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Press Release · January 12, 2001

Statement By David Lyon On The Death Of William R. Hewlett

“William R. Hewlett made many extraordinary contributions to the citizens of the world, the nation, and the state of California. One of those contributions was founding and funding the Public Policy Institute of California. I had the privilege of working with Mr. Hewlett to create this independent research institution dedicated to improving public policy in the state. His death is an immense loss to the people of California. His legacies will serve them for generations.”

David W. Lyon, President and CEO, Public Policy Institute of California


History of the Public Policy Institute of California

PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. In 1993, William R. Hewlett, Roger W. Heyns, and Arjay Miller worked together to conceive and implement the idea of a public policy research institution dedicated solely to the issues and events that affect the people of California. Roger Heyns wrote a concept paper spelling out the basic principals upon which the institute would be founded, and William R. Hewlett provided a generous endowment gift that ensured the institute’s independence and objectivity. Together, the founders established and launched the Public Policy Institute of California in July 1994 and selected David Lyon as its founding president and CEO. Roger Heyns served as the first Chairman of the Board until his untimely death in 1995, at which time the Board of Directors elected Arjay Miller to the position.

The founders believed there were compelling reasons to create an institution like PPIC. They saw California’s political and social landscape shifting rapidly and recognized the need to link accurate, groundbreaking research to policymaking. They envisioned a research institute that would help inform public discussion by providing careful analysis of the issues and trends that affect public policy. The foresight of Mr. Hewlett, Mr. Heyns, and Mr. Miller has proved to be crucially important for California as we enter a new millennium facing daunting challenges and increasingly unfamiliar political and social territory. Because of their creative leadership, PPIC is well-positioned to provide policymakers with the objective research and nonpartisan advice that is critical to developing innovative solutions in a new era.