SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 17, 2007— The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) announced today that its director of research, Deborah Reed, will be the first recipient of the Thomas C. Sutton Chair in Policy Research. This just-announced endowed chair, designated for the institute’s senior research manager, is being established with a $1 million gift from the Pacific Life Foundation. Mr. Sutton is chairman of PPIC’s board of directors, and past chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance Company.
“PPIC is deeply grateful to receive such a generous gift to honor the outstanding leadership of Tom Sutton,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of PPIC. “We believe Debbie Reed’s expertise and strong track record in policy research make her the consummate choice for this important new chair. Her distinguished, widely recognized research on topics such as income distribution, and economic, educational, and immigrant trends encompasses some of the most consequential issues facing California.”
Before joining PPIC in 1995, Reed, who earned her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, was an adjunct professor of economics at the University of Michigan and a consultant for The World Bank. Her most recent PPIC publications include Can California Import Enough College Graduates to Meet Workforce Needs?, Poverty in California: Moving Beyond the Federal Measure, and Retention of New Teachers in California.
“I am extremely honored to be the first recipient of this chair,” said Reed, “and excited about the new opportunities it presents for PPIC to improve understanding of the state’s policy challenges.”
Thomas C. Sutton spent 17 years as the chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance Company, headquartered in Newport Beach, California. During this same period, he served as chairman of the Pacific Life Foundation, and in 2005 was elected chairman of PPIC’s board of directors. “I am most gratified that the foundation would endow this chair in my name—and award it to PPIC. The complexity and urgency of the issues California faces make the need for objective, independent, high-quality research greater than ever,” said Sutton. “As board chairman, I’ve watched PPIC—through the work of dedicated researchers like Dr. Reed—serve that cause uniquely well and take recent strides towards becoming even more engaged and influential.”
The president of the Pacific Life Foundation, Robert G. Haskell, emphasized the goal of helping PPIC to meet its mission. “This endowed chair honoring Tom Sutton’s achievements will help PPIC further its commitment to improve public policy decisions in California,” said Haskell.
The Public Policy Institute of California is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett.