National Policy Consensus Center: a leader in collaborative decision-making
Author: College of Urban & Public Affairs
Posted: October 27, 2014

Hatfield School experts in collaborative governance recently joined with colleagues across the country for a conference centered on ways to counter public mistrust in government and boost community involvement in decision-making. Portland State is considered the major player among universities involved in this work, says Wendy Willis, civic engagement director with the Hatfield School’s National Policy Consensus Center and executive director of the Policy Consensus Initiative. “We have a much larger and more robust program than anyone else.”

The Portland State contingent traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the joint conference of the Policy Consensus Institute and the University Network for Collaborative Governance (Oct. 19-22) included Dean Stephen Percy, as well as representatives from the NPCC, PCI and the affiliated organizations, Oregon Solutions and Oregon Consensus. The latter two organizations work directly with communities to support collaborative governance and, when necessary, mediate disputes between stakeholders on a wide range of public policy issues.

The national conference, which Portland State helps organize every year, was an opportunity to connect with other universities to explore promising practices and trends, as well as potential partnerships. Participants are keenly aware of the good work going on in Portland.

“They are all very jealous of how much support we get, from the Governor’s Office to our Dean,” Willis says. “We are fortunate to have such a great network of support and leadership and good ideas here at PSU.”

For more details about the array of projects NPCC is involved with in communities across the state, visit and