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Katie Cahill is joining UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy as the new associate director. Her first day will be May 15.

In her role with the Baker Center, Cahill will direct the Leadership and Government Initiative, which oversees all student programs. She will also be vitally involved in other activities, including strategic planning and major event coordination.

“We are very excited that Dr. Cahill will be joining us. She brings the research skills and administrative experience that will allow the Baker Center to continue to grow and enrich our student programs, events, and research,” said Matt Murray, director of the center.

Currently, Cahill is the associate director of the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication at Purdue University, a position she has held since 2015. The institute is a nonpartisan university-wide initiative for undergraduate learning in policy, citizenship, and communication.

During her tenure, the PICC partnered with the cable-affiliated news channel C-SPAN to organize the university’s Washington, DC, program, which took students to the capital for an intensive two-week course on a pressing policy issue. She also worked with international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland to conduct a student-led national poll of American voters on the topic of civic confidence.

Previously, Cahill was the editorial assistant for Politics, Groups, and Identities, the peer-reviewed journal of the Western Political Science Association. She also assisted a university-wide task force in establishing Purdue’s Global Policy Research Institute and served as deputy director for Project Impact, the organization that preceded the PICC.

Cahill’s additional experience at Purdue includes working in the offices of the president, provost and treasurer. She has taught courses for Purdue’s Department of Political Science, including introductory public policy and a course on women, politics, and policy.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to work with the distinguished leadership, faculty, and students at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy,” said Cahill. “Senator Baker set the bar for public service with his dedication to the betterment of the nation. My work at the center will be driven by the goal of extending the reach of his legacy. I look forward to getting started and becoming a part of the Volunteer community.”

Cahill holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in political science from Purdue University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice from Washington State University.

Her fields of study are public policy, public health, and comparative politics. Her research focuses on the effective implementation of public health programs in developing countries, including routine child immunization, with an approach that combines statistical analysis and fieldwork.

Cahill has been a research affiliate with the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health at Jawaharlal Nehru University, the GIRI Institute of Development Studies, and the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University.



Elizabeth Woody (865-974-0931,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,