SAN FRANCISCO, California, January 18, 2007 — The board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California today announced the selection of Mark Baldassare as PPIC’s next president and chief executive officer. Baldassare, currently the institute’s director of research, will assume his new role on March 7, 2007.
“The board had no need to look further than our own director of research to find a person of extraordinary talent and vision,” said Thomas C. Sutton, chairman of PPIC’s board of directors. “Mark has devoted his career to the improvement of policymaking in California. He is the right person to lead PPIC at this critical juncture in the state’s history. We are confident that Mark will take PPIC to a new level of productivity and accomplishment as a highly valued resource for those who make and influence policy in the state.”
Baldassare joined PPIC in 1996. In addition to his position as director of research, he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy and directs the PPIC Statewide Survey – the largest-scale public opinion project in the state. He is the author of nine books, including A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World. Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of California, Irvine, where he held the Johnson Chair in Civic Governance and founded and directed the Orange County Annual Survey. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
“I am deeply honored by the board’s decision and excited about the opportunity to help PPIC move forward in its mission to inform and improve public policy in California,” said Baldassare. “PPIC has been my home for a decade. I have tremendous respect for the institution and for the dedicated colleagues who have made its success possible. I look forward to working with them – along with our partners in government and the foundation community – in the quest to help policymakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. tackle some of the big challenges for the state’s future.”
PPIC’s current President and CEO, David Lyon, announced his retirement plans in December. Lyon will continue his association with PPIC, serving as founding president emeritus until June 30, 2009. “The board expresses once again its profound gratitude to David for his 12 years of remarkable service to PPIC and to the state of California,” said Sutton.
The Public Policy Institute of California is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett.