PULLMAN, Wash. — Congress has appropriated $3 million to the Thomas S.
Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State
University. The funds are earmarked for programs that include congressional
studies, public policy, voter education, and ensuring community access and
“The funding will be used for Institute programs and will allow a major
expansion of our partnerships and initiatives,” said Lance LeLoup, interim
director of the Foley Institute and chair of the Department of Political Science.
“The appropriation is one of the largest grants ever made by Congress to an
institute associated with a former Speaker of the House.”
The Foley Institute was founded in 1995 following the gift of Foley’s official
papers and other materials to WSU and recognizes Ambassador Foley’s three
decades of service and leadership as Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives. Its mission is to strengthen public understanding of
Congress and the roles of legislatures in democracy, to encourage citizen
participation in government through education and community outreach, and
to foster objective policy research and scholarly leadership.
The Institute sponsors a variety of programs including public lectures, panel
discussions, and faculty and student seminars by nationally and
internationally prominent figures including current and former members of the
Bush and Clinton administrations. Many of the events are broadcast on public
television and available on videotape for educational use.
The recent allocation by Congress will allow the Institute to significantly
expand programs, reaching more WSU students and citizens of the Northwest.
The federal funds will also result in enhanced scholarships and fellowships,
and greater opportunities for participation by WSU students planning careers
in public service.
This past summer and fall, eight WSU student interns sponsored by the
Institute held positions with members of congress, political candidates and
federal agencies in Washington, D.C. Several more interns were posted with
the state legislature in Olympia, as well as with local organizations such as law
Housed within the Institute are three endowed professorships: the Thomas S.
Foley Distinguished Professor of Government Studies, funded by a gift from
the Boeing Company; the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Natural
Resource and Environmental Policy; and the William Julius Wilson
Distinguished Professor of Sociology.
In partnership with the Women’s Resource Center, the Foley Institute recently
was named one of nine national sites for the National Education for Women’s
Leadership Development Network. The Institute is a unit within the WSU
College of Liberal Arts.