John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy

Furthering a Tradition of Excellence

The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy is dedicated to deepening the analysis around critical public policy challenges and broadening the range of policy ideas, perspectives and options. The Institute assists decision makers in enacting public policy in the interest of New Jersey’s residents by expanding the range of policy and political possibilities and positing new policy paradigms.

The Institute was created to respond to the practical needs of decision-makers across New Jersey, and to honor the outstanding record of public service of the late N.J. Assemblyman John S. Watson, the nation's first African American chairman of an appropriations committee. The College initially established The Institute as the Trenton Office of Policy Studies in 1991 and dedicated it as The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy in 1997.

Today, The Institute serves as a vital resource for New Jersey decision-makers through a practical, nonpartisan, hands-on approach that supports informed public policy linking people to policy. The Institute addresses the state’s most critical issues through practical research, technical assistance and comprehensive public policy solutions that are supported by the resources of higher education in a manner that reflects the College's tradition of innovation and excellence.

The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy is composed of integrated policy centers and initiatives that inform and support the work of the Institute:

Meet the Executive Director


» Barbara George Johnson, MPH, JD