University of Wisconsin–Madison

Spring 2018

Criminal Justice Reform

How can state policymakers revise the criminal justice system so that it is more cost-efficient without damaging the safety of the community? This is the broad question that the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership seeks to answer with a multi-day conference on criminal justice reform in the spring of 2018. The Center seeks funding to host a two-day long conference of policymakers and academics from both the left and the right that focuses on three broad topics:

1. How can state policymakers reform prisoner re-entry so that prisoners returning to the workforce have the skills they need to obtain and maintain employment in jobs that are under-filled?
2. How can state policymakers reform prosecutorial discretion in a manner that it is fair to defendants but also affords prosecutors the powers they legitimately need to enforce the law and obtain revenue?
3. How can state policymakers reform civil forfeiture in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution and protects individual property rights?

Fall 2018

Leadership Principles and Practice

How can public leaders govern more effectively? What principles and practices lead to success for public leaders? How do those principles and practices differ from leaders in the private sector? This conference will bring together some of the best empirical leadership scholars in the country to examine the conditions under which leaders can govern effectively.

Spring 2019

Attracting Citizens to Public Service

In a republic like ours, it is important that citizens take their turn at public service. But how can we ensure that even greater numbers of capable citizens become public servants? This conference will examine the factors that lead people to run for elected offices (legislative, executive, and judicial), to decide to become public servants, and what needs to be done to attract a broader base of people seeking to enter public service.