The new director of the University of Houston’s Center for Public Policy says he’ll put an emphasis on practical research that affects a broad range of people. As Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports, Jim Granato takes over an organization that’s more than 25 years old.
Granato comes to the Center for Public Policy from the University of Texas, where he was an adjunct associate professor of government. Before that, he was the political science program director at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, where he helped create a research template that can be applied to cities like Houston.
“I’ll apply the protocols I learned at NSF to problems in the Houston community, whether it’s term limits, immigration, air quality. You pick the issue, we’ll apply the template that we used at NSF to these problems.”
The Center for Public Policy was founded in 1981 and is considered an impartial research organization. Granato says he’ll do all he can to collaborate with local leaders.
“What we want is to meet with members of the community and get their ideas on what the problems are that are at the top of their list. So we have an advisory board that’s being reconstituted right now, people like Beverly Kaufman have agreed to participate, and they’re going to be my eyes and ears as well, people like Dick Murray, and what priorities are in terms of what needs studied quickly.”
Murray has been the director of the CPP and will continue his political science research under Granato’s leadership.