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Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Founded in 1997 by former U.S. Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) when he retired from elected office, the Institute is a bipartisan public service center with a broad-ranging mission to study and act on significant and controversial issues impacting the region, state, nation, and world. It is committed to developing and implementing approaches that could bring concrete, positive results by tackling some of the most difficult challenges in the public policy arena. The Institute focuses on fostering ethical conduct in government, opportunity and fair treatment for citizens in America and throughout the world, and, development of responsible citizenship for all Americans - but particularly for young people. Senator Simon characterized the Institute as a “do tank” rather than as a “think tank” to emphasize its mission of finding practical solutions to today’s challenges. The Institute identifies challenging contemporary public policy issues that demand innovative thinking and research. Since its founding, the Institute has convened symposia of experts on a variety of diverse topics such as Social Security, water resources, poverty, and American foreign policy. These conferences sparked concrete and specific recommendations for change in state and national policies, resulting in positive impact on the public agenda both in Illinois and in the United States. The Institute has also contributed to the University, community and region by inviting distinguished national and international figures to discuss a wide variety of important public policy topics, and by engaging in public policy polling on issues that impact the region, state and nation. The Institute has also sought and received grants and endowments to support a number of its major programs.