Public Policy in Practice with Anjali Chainani and Dan Hopkins

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Friday, February 15, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Event Information: 

Please join Fels for a conversation with members of the Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative team Anjali Chainani and Dan Hopkins.

Anjali Chainani currently serves as the Director of Policy and GovLabPHL at the City of Philadelphia's Mayor's Office. As Director of Policy, Anjali coordinates policy development to ensure the success of important long-term city investments. She works closely with City Council to sustain a shared agenda that will improve the education, health, and prosperity of Philadelphians. She was instrumental in garnering support for Mayor Kenney’s first budget proposal, which introduced a new revenue source, the Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Tax in 2016. Philadelphia was the first large city in the nation to successfully implement a SSB tax. As Director of GovLabPHL, Anjali leads a multi-agency team centered on embedding evidence-based and data-driven practices into City programs and services through cross-sector collaboration. GovLabPHL experiments with how evidence-based methods can intersect to address common municipal challenges to enhance the City's policy-making and service redesign efforts. 

Anjali is also a former Results for America Fellow (2016-2018). This program was founded in September 2014 to implement strategies that consistently use data and evidence to drive policy and budget decisions on major policy challenges. Anjali holds dual graduate degrees from Temple University in Public Health and Social Work, and is currently completing her PhD in Health Policy at the Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy at the University of the Sciences. 

Dan Hopkins is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication. His research addresses a variety of questions related to American political behavior and policymaking. In particular, he studies how citizens and voters understand politics and public policy as well as their political and policy-relevant behaviors. His work pays special attention to immigration and health care as well as voting behavior and federalism. He is the author of 26 academic articles and is currently completing a book manuscript on the nationalization of American politics. Among other topics, his research has examined the role of media framing in shaping attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act. 

Before joining the University of Pennsylvania, he served on the U.S. federal government’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, where he assisted in the analysis of an experiment testing different messages to shoppers on the federal health insurance exchange. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007, and is an occasional writer for and for The Monkey Cage at the Washington Post.

The Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative (PBSI) is a partnership between members of the City government and behavioral scientists from Philadelphia-area colleges and universities, and its mission is to help the City harness the best ideas and methods from economics, psychology, political science, and sociology, and other fields, to address the needs of Philadelphia's residents and businesses in creative and effective ways. By taking steps to incorporate behavioral science into the City of Philadelphia’s work, PBSI will help the City improve the delivery of public services, better understand program implementation and evaluation, and strengthen the approach of evidence-based policy-making across municipal departments—all with the goal of saving residents and the City time and money. 


About the series:

The Public Policy in Practice Series, led by Fels Senior Fellow Elizabeth Vale, is designed to provide students with a variety of perspectives and compelling personal narratives that will help them not only form their opinions on important issues but will also help shape their careers. This series is offered in conjunction with the Fels graduate Public Management course required of all Fels MPA and Executive MPA students. Fels is proud to offer these important conversations to the entire Penn community and members of the public. 

Remarks begin promptly at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.


Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, Forum Room
Event Contact: 


Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326