About Us

About the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy

Founded in 1987, the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy is a collective of researchers, educators and outreach professionals at the University of Arizona that explores how different levels of governance — from neighborhoods to nations — influence behavior through laws, regulations, agreements, investments and more.

Our work is a continuation of the Udall family’s public-policy legacy. We conduct research on policy related to water, land and environmental concerns through our Environmental Policy Program and work to strengthen the capacities of Indigenous Peoples for nation building and self-determination via the Native Nations Institute.

The Udall Center is funded by private and government grants and contracts, by the federal Udall Foundation and by the University of Arizona. We use that funding for research, education and service projects aimed at giving people who shape communities the knowledge they need to design and implement policies that protect the environment and improve people's quality of life.


Our Vision

A world in which governance at all levels — from small communities to the sovereign nations of Indigenous Peoples and other nation-states — is rooted in meaningful knowledge and analysis.


Our Mission

Inspired by the public service legacy of the Udall family, we engage in research, education and service to inform policy choices that promote justice, equity, sustainability and well-being for Indigenous Peoples, all people and the environment now and for future generations.

Our Values

We conduct research that enables informed governance. While policymaking requires art as well as science, we support the knowledge elements of that equation by providing quality data and astute analysis as a resource for the people who shape communities and societies.

We have the greatest impact when we work with partners at home, across campus and around the world. We are intentional in our connections and form teams that advance the goals of all participants. Whether facilitating dialogues or interacting one-on-one, we recognize the value that diversity brings to the table when working to solve complex problems and hold to the importance of inclusion, listening, clear communication, integrity and respect.

We are committed to strengthening diverse communities. We reach people on the ground, meet them where they are and honor the systems in which they live and work. We feel deep responsibility and accountability to the communities we engage and aim to create value and respond to need with our work. By building sustainability and autonomy at the community level, we strengthen the larger societies those communities form.

We employ the power of creative problem-solving grounded in ethics, evidence and science. We actively look for new opportunities and boldly take on fresh challenges. We apply learning and knowledge in original ways and encourage innovation by our partners, stakeholders and all the constituencies we serve.

Our Culture

As an organization dedicated to informed policymaking, we know the importance of clear guidelines, compelling incentives and shared goals. Together, we create a work culture that advances, not only our productivity, but also our individual and collective well-being.

o   We strive for clarity and transparency in our expectations, decision-making and communications.

o   We empower our people and support their advancement through training, professional development and mentoring.

o   We choose our projects with purpose and intention: we prioritize quality over quantity and are careful to focus our efforts on work that reflects Udall Center values.

o   We appropriately balance our time and energy between funding obligations and professional passions.

o   We see our colleagues, hear their voices, weigh their ideas, appreciate their efforts and celebrate their accomplishments.

o   We create space for growth with compassion and forgiveness. We recognize the value in failure and make room for mistakes.

o   We actively build our own community: opening doors, crossing bridges and drawing strength from our responsibilities to one other.