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Getting to Know New Policy Council Members: Cynthia Osborne


Dr. Cynthia Osborne is Associate Dean for Academic Strategies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. She is also a newly elected member of the Policy Council as Vice President. Let's find out some more about Dr. Osborne in this brief interview. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am the Associate Dean for Academic Strategies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. I am a family demography and policy scholar by training, and I focus on policies that aim to strengthen families with young children. I am the director of the Child and Family Research Partnership which conducts large-scale evaluations for state agencies and large nonprofits to help them enhance the services they offer families. I also direct the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, which is a resource for states as they develop and implement policies to ensure children get off to a healthy start and thrive.

How did you first learn about APPAM?

I attended my first APPAM conference when I was a student at Princeton. We were encouraged to attend because the panels provided the best examples we could get on how to conduct rigorous, policy-relevant research. I developed a network of friends who I look forward to seeing at the conference every year.

What made you want to join the Executive Council?

APPAM has provided so much to me in my career – I interviewed for my job at UT at an APPAM conference; I gave my first presentation at an APPAM conference (using overhead slides, mind you); the network of colleagues and friends I have developed provides support and guidance to me, and the website and other events and resources play an integral role in my work. I wanted to find a way to contribute to the organization that has done so much for me. I was fortunate to be elected to the policy council several years ago, and seeing the operations and dedication of the members and staff from the inside only solidified my commitment to APPAM.

What do you think is the most important thing that APPAM’s leadership can do to help the membership?

I think most APPAM members remain connected to the organization because of the friendships and networks they have created. APPAM leadership must continue to promote opportunities for these connections and to ensure that our members are diverse and reflective of the policy scholars, students, researchers, and government leaders we represent.

What is your favorite APPAM Conference City?

APPAM in Austin will certainly be the best APPAM conference ever!

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