Policy Brief is a podcast and video series of informed conversations with policymakers, influencers and public sector professionals exploring current issues. Policy Brief is produced by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University and hosted by Glenn College Dean Trevor Brown.

For podcasts, listen and subscribe at:

For past episodes, watch and subscribe at:

Security at the U.S. Capitol Building

Guest: Drew Willison, MPA ’90, Former Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. Senate

With over 2,000 officers sworn to protect and defend the U.S. Capitol, it is hard to imagine the building could be overrun by America’s own citizens. John Glenn College of Public Affairs alumnus, Drew Willison, joins Dean Trevor Brown in the latest edition of Policy Brief to discuss the duties of the sergeant at arms in safeguarding and securing the Senate and what may have caused the lack of preparation on January 6. Willison shares his expertise on the inside workings of the Senate, observations from the insurrection and thoughts about what should happen next.
The Presidential Transition

Guest: Tom Wheeler

January’s guest is Tom Wheeler, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Wheeler will discuss the important work that goes into serving on a presidential transition team from his experience serving on the Obama-Biden Transition in 2008-09.
This episode was filmed in early December 2020 and will not include commentary on January events in Washington, D.C.
Alumni Awards

This week, we take a break from our normal Policy Brief format to share three inspiring stories of public service. We are proud to present our three Glenn College Alumni Awards to these remarkable public-sector professionals:
  • Ryan Gies, MPA ’94, has been selected to receive the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement.
  • Kwame Christian, MA/JD ‘13, is receiving the Young Alumni Achievement Award.
  • Yvonne Lesicko, MPA ‘95, is being recognized with the Outstanding Alumni Service Award.

Election Security

Guest: Herb Asher, distinguished adjunct professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs and professor emeritus, The Ohio State University Department of Political Science.

Brown and Asher’s talk follows the first presidential debate to address what’s on the mind of American voters including the economy, race, civil society and the pandemic response. The two discuss 2020 election security concerns and the mechanisms of the Ohio electorate. Hear predictions on what the early returns will reflect and learn how to navigate polls as a consumer during this historic time.

Nonprofit Services Through Two Pandemics

Guest:Christie Angel, President and CEO, YWCA Columbus

Brown and Angel talk about how COVID-19 and the George Floyd tragedy renewed the social justice arm of her organization. The discussion details the historic workings of the Columbus YWCA and how it’s continuing its mission during these turbulent times. Angel shares ways they are turning social equity conversations into calls to action and how she will measure the impact of the YWCA in their charge to eradicate systemic inequity.

Global Pandemic, Global Scientific Impacts

Guest: Caroline Wagner, Glenn College associate professor

Brown and Wagner dive into global research activity between the superpowers of science before and during the pandemic. The discussion details how China handled sharing news about the coronavirus outbreak within scientific communities and the resulting changes to global research policy and knowledge sharing. Wagner addresses historic, current and future scientific cooperation as it relates to innovation in areas like immunology, virology and health care. The conversation concludes with several ideas for the U.S. to promote openness and collaboration moving forward.

COVID-19 in the Nation's Captial

Guest: Wayne Turnage, deputy mayor, District of Columbia Health and Human Services (DMHHS), director, District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF)

Turnage coordinates a comprehensive system of benefits, goods and services to ensure that children, youth and adults can lead healthy, meaningful and productive lives. Learn about the ways the pandemic impacts their clients and how COVID-19 rule changes are leading to improvements of the service roadmap.

Pandemic in Paradise

Episode 11: Known for its shell beaches and wildlife refuges, tourist dependent Sanibel, Florida is feeling the impacts of COVID-19. Trevor Brown talks with City Manager Judie Zimomra about the unique challenges the incorporated island city is facing. Learn from Judie about the key priorities and the responses this comprehensive land use community has executed during the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Workforce

How has COVID-19 impacted the workforce in Central Ohio? Lisa Patt-McDaniel, CEO of Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio discusses early moves her organization, and its partnering agencies, made to address unemployment issues related to the pandemic.

COVID's Financial Impacts

Will Columbus need to tap into a rainy day fund to make up budget shortfalls amid the pandemic? Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore joins Dean Brown to discuss how the city is positioned financially to weather COVID-19, what revenue adjustments are on the horizon and the data available to help city leaders and policymakers reach the most equitable and longterm solutions.

The opinions and recommendations presented in these podcasts and videos are those of the author(s) and do not represent a policy position or views of either the John Glenn College of Public Affairs or The Ohio State University.

© John Glenn College of Public Affairs
Page Hall, 1810 College Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210

Keep up on all the Glenn College news and events by following us on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.