Fretwell Wilson Discusses New Leadership Post At IGPA

Robin Fretwell Wilson

URBANA – The University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs has a new director.

Robin Fretwell Wilson begins her new role leading the U of I system’s public policy research institute in a designate capacity on Feb. 16, and the Board of Trustees will vote on her appointment at its March 12th meeting.

Brian Moline interviews the IGPA’s new director, Robin Fretwell Wilson.

Wilson is a professor and associate dean at the U of I’s College of Law and becomes the first woman to lead the IGPA.

Illinois Newsroom’s Brian Moline spoke with Wilson about her new position and why she thinks it’s a good fit.

“This is a dream job for me,” Wilson said, “in the sense that I’ve spent a lot of the last five and six years, and even before coming to the University of Illinois, in statehouses trying to help lawmakers basically take research-driven recommendations for public policy.”

Wilson said one of her goals is to recruit more faculty from across the system’s three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield to look at some of the most difficult issues the state is facing in the areas of fiscal health, education, and substance use disorder, and ask the following question:

“Can we as a group mete out of our combined research and the perspectives that we have from our research on these problems,” Wilson said, “Can we find that smart policy that can actually help us with these very, very difficult problems?”

Wilson replaces Jon Davis, who stepped down last month after two years as IGPA’s interim director.

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Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.