Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale acts on significant and controversial issues impacting the region, the state, the nation, and the world. It is committed to developing and working to implement approaches that could bring concrete, positive results in tackling some of the most difficult challenges in the public policy arena.

The institute focuses its efforts on fostering:

  • Ethical conduct in government
  • Opportunity and fair treatment for citizens in America and throughout the world
  • Promoting responsible citizenship for all Americans–but particularly for young Americans

Founded in 1997 by Paul Simon, a former two-term U.S. Senator from Illinois and one-time candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States, the Paul Simon Institute works directly with elected officials and others to fashion and implement change in public policy. Paul Simon spoke of his institute as a “do tank” as opposed to a “think tank,” because it seeks and achieves positive results and concrete actions based on its work.

By supporting funds established by the Simon Institute, you can have a wide-ranging impact that furthers the late Paul Simon’s vision. It is a unique opportunity to be a part of a bipartisan institute that makes a real difference in society while addressing various essential issues.



Friends of Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Fund

Designated for use by the Simon Institute director to assist with expenses for operations, programs and special initiatives

Gene Callahan Internship Fund

Provides opportunities for SIU Carbondale students to intern in an Illinois state government office in Springfield during the spring semester. Applicant must be a student at SIU. Preference will be given to students majoring in political science, history or journalism.

Alexander Lane Governmental Internship Endowment Fund

Supports at least one student each spring to work with the Illinois General Assembly in conjunction with the Legislative Black Caucus in the memory of Alexander Lane, the University's first African American male student in the 1870s who went on to become an educator, physician and Illinois state representative (R-Chicago)