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Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge

Since 2017, the Voinovich School has encouraged public administration faculty and staff to share exciting new ideas in teaching, community engagement, research, and administration. 

The Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge is hosted by the Voinovich of Leadership and Public Service, in partnership with NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration). Each summer, faculty and staff are invited to submit two-page applications, describing their innovative approaches to enhancing students’ education, addressing unmet needs, advancing understanding of their field, or improving programmatic effectiveness.

The top three or four finalists are invited to present their ideas before a panel of expert judges at the October NASPAA conference. Winners receive a financial award to support the further development and implementation of their idea.


2022 Honorees

Congratulations to the 6th Annual George V. Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge winners!

6th Annual Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge Winners

First Place: Sadia Sindhu from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago

Second Place: Judith Kelley from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University

Third Place: Jennifer Niggemeier from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

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Past first-place winners have included:

The Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge is named in honor of Sen. George V. Voinovich (July 15, 1936 – June 12, 2016) whose nearly half century of public service was a living example of innovative leadership. He encouraged others to design and deliver practical solutions to challenging public problems and was an early proponent of public-private partnerships.

To apply, interested faculty or professional staff must:

  • Have developed an innovative program or approach that fits within this year’s theme 
  • Create a two-page written overview, telling us what you are doing and how it works.
  • Be prepared to give a short presentation of your idea and answer questions posed by a panel of expert judges at the NASPAA Conference if you are selected for the finalist pool.

If your innovative approach to teaching, community engagement, research, or administration is selected as one of the three or four finalists, you will receive:

  • An opportunity too present your idea at the NASPAA Conference
  • A chance to win a $10,000 award to launch or further develop your innovation

To apply for the Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge, or for more information, please contact Kate Leeman, Director of Strategic Initiatives.


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