September 11, 2017

SIU’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute finalists named

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Six finalists to lead Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute will visit campus for interviews and public presentations over the next month. 

The finalists were announced today (Sept. 11) by John S. Jackson, search committee chair and visiting professor at the institute. 

The candidates are: James Coyle, director of the Center for Global Education at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.; Jeffrey Gedmin, senior director at Blue Star Strategies, a consulting firm, in Washington, D.C.; Stacy McDermott, consulting historian at the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield; Christopher Mooney, W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois Springfield; John Shaw, congressional reporter, Market News International; and Jak Tichenor, interim director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. 

The new director will replace David Yepsen, who retired Oct. 31, 2016. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the institute’s founding in 1997.  The institute honors founder and former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon. 

The candidates’ public presentations will focus on their credentials and plans for the institute. More information on each of the candidates is at 

The search committee was comprised of SIU faculty, students, staff and members of the institute’s External Board of Counselors. They each bring “distinguished academic records and years of practical experience in government, journalism and communications,” Jackson said. 

Each of the public presentations will be in the Student Center Illinois Room. The schedule is:

  • Sept. 21 – 3-4 p.m., Jeff Gedmin
  • Sept. 22 – 9-10 a.m., Christopher Mooney
  • Sept. 28 – 2-3 p.m., James Coyle
  • Sept. 29 – 3-4 p.m., John Shaw
  • Oct. 2 – 3-4 p.m., Stacy McDermott
  • Oct. 3 – 2:15-3:15 p.m., Jak Tichenor

For more information, contact Jackson at 618/453-3106 or 303-1240, or at