Our Work

Ongoing Projects


Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University

In recent years, the decorum of town hall meetings has declined in the face of deepening political polarization. The Simon Institute is partnering with The Lugar Center to offer a set of "best practices" for the conduct of town hall meetings in Illinois. These recommendations were sent out to the Illinois delegation in July.

Indiana University

In November 2017, Indiana University held a meeting on Capitol Hill with a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives from the Indiana congressional delegation. The event, which was introduced by Senator Lugar, was centered on the university’s Addiction Grand Challenges initiative which aims to address the growing opioid epidemic in Indiana and across the country. In March 2018, IU released preliminary findings from this research and subsequent policy recommendations for federal, state, and local legislators. The university continues to work closely with members on both sides of the aisle to find tenable, bipartisan solutions to the growing crisis.

Center for Effective Lawmaking

On April 11, 2018, the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a partnership between the Frank Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy at The University of Virginia and the College of Arts and Sciences at Vanderbilt University, led discussions on federal education reform. The event was attended by Democratic and Republican staffers of the Virginia and Tennessee congressional offices. The conversations, which touched on everything from financial aid and loan accessibility to community college and technical education, were moderated by UVA and Vanderbilt professors whose research pertains to education and workforce development. The April event was the first of three in a series supported by The Lugar Center and the Center for Effective Lawmaking that brings together Hill staffers from both sides of the aisle for debate and discussion on relevant issue-areas. The July roundtable will focus on Health policy.

Duke University

On May 30, 2018, Duke University held a half-day summit with a bipartisan group of congressional staffers to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill. The roundtable discussions were led by several Ag experts --including former Lugar agriculture staffer Aaron Whitesel -- and examined current federal policies pertaining to small-scale farmers and nutritional programs. The event, which was attended by nearly two dozen people who work on Capitol Hill and in the administration, sought to inform decision-makers on best practices in enhancing the health and economies of rural America. The program was part of Duke’s quarterly series “Beyond Talking Points,” an initiative aimed at educating government officials on critical issues