SPIA in New Jersey launch emphasizes that research makes for sound public policy

Written by
Daniel Day, Office of Communications
May 4, 2023

The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs formally launched its SPIA in New Jersey initiative Friday, April 28, convening policy experts, legislators, state agency executives, University faculty and other researchers who stressed the importance of having valid data and analysis to drive public policy decisions.

“This morning you will hear from a distinguished group of New Jerseyans from across the political spectrum who have made meaningful contributions to residents and communities in our state,” SPIA Dean Amaney Jamal said in welcoming remarks at Robertson Hall. “Their presence here today reflects our commitment to take a research-driven, nonpartisan approach to promote policies that foster racial, economic and social justice statewide.

“I am very proud to renew the historic commitment of (SPIA) in this new era with fresh challenges, and to launch a research-based program that seeks to advance the wellbeing of my fellow Garden State residents — especially those who have been historically marginalized, exploited or underserved,” said Jamal, who counts herself among the many immigrants who are self-selected “New Jerseyans by choice.”

“Each of you is a bright star in New Jersey’s public policy constellation,” Anastasia Mann, the founding director of SPIA in New Jersey, told the audience of more than 100 people. She encouraged the crowd to mingle and share ideas, during the half-day event and afterward. “Connection is our m.o.,” she said, “in building a New Jersey in which prosperity is shared.”

In the first keynote address, Stuart Jeff Rabner, chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and a member of the Princeton class of 1982, noted that data analysis has been a significant factor in how the state judicial system has improved civil and criminal proceedings.  

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