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Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: The Ruckelshaus Center is working to keep our communities safe. All programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 12, 2020, the Center’s office is closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference. Contact information can be found here.


Coronavirus COVID-19

The Ruckelshaus Center and its universities (Washington State University and the University of Washington) have been closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, COVID-19. The Center’s offices at Washington State University’s Seattle office and at the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance are closed to the public, but our team is still doing its work virtually, and can be reached via phone or email. For contact information, click here.

Remembering Bill Ruckelshaus

It is with profound sadness that we announce the loss of our founder, our visionary, our leader, our muse, and our treasured friend — Bill Ruckelshaus. Read a letter from our Center Director and Advisory Board Chair here.

The Ruckelshaus family has requested in lieu of flowers, gifts in Bill’s memory be made to the Ruckelshaus Center Foundation.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Bill’s memorial service scheduled for May 28th at Benaroya Hall will be rescheduled.

For more information, contact Kelly Bidlingmaier at


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.




The Ruckelshaus Center is currently seeking a Statewide Senior Facilitator for Projects and Programs, and a Statewide Senior Facilitator for Projects and Strategic Initiatives. For more information and to apply, click here.


The Ruckelshaus Center is currently accepting applications for its development internship program. For more information and to apply, click here.


In mid-2019, the Ruckelshaus Center released its final report on the Road Map to Washington’s Future. The purpose of the project was to articulate a vision of Washington’s desired future and identify additions, revisions, or clarifications to the state’s growth management and planning framework needed to reach that future. Read more about the project here.


Senior Project and Development Lead, Chris Page, was recently quoted in the Journal of American Planning Association‘s publication Where Should We Have the Meeting?


Center Director, Michael Kern, is co-author of a recently published article, “How Collaborative Governance Practitioners Can Assess the Effectiveness of Collaborative Environmental Governance While Also Evaluating Their Own Services”, via Society and Natural Resources Journal.


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


KOMO Radio interviewed Michael Kern, Director of the Ruckelshaus Center about the work the Center does and how beneficial the partnership between the University of Washington and Washington State University has been to solving complex policy issues within Washington.

Listen to the Interview here.

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You can follow us on Twitter here.


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You can read the Spring 2020 issue here.

Updated on May 21, 2020