Public Agenda

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Public Agenda is a nonprofit organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens navigate divisive and complex issues. Through nonpartisan research and engagement, it provides people with insights and support they need to arrive at workable solutions on critical issues, regardless of their differences. Since 1975, Public Agenda has helped foster progress on K-12 and higher education reform, health care, federal and local budgets, energy and immigration.[1]

The organization was founded by social scientist Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.

According to Caroline L. Gilson of DePauw University, "The audience for Public Agenda Online is wide-ranging: from researchers and policy-makers to concerned citizens and activists. For an academic audience, this site serves as a starting point for students exploring a topic who want to understand how the public weighs in on key issues".[2] One of Public Agenda's self-described goals is to bridge the divide that so often exists between American leaders and the American people.[citation needed]

The current president of Public Agenda is Will Friedman. Ruth A. Wooden, who joined Public Agenda in 2003, was president until 2010; Deborah Wadsworth had been the previous president. The organization is based in New York City.

Recent work[edit]

In 2007, Public Agenda joined forces with a number of heavy-hitting political non-profits: The Brookings Institution, The Heritage Foundation, the Concord Coalition and Viewpoint Learning. The result of the relationship is Facing Up to the Nation's Finances, a web site that focuses on American budgetary issues. In 2008, Public Agenda released its first book entitled Where Does the Money Go? The book, authored by vice-presidents Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson, has turned out to be a campaign hit.[3]


Bloggers have often criticized the organization for right or left-leaning research.[4] At various times, Public Agenda has received this criticism on both ends of the spectrum, although the vast majority of citations refer to the organization as "non-partisan" in its work.[citation needed]


External links[edit]