Message from the Director, Richardson Dilworth

Richardson Dilworth

Hello, and thanks for visiting the website of Drexel’s Center for Public Policy (CPP). Here you will find information on the CPP’s research initiatives, and our Master of Science in Public Policy degree program.

CPP research is defined by case-based institutional analysis. Our focus on case studies stems from a commitment to deeply descriptive analyses as a means toward evaluating government and nonprofit organizations and programs. For our masters’ students, we believe that a deep understanding of the institutions that design and implement policy is an important means for understanding the larger significance of those policies. Students need to learn discrete skills, such as regression analysis and budgeting, so that they can work effectively within institutions, but they also need a larger understanding of the institutions in which they work, so that they can understand how they might help to shape those institutions.

Our commitment to deep description and immersion in specific institutions is reflected in the case study component of the MS in Public Policy curriculum – nine one-credit courses that students take throughout their time at Drexel, and through which they write an in-depth report on a specific program or organization. The case study component allows our graduate students to immerse themselves in a subject in a way that is not possible in a traditional course. The case study program also provides students an opportunity to forge relationships with organizations outside Drexel.

For the larger community, we sponsor and support conferences and other research in order to develop organizationally focused case studies. In June 2012, we sponsored a major conference in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, that focused on case studies of various kinds of cooperatives (worker, food, energy, and credit unions) in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  The case studies will soon be published and available through the University of Wisconsin-Extension Publications. In 2010, we sponsored, in conjunction with Drexel’s Earle Mack School of Law, a research initiative that produced case studies of each of the sixteen business improvement districts (BIDs) in Philadelphia (published collectively as Volume 3, Issue 1, of the Drexel Law Review). Read separately, each case study provides an in-depth examination and evaluation of a specific BID. Read together, the case studies describe a process of institutional evolution in city governance. In the future, we intend to sponsor research on city-state intergovernmental coordination and metropolitan governance, among other topics.

We are always interested in new research projects and proposals, and we are of course always interested in getting smart and energetic people to apply to our MS degree programs. For either purpose, or for anything else, please feel free to contact me, either by email ( or by phone (215-895-2471).

Richardson Dilworth, Director
Contact Richardson Dilworth, PhD | Faculty Profile