discussions include challenges faced by research on policy issues, challenges faced by LGBTQ+ researchers, policy challenges with the LGBTQ+ community and more.





Co-chair: Ben Harrell, Trinity University


Co-chair: Amy Cummings, Michigan State University

Undergraduate Education

This Community is for educators and researchers committed to supporting the development of undergraduate education in public policy and public affairs as they relate to APPAM educational institutions.


Co-chair: T.J. McCarthy, University of Southern California, Price School of Public Policy


Co-chair: Timothy Smeeding, University of Wisconsin, La Follette School of Public Affairs

Women in Economics

This Community is for researchers committed to doing research about, supporting the development of, and/or advancing professional opportunities for women (cis and trans) and non-binary economists in the APPAM community. This is meant for members at all career stages. This Community will discuss professional concerns, current research, challenges and potential solutions, future APPAM activities and more.






Co-chair: Chloe East, University of Colorado, Denver and Equitable Policy Research Lab


Co-chair: Kathryn Edwards, RAND Corporation


Questions? Email Michelle Avaroma at