Longtime Arizona policy expert to lead leadership initiative

Public-policy expert Nancy Welch has been appointed to lead the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership

The Flinn Foundation has appointed Nancy Welch, a nationally recognized public-policy analyst, to lead an emerging program to strengthen civic leadership in Arizona.

Welch will join the Flinn Foundation in mid-October as Vice President, Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. This is the working name of a new program under development by the Foundation and jointly sponsored by the Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson. Her primary responsibility will be to help develop and administer the new endeavor.

Welch presently serves as associate director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, an independent and nonpartisan center of research, analysis, and public outreach regarding Arizona issues. The Institute is a unit of the College of Public Programs at Arizona State University.

“Nancy is well known and highly regarded in Arizona public policy circles,” said Jack Jewett, Flinn Foundation President and CEO. “Her work has impacted numerous critical policy decisions over the past two decades. Nancy’s extensive policy background and passion for Arizona’s future are a perfect match for this new position.”

Welch first joined Morrison Institute in 1989 as a senior research analyst. After leaving in 1999 to join the Insight Group, a Tempe-based research firm, she rejoined Morrison in 2003 as assistant director and soon was promoted to associate director.

At Morrison, Welch has managed policy research, project development, and client relationships. She has planned and conducted policy research on numerous issues, authoring publications on topics such as the economy, arts and culture, health insurance, workforce development, sustainability, quality of life, governance, aging, and budget tracking. Her notable recent work includes The Price of Stewardship: The Future of Arizona State Parks, To Learn and Earn: A Race to Good Jobs, and Megapolitan: Arizona’s Sun Corridor.

While specific strategies are under development, the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership aims to develop Arizona’s future leaders, encourage collaboration among Arizona’s existing leadership programs, and raise awareness of the importance of civic leadership and policy issues. The program is expected to debut in early 2011.

Welch previously served as executive director of the nonprofit Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, and as a planner at the Arizona Department of Economic Security. She earned a master’s degree in History at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

The Flinn Foundation was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. The nonprofit philanthropic endowment supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars Program, and arts and culture.

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