Research Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives

The Schar School of Policy and Government research centers, institutes, and initiatives focus on issues ranging from international security and commerce to transportation logistics. Each unit is headed by a distinguished Schar School faculty member, who harnesses the resources of the School as well as those of external sponsors to conduct a wide range of projects. From forecasts for the regional economy provided by the Center for Regional Analysis to TRACCC's analysis of corruption and illicit international trade, the Schar School tackles a plethora of real-world challenges. Schar School doctoral students collaborate with faculty and contribute to the centers' research by participating in sponsored projects, sharing their work at research conferences, and publishing articles and reports.

Interested in interviewing one of our experts? Contact Communications Manager Buzz McClain at or 703-993-9603.


Federal Workforce Initiative
A new initiative by the Schar School of Policy and Government and the Partnership for Public Service will create internship opportunities that springboard diverse graduate students, including first-generation students, into the U.S. federal workforce at a critical point in their careers, and just when American government needs it most.

Internships with various federal agencies will be offered to Schar School students every semester in a cohort program that includes professional development and leadership training — a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment in America’s future.

Regional Elected Leaders Initiative
The Schar School's Regional Elected Leaders Initiative (RELI) was created in 2018 to enhance regionalism and support Northern Virginia’s regional elected leaders—General Assembly members, city and town mayors and council members, county supervisors and school board members.


Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!)
The Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) conducts public policy research to improve outcomes from the justice and health systems while advancing scientific knowledge about effective interventions, successful implementation and high performing organizations. Center faculty and students design and conduct original research that addresses key policy questions, and improves methodologies for conducting studies in justice and health settings and translating evidence into practice. ACE! is an active, engaged research center serving Virginia, the nation, and the world.

Center for Biomedical Science and Policy (CBSP)
The center aims to advance research in the intersection of: i) biomedicine/healthcare; ii) bioinformatics and other big data analytics; and iii) medical/health policies. The mission of the proposed research center is to bring together like-minded research faculty with different backgrounds including biology, medicine, biostatistics/informatics, mathematical modeling and big-data analytics to perform cutting-edge research with direct policy relevance. 

Center for Business Civic Engagement (CBCE)
The Center for Business Civic Engagement, directed by professor David Rehr, conducts research on a wide range of topics revolving on how public institutions can utilize private sector tools to be more effective and efficient in their missions. The focus of the center revolves around government financial transparency, government accountability, civic engagement, and best practices in business advocacy so government can make informed decisions on public policy.

Center for Energy Science and Policy
This center, a joint initiative of the College of Business and Schar School of Policy and Government, provides objective analysis of key issues in the energy field that is grounded in original research. It serves as a center of gravity for the many researchers at George Mason whose work engages them with these issues and connects them with decision-makers in the economy, society, and government.

Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research
CMEPR is a forum for policy-relevant research using micro-economic and micro-econometric methods. Hosted by the Schar School of Policy and Government, CMEPR organizes regular seminars through a series called the "Micro-Economic Policy Seminar" (MEPS).

Center for Regional Analysis
The George Mason Schar School of Policy and Government's Center for Regional Analysis is the clearinghouse for economic data and forecasts specific to the Washington, D.C. region. Its fiscal analyses, economic indicators, demographic studies, information services, and data products are relied on by business and government executives as they seek to stimulate investment and development and spur enterprise in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland. 

Center for Security Policy Studies
Launched in 2014, the center advances the study and practice of strategic thinking by faculty members, policy professionals and graduate students.

Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions, and Policy (SCIP)
The Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy (SCIP), directed by professor Jack A. Goldstone, conducts research on a wide range of global policy issues. Center faculty undertake basic academic research on such topics as foreign trade, democratization and state-building, and transnational networks, and analyze specific policy issues for a variety of government agencies. 

Center for Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership
The center is devoted to advancing the objective consideration of public-private partnerships for transportation system renewal and expansion through research, education and public service. 

Center on Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Social Enterprise
The Center on Nonprofit and Social Enterprise is dedicated to deepening the understanding and improving the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and social enterprises through research, public education, training, and other activities that engage those who care about these important institutions and activities.

Gender and Policy Center
The Gender and Policy (GAP) Center addresses a compelling area of interest in the fields of public policy and politics, and offers the opportunity for the Schar School to develop and promote its expertise in a field where scholarship, like its subject, is underrepresented and sorely needed.

Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security
The threats to global security have rarely ever been so great in scope and number—in such a complex, complicated world, intelligence has never been more vital. The Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at the Schar School for Policy and Government provides for the full examination of intelligence and its interplay with US national security.

Race, Politics, and Policy Center (RPPC)
The Race, Politics, and Policy Center (RPPC) provides research and informative events focused on the intersection of race, politics, and public policy. We seek to supplement the student experience, enlighten public discourse, and inspire civic engagement. Our interdisciplinary community of scholars, students, and practitioners work together to address pressing issues with solutions.

Stephen S. Fuller Institute
The Stephen S. Fuller Institute is the premier source for information and analysis of Greater Washington's regional economy.

Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)
The Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) is the first center in the United States devoted to understanding the links among terrorism, transnational crime and corruption. The center teaches, researches, and formulates policy on these critical issues.