American University: New Cohort of Sine Institute of Policy & Politics Fellows and Distinguished Lecturers Brings Unique Experience and Innovation to American University

The Sine Institute of Policy & Politics at American University, one of the nation’s premier forums for the study and discussion of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century, today welcomed its fourth cohort of Spring Fellows, experts in politics and national security, social justice and advocacy, business and the media.

The 2022 Sine Fellows are:

Julián Castro, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017, Former US Presidential candidate, Mayor and City Councilmember
Barbara Comstock, Former Republican Member of U.S. Congress (VA-10)
Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officers of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
Michele Norris, columnist for The Washington Post; Founding Director of The Race Card Project; and former NPR host
Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate & Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF); Interim Chief of Programs at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS); Founder and CEO of Revitalization Strategies
Shannon Watts, Founder, Moms Demand Action
The Sine Institute also welcomed Ryan Gellert, Chief Executive Officer of Patagonia Works and Patagonia LLC, as a Distinguished Lecturer.

The Sine Institute of Policy & Politics plays an essential role in American University’s commitment to preparing the next generation of changemakers to make an impact in our changing world. As an incubator for policy innovation since its inception in 2018, the Sine Institute has brought AU students together with national and global leaders to discuss issues as wide ranging as the ways in which jobs contribute to communities, the evolution of U.S.-China relations, the impact of technology on the American workforce, how to run government more effectively, and the actions that business leaders, philanthropists, and policymakers can take today to eliminate poverty in this country.

“The Sine Institute and its fellows deliver experiential learning opportunities that are at the core of an American University education, engaging our students, faculty, alumni, and staff to make a lasting impact across our communities,” said President Sylvia M. Burwell. “This year’s fellows continue the AU tradition of taking on great challenges and collaborating across disciplines to implement solutions that make a difference.”

“I am proud to welcome this outstanding group of leaders in their fields,” said Amy Dacey, executive director of the Sine Institute for Policy & Politics. “This diverse group of experts boldly accept today’s most pressing challenges, and I am confident that they will engage in the vital conversations that our country and the world are facing by sharing their unique experiences with our students, our faculty, and the entire AU community.”

The Sine Institute was made possible through a milestone gift of $10 million from AU alumnus, trustee, and entrepreneur Jeff Sine, SIS/BA ’76, and Samira Sine, an advocate for women and children and a seasoned journalist. In its first three years, the Sine Institute hosted more than a hundred events that attracted audiences from 64 countries on 6 continents. The next cohort of Fellows will convene conversations on issues that include race, gun violence, social and environmental justice, national security, and women’s empowerment.

“It is so inspiring to see the Institute bring compelling and thought-provoking Fellows for Spring 2022,” said Jeff Sine. “This class will generate new dialogue, bring in diverse perspectives to campus, and help connect seasoned practitioners directly to our students. I’m looking forward to the conversation in the Spring.”