Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

The La Follette School Seminar Series engages participants in discussion of a range of public policy issues and showcases the research of faculty from the La Follette School, other UW-Madison departments, and guests from outside the UW-Madison community. Faculty, students, and visitors take part in lively dialogue about topics such as poverty and welfare, health, education, international affairs, trade and finance, and the environment. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Unless otherwise noted, all presentations are from 11 a.m. to noon at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, 1225 Observatory Drive, and there is no cost to attend. Click here for a printable PDF with the complete schedule. Please check back periodically for the most current information.

Fall 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Presidential Management Fellows Program
La Follette School Associate Director Hilary Shager and Career Services Coordinator Steve Kulig will provide details about the application, assessment, selection, and job-placement processes for this prestigious federal program.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Let’s Look at the Facts: How Biased Reasoning Can Distort Decision-Makers’ Learning from Performance Information
Julian Christensen, PhD fellow, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark
In this talk, Christensen will use results from a series of related survey experiments to show how psychological mechanisms tend to bias decision-makers’ processing of even unambiguous, factual performance information. He also will discuss whether contextual factors can alter decision-makers’ reasoning and decrease the degree of bias. This presentation is co-sponsored by UW–Madison’s Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Rescheduled for December 6, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Local Embeddedness and Bureaucratic Performance: Evidence from India
Rikhil Bhavnani, assistant professor, UW–Madison Department of Political Science

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Performance Management: The Danish Experience
Jakob Holm, Aarhus University, Denmark

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
An Election Discussion: Implications for Policy Change

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Dave Weigel, Washington Post, Writer in Residence

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Judy Gueron, MDRC
Judy Gueron is an independent scholar in residence and president emerita at MDRC, created as the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. She joined MDRC as research director at its founding in 1974 and served as its president from 1986 through August 2004. At MDRC, Gueron directed many of the largest federal and state evaluations ever undertaken of interventions for low-income adults, young people, and families and was a pioneer in developing research methods that have made it possible to base social programs on rigorous evidence of effectiveness.

Gueron is a widely published, nationally recognized expert on employment and training, poverty, and family assistance. She is the author of From Welfare to Work (with Edward Pauly) and Fighting for Reliable Evidence (with Howard Rolston). She is past president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), has served on several National Academy of Sciences committees and federal advisory panels, and has frequently testified before Congress.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
A Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion

Past Seminars