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Institute for Leadership and Public Policy

Welcome to the Institute for Leadership and Public Policy

The College of Social Sciences Institute for Leadership and Public Policy is dedicated to conducting policy-relevant research and offering student training and career development to inspire public leadership in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Students also learn to understand the leadership challenges facing society today, conduct scholarly work around issues of public leadership and governance along with learning best practices while exchanging ideas with experienced leaders and scholars. 


About The Directors:

Dr Cummins

Dr. Jeff Cummins is a Political Science professor and the Co- Director of the Institute for Leadership and Public Policy. Dr. Cummins received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2003. He previously worked for the California State Auditor and the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) in Sacramento before coming to Fresno State in 2005. His teaching and research areas focus on American Politics and public policy, including state politics and policy, public budgeting, and the presidency. He is the author of Boom and Bust: The Politics of the California Budget (Berkeley Public Policy Press) and co-author of California: The Politics of Diversity (Cengage Learning). His research has been published in American Politics Research, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and Congress and the Presidency, among other journals. He frequently provides commentary to news media and has been interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates, the New York Times, The Economist, the National Journal, Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee.


Espana NajeraDr. Annabella Espana-Najera, Assistant Professor for Chicano and Latin American Studies is the Co-Director of the Institute for Leadership and Public Policy. Dr. Espana-Najera received her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2009. She was a post-doctorate at the Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University prior to joining Fresno State in 2011. Her research and teaching areas focus on topics of representation, political parties, decentralization, democratization, and public policy in Latin America, and Latino politics. Her research has been published in Party Politics and Electoral Studies. She also co-authored a chapter on budgetary processes in the book titled Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation, and Accountability. She often provides commentary to news media on Latino Politics to media outlets throughout the Central Valley.