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The mission of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center is to help parties involved in complex public policy challenges in the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest tap university expertise to develop collaborative, durable and effective solutions.


The Center envisions a future in which government leaders, policy makers, and citizens routinely employ tools of collaborative decision making to design, conduct and implement successful public policy processes.


We are a joint effort of Washington State University (hosted and administered by the WSU Extension) and the University of Washington (hosted through the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance). Building on the unique strengths of these two institutions, the Center applies university resources and knowledge towards solving challenging public policy issues.


Collaboration, consensus, neutrality, knowledge, education, inquiry, and civility.


Updated on December 14, 2017


eNews Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 version of our eNewsletter is now available. Read the Fall 2017 issue.


 Stay up-to-date with the Ruckelshaus Center’s project updates, events and announcements.

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Ruckelshaus Center on TVW

TVW’s weekly show The Impact recently focused on the work of the Ruckelshaus Center in a ten-minute interview with Center Director Michael Kern. Watch the interview

2017 Chairman Circle Luncheon

A Special Thanks from the UW and WSU Presidents. (Video)

2017 Chairman’s Circle Luncheon featuring 66th US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Video)

Seeking a Development Coordinator

This December, the Center will be hiring a talented entry- to mid-level development professional with strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills—and the desire to raise money in support of a good cause! To learn more about the position or to be contacted when the position is available, please contact the Ruckelshaus Center at 206-428-3021 or

Internship Opportunities

Are you a graduate student or a recent graduate student? The Center accepts internship applications on a rolling basis to prepare the next generation of collaborative leaders. Learn more about our internship opportunities.

Hot off the Press!

Center Director Michael Kern recently co-authored an article in the Journal of Human Sciences & Extension entitled Urban Extension: Aligning with the Needs of Urban Audiences Through Subject-Matter Centers.

Earlier this year Michael also co-authored a book chapter entitled “The Public Sector as Mediator: The Role of Public Institutions in Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution”. The book is available here.

Healthcare Webinar

Kevin Harris, Senior Facilitator – Health Policy, recently conducted a national webinar entitled Collaborative Governance in Health: the Link Between Collaborative Process and Implementation. In case you missed it, watch the webinar.