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.

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Restoring Trust in Politics and News Media

Guest: Mike McCurry, Distinguished Professor of Public Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and former press secretary for President Bill Clinton and then-presidential candidate Senator John Glenn

From a career as a press secretary for Senator Glenn’s presidential campaign, President Bill Clinton and other political entities, Mike McCurry sees the significance — and current downfall — of the public’s trust in both our elected officials and the news media. McCurry and Dean Trevor Brown discuss factors for the mistrust, including the effects of social media, divisive politics and the struggling local media industry. McCurry offers solutions in the form of educating the public about public policy, restructuring our definition of public information and engaging other credible and reliable institutions, such as faith organizations, in real, honest dialogue about critical issues.
Exploring Space with Lori Garver

Guest: Lori Garver, CEO of Earthrise Alliance and former deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lori Garver believes that since the beginning of humanity, exploration was necessary for human survival. Now, as she leads a nonprofit organization which uses space technology to mitigate the effects of climate change, she believes space exploration is increasingly essential for humans to survive on Earth and beyond. Tune in for this conversation as Garver talks with Dean Trevor Brown about her career working with NASA and Senator John Glenn, the importance of private sector space technology innovation, and what’s next in space travel.

Lobbying for Good

Guest: Kellie Adesina, Director, Government Affairs, Crop Science, Bayer U.S.

Lobbying is an important part of the political process, but it often has a negative connotation. Kellie Adesina, a graduate of The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law, joins Dean Brown to discuss the ways lobbyists advocate for people and businesses while helping Congress draft quality legislation. She shares her experience influencing food and agriculture legislation for Bayer in areas like biotechnology, nutrition and climate change, explaining Bayer’s stake in these issues and how her team works to drive change. In closing, Kellie introduces Black Professionals in Food and Agriculture, a new organization that promotes representation of Black policy professionals in the food and agriculture sector, where BIPOC voices have been historically underrepresented.

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.




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