Wharton School Announces $11 Million in Lead Gifts for Public Policy Initiative

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has announced contributions totaling $11 million to establish the Wharton Public Policy Initiative.

Gifts from alumni Marc J. Rowan, Marc A. Spilker, and Diane Isaacs Spilker will be used to create the initiative, which aims to bridge the intellectual divide between policy makers and the business community. With physical locations in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the initiative will offer independent, timely nonpartisan research by Wharton faculty to key decision makers and will disseminate that research through seminars, webinars, conferences, and the school's online journal.

Mark Duggan, chair of the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy and professor of healthcare management, has been named faculty director of the initiative. In addition to Duggan and a managing director on Penn's Philadelphia campus, a Washington, D.C.-based executive director will be named.

"Wharton is uniquely positioned to effectively generate and disseminate new knowledge that is both relevant and nonpartisan — at a time of great partisanship — where it will be of tremendous use to decision makers," said Rowan. "This is a vital partnership and one that has the ability to effect positive and lasting change."