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Since its inauguration in 2001, The Polson Institute has been helmed by a Director and Steering Committee drawn from the Department of Development Sociology.

Currently led by Professor Fouad Makki, previous leadership has included - 

  • Professor Lori Leonard (2016-2019)
  • Professor Shelley Feldman (2012-2016)
  • Professor Douglas Gurak (2006-2012)
  • Professor David Brown (2001-2005)

The Polson Institute works to support the research of faculty in the Department of Development Sociology and to help them build collaborations across and beyond the university through a series of programmatic initiatives that include a Small Grants Program, Research Working Groups, and a Visiting Faculty Program.