Amy Dacey named director of Sine Institute

Dacey plans to add international perspective in fellowship role

Amy Dacey named director of Sine Institute
Amy Dacey was named director of the AU Sine Institute in June

The University’s new bipartisan Sine Institute of Policy and Politics named political veteran Amy Dacey as its inaugural executive director in June. 

Dacey previously led Emily’s List and the Democratic National Committee. She also worked on presidential campaigns, such as John Kerry’s in 2004. Because of these experiences, Dacey said she has a “360-degree view of policy and politics” that will help further Sine’s goals of finding new policy solutions.

“I think these are all the different players and sectors that come together when they make policy,” Dacey said, “So I do feel like having those different perspectives from my own personal career path will bring a lot to what we’re trying to do here at the Sine Institute.”

President Sylvia Burwell announced the establishment of the institute last September on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

“What we’re hopeful for is that our students, our scholars and practitioners - people who are experts across media, government and the private sector - can come together and shape policy, as well as the leaders of tomorrow,” Burwell said on the show.

School of Public Affairs Dean Vicky Wilkins said the hiring committee looked for someone who could increase the Sine Institute's visibility on campus and beyond. Wilkins said they wanted someone who had experience in “institution-building” and bringing people together.

Wilkins said that not only did Dacey’s political experiences impress her, but her most recent experience as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard intrigued her, as well. In that role, she educated students on politics and policy, just as the fellows at Sine do.

“What resounded with everyone I spoke to there [Harvard], including students, was her level of student engagement and her ideas about how to bring students in and how they could be involved in the institute,” Wilkins said. “It really excited me and made me see that she was the right person.”

Looking toward the future of Sine, Dacey said she has big plans. She said she hopes to bring in international voices to talk about how policy affects us “outside our borders.” Dacey also said one of her main goals is to hire an engaged and diverse group of fellows for this upcoming spring. 

“I think it is a great opportunity and I am excited about this program at American University,” Dacey said. “It is a University-wide initiative, so the collaboration that will take place between all the different schools and colleges and their expertise is exciting.”

kcarolan@theeagleonline.com 

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