Building Community, Strengthening Democracy

In 2007, we launched the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS), a unit of the University of Wisconsin System with a mission to educate and engage residents of Wisconsin, develop future leaders, and help communities meet identified needs.

Our Work Is Based On Two Core Ideas

Citizen-Centered Democracy

We support citizen-centered democracy. Today’s America depends on engaged, involved citizens and communities – making decisions about issues that matter to them. Sometimes it’s hard to understand complex policy issues. WIPPS aims to cut through the jargon, get to the meat of the matter and let people make their own, informed decisions.

The Wisconsin Idea

As part of the Universities of Wisconsin we recognize the Wisconsin Idea – “The resources of the university should be used to serve the interests and needs of the entire state.” We do this by providing resources, information and ideas to empower the people and communities of Wisconsin.

WIPPS Statement of Values

The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) is a unit of the University of Wisconsin System committed to following all affirmative action and equal opportunity policies in its educational and employment practices. As public employees, WIPPS staff members adhere to strict political participation guidelines which can be accessed here.

Members of the WIPPS Advisory Board are private citizens (non-UW employees) explicitly chosen from diverse backgrounds to advise and inform WIPPS’s work. Many WIPPS Board members are actively engaged in political activities, and it is understood that when thus engaged, they do not represent WIPPS or the University of Wisconsin.

WIPPS employees and members of the Advisory Board adhere to and, when representing WIPPS, exemplify the following core values:  

Balance: We work to include a range of political perspectives.

Civility: We seek intellectually honest and productive public dialogue based on respect for others.

Collaboration: We actively seek a broad range of partnerships to carry out our vision and mission.

Inclusion: We encourage a diversity of opinions and beliefs from all corners of society.

Nonpartisanship: Our agenda includes multiple perspectives and we seek to uncover truth and shed light in all our endeavors.

Timeliness: We address current issues that are relevant to the people and communities of Wisconsin.

WIPPS works to reduce societal tension where possible; teach and train organizations and individuals to lead and engage in collaborative approaches to problem-solving; bring diverse people together in constructive processes to improve understanding; and foster freedom of expression while building and strengthening healthy democratic practice.

Meet Our Staff

  • Eric Giordano
    Executive Director
    Meet Eric

  • Julie Bunczak
    Program Manager
    Meet Julie

  • Sharon Hunter

    Sharon Hunter
    Program Manager
    Meet Sharon

  • John Greenwood
    Outreach Consultant
    Meet John

  • Luke Rudolph
    Marketing Communications Coordinator
    Meet Luke

  • Nathaniel Zurawski
    Research Assistant
    Meet Nathaniel

  • Francisco Guerrero
    Health Coverage Navigator/Hispanic Vaccine and Health Coordinator
    Meet Francisco

  • Mariana Savela
    Hispanic Community Coordinator
    Meet Mariana

  • Sheng Khang
    Interpreter/Community Health Worker
    Meet Sheng

  • Rubens Campos
    Health Service Coordinator
    Meet Rubens

  • Photo of Isis Vidal

    Isis Vidal
    Interpreter/Community Health Worker
    Meet Isis

  • Amy MacNeil headshot

    Amy MacNeil
    Spanish Language Interpreter & Community Health Worker
    Meet Amy

Board of Advisors


Our Home - David R. Obey Civic Resource Center

Dave Obey served the residents of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District for 42 years. The power of his tenure is reflected in his strong commitment to education, civic leadership and the value of citizen engagement. Now, through Dave’s insights into the legislative process, along with the foresight of many organizations and educational institutions, the David R. Obey Civic Resource Center is open to all.