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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Sunday, February 19, 2017
About Us
Rockefeller Institute Co-Directors Richard Nathan and Thomas Gais

A Word of Welcome

From Thomas Gais,

Thank you for visiting our website. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government is the public policy research arm of the 64-campus State University of New York, the only public policy research institute affiliated with a comprehensive university system. Its mission is to enhance the capacities of state governments and the federal system to work toward genuine solutions to the nation’s problems. By genuine solutions, we mean those based on accurate facts and honest, independent, rigorous analyses.

As an academic institution, we do not have a set advocacy agenda but instead strive to understand and report what is real and avoid fallacious and misleading descriptions and conclusions regarding public issues. We also want to enhance the roles of evidence, data, and learning in policy, administrative, and budgetary decisions in state and local governing processes and institutions. We believe evidence and democracy can find common ground, though we are not so naïve as to think that that goal is easy to achieve or sustain.

Put simply, we want to increase the relevance of facts in state and local governance. If that goal is achieved, Americans’ freedom is enhanced by giving them capable, informed state and local governments they can turn to when they need the power and intelligence to solve real public problems. For more on our mission, see the Institute’s Vision Statement, which was adopted by our Board of Overseers on March 18, 2015.