ipg houseThe Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance maintains an active program of empirical and theoretical research and learning linked to the Institute’s policy and governance-related domains of interest to achieve more fully democratic societies at all geographic scales. We engage in research, capacity building, technical outreach and community-based participatory inquiry with and on behalf of those we serve, principally disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.

The Institute’s current research and project emphases are concentrated around these policy areas:

Child and Family Social Welfare Policy Group

Governance and Civil Society Group

Public and Community Health Group

Public Policy Data Group


Community Voices

Community Voices seeks to develop community capacity for civic dialogue that generates ideas for positive change, ideas that matter.


Latest News & Events

December 18, 2014

December 15, 2014

  • Max Stephenson's latest Soundings commentary has been posted: Acknowledging the Lessons of History. Thank you for reading and enjoy!
  • Recording of recent Community Voices speaker Tay Keong Tan. His talk marked the 25th Community Voices speaking event.

December 8, 2014

December 5, 2014

December 4, 2014

  • We've moved! Just two doors down - we are now located at 201 West Roanoke Street (at the corner of Roanoke Street and Draper Road)

December 1, 2014

November 25, 2014

  • The Academy of Management's 75th Annual Meeting will take place August 7-11, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Call for Submissions is now available. This year's meeting theme is "Opening Governance." Read more about submission guidelines here. Submissions Deadline: January 13, 2015 5:00 PM EST.
  • The Nonprofit Academic Center Council (NACC) will be hosting its 2015 Conference on Nonprofit & Philanthropic Studies in Chicago at DePaul University from July 15-16, 2015. The theme is “The Meaning of ‘Nonprofitness,’ Capturing it in Research, Curriculum, & Programming.” This conference brings together academics, scholars, practitioners, and administrators from around the world to discuss, learn and share tactics and methods that support and build university-based educational programs focused on nonprofit and philanthropic studies. Topics for conversation include instruction, pedagogy, research and substantive issues in education and administration. Graduate students are also encouraged to submit. The call for papers and other conference information is available on the NACC website. Proposals are due January 31, 2015.

November 24, 2014

November 21, 2014

November 20, 2014

  • Forced Migration Review issue 48 on 'Faith and responses to displacement' is now online at www.fmreview.org/faith. Included in this issue is Emily Barry-Murphy (PGG) and Max Stephenson's essay entitled 'Engaging IDPs in Sri Lanka: a Buddhist approach'

November 19, 2014

  • Recording of recent Community Voices speaker Francesco Manca's talk last month

November 17, 2014

  • Max Stephenson's latest Soundings commentary has been posted: Making Sense of the Recent Election. Thank you for reading and enjoy!
  • Congratulations to Eli Jamison (ASPECT), whose abstract entitled "Imagined Power--The Influence of Business on Alabama Immigration Politics" has been accepted for presentation at the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) conference, to be held this April 16-19, 2015 in Chicago, IL. This will be the 67th national MPSA conference.

November 14, 2014

November 10, 2014

November 6, 2014

  • On Monday, November 17 from 7:00pm-8:00pm in Fralin Auditorium, Community Voices speaker Dr. Tay Keong Tan will present on "Promoting Integrity in Bhutan and Lessons for Governance in Nonprofits in the New River Valley"
  • Congratulations to Sarah Lyon-Hill (PGG), who was recently hired by the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development! As an Economic Development Specialist, she will work with communities throughout Virginia, providing technical expertise through analysis and facilitation as well as building collaborative partnerships among university, government, community and business stakeholders.

November 4, 2014

  • Congratulations to Lyusyena Kirakosyan (VTIPG Senior Project Associate) whose proposal entitled "An Ethical Framework for Qualitative Health Inquiry" was accepted for presentation at the 4th Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research, to be held this March 18-20, 2015 in Mérida, Yucatàn, Mexico.

November 3, 2014

October 30, 2014

October 29, 2014

  • How do you start or manage a nonprofit? What are the ethical challenges for directors and board members in pursuing the mission of a nonprofit? How do nonprofits balance the often competing desires of donors and beneficiaries? This class, taught next semester by Maya Berinzon (VTIPG Research Associate) will evaluate the rules that regulate the not-for-profit sector and how nonprofits navigate this space.

    (FYI: spring 2015 Web Drop/Add opens 11/29/14... the last day to add a class once the spring semester starts is 1/26/15)

October 27, 2014

  • Brad Stephens (Thriving Places Project) recently interviewed Andy Morikawa (VTIPG Fellow) on his theory of change and experience in civic organizations. Check out the blog post here.
  • Max Stephenson's latest Soundings commentary has been posted: Reflections on Democratic Leadership and Popular Exploitation. Thank you for reading and enjoy!

October 23, 2014

October 20, 2014

October 13, 2014

October 9, 2014

October 8, 2014

  • Congratulations to Rachel Christensen (VTIPG Senior Project Associate), who has been selected from amongst many applicants as one of the Emerging Scholars for ARNOVA’s 2014 Annual Conference. A committee of established scholars selects the winners of this award each year. This award recognizes the high quality and promise of Rachel's work, and also comes with a stipend for travel to ARNOVA's 43rd Annual Conference this November 20-22, 2014 in Denver, CO.

October 6, 2014

October 3, 2014

  • Next Week: "Prisoner of Her Past" -- guest lectures on trauma, PTSD and the Holocaust

    Second-generation Holocaust survivor, writer and producer Howard Reich authored the memoir "Prisoner of Her Past," which has been filmed and broadcast as a documentary under the same title by PBS. He tells the story of his upbringing in a household of Holocaust survivors, and of how his mother, Sonia Reich, finally succumbed to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in her late 60s. He traveled to Poland and the Ukraine in an attempt to reconstruct his mother's survival during the Holocaust as an orphan on the run.

    Both the book and the film deal with the Holocaust, memory, aging, post-traumatic stress, and how people surrounding the victims of violence are affected; all relevant to our community.

    During his visit to VT, Reich will give three public lectures. Here is a quick summary:
    Monday, October 6:
    4:00 to 5:30: Reading from his book "Prisoner of Her Past" and a follow-up discussion and reception in the Multipurpose Room (1st floor Newman Library).
    7:30 to 9:00: Fireside chat with Howard Reich, hosted by the German Culture Club in the Multipurpose Room (1st floor Newman Library).

    Tuesday, October 7:
    4:00 to 5:30: Screening of the documentary film "Prisoner of Her Past" (by Gordon Quinn) with a follow-up discussion with the writer and producer, Howard Reich, at the Lyric.

  • Call for Papers for: ASPECT 2015 Graduate Conference, to be held March 20-21, 2015. The theme of this year's conference is "Representations of Resistance." The three invited plenary speakers are: Nancy Love (Appalachian State University); Sam Opondo (Vassar College); and Kumi Silva (UNC-Chapel Hill). The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 14, 2014.

October 2, 2014

October 1, 2014


News Archive | Awards




Upcoming Events

February 5, 2015, 12:00pm-1:00pm, Office of International Research, Education and Development (OIRED) Conference Room A - Women and Gender in International Development (WGD) Spring 2015 Speaker Series begins (speaker TBD)

Monday, March 23, 2015, 6:30pm, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC - Americans for the Arts presents the 28th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy: An Evening with Norman Lear (Television producer, author, and social activist) tickets are free but must be reserved in advance (space is limited!)

Blogs & Commentaries


weekly commentary from the Director of IPG, Max Stephenson Jr.


quarterly reflection from the Director of IPG, Max Stephenson Jr.

Thriving Places Project

This project shares ideas for change, and provides resources for people interested in making positive changes in their community.

RE: Reflections and Explorations

A graduate student commentary.

Patrick in Macedonia

Master's International Program Student, Patrick Burke, shares his Peace Corps experiences in Macedonia.