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Joseph P. McLaughlin, Jr., PhD

Joseph P. McLaughlin, Jr., PhD, is director of the Institute for Public Affairs and assistant dean for external affairs for the College of Liberal Arts. He teaches American politics and public policy in the political science department and is director of the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project, a six-university effort to build a comprehensive policy database for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. McLaughlin joined Temple after a long career as a government official and urban lobbyist, working on major policy issues in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Washington DC. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Middlebury (VT) College and masters and doctoral degrees in political science from Temple University. [Full Profile] [CV]


Michelle J. Atherton

Michelle J. Atherton is associate director of the Institute for Public Affairs, senior policy writer and publications editor for the Center on Regional Politics, staff advisor for the Pennsylvania Policy Database Project, and director of the Pennsylvania Capital Semester, an internship program in Harrisburg for students at Temple and all Pennsylvania colleges and universities.  Atherton graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual B.A. in English literature and philosophy of science.  She holds a master’s degree in political science from Temple, where she was a University Fellow. She also served as a legislative intern to Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and taught American politics, the politics of race and political philosophy as a teaching assistant and adjunct instructor before joining the Institute for Public Affairs in 2008.


Elaine N. Spencer

Elaine SpencerElaine N. Spencer is assistant director of finance and administration for the Institute for Public Affairs and the College of Liberal Arts.  She is responsible for all budget and administrative activities at IPA and the Center on Regional Politics, including: fiscal planning and monitoring all budgets, operating and grants/contracts, overseeing department payroll, accounts payable, and purchasing processes. She has been at Temple since 2001. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Ukrainian. She has a master’s degree in chemistry from Crimea and an MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple.