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First annual Public Policy Analysis Challenge comes to a close

students on stage after winner was announced
May 11, 2023
Meghan O'Toole

Lake Forest College's inaugural Public Policy Analysis Challenge gave students the opportunity to present their proposed policy solutions and put their knowledge of policymaking to the test.

The challenge welcomed all students into the public policy arena by challenging them to develop an effective, practicable, and convincing policy recommendation on an important issue. The topic for the 2022-2023 academic year was Privacy and the Internet, and a series of public lectures by government, industry, and academic leaders in the fall 2022 semester provided valuable insight and context on the issues surrounding the topic.

This year, Ahmed Hani Yousef ’24 and Maria Belen Cuadros Carrion ’25, two international Davis Scholars, secured first prize with their proposal, “Children’s Privacy Online: An Urgent Call to Action.” Cuadros Carrion is from Argentina, and Yousef is from Jordan.

Judging was based on the quality of the team’s analysis and presentation, how well it supported its recommendation, and the overall command of the subject the team chose to address.

Students worked in teams of two to four, with each team guided by a faculty member. The teams competed for significant cash prizes from a pool of $10,000.

The contest was judged by Former Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush Sam Skinner, Executive Director National Cybersecurity Alliance Lisa Plaggemier, Senior Counsel and Director of Surveillance Oversight Project Electronic Privacy Information Center Jeramie Scott, and Policy Counsel Member for the Youth and Education Privacy at the Future of Privacy Forum Jamie Gorosh.

Renowned public policy expert David Castagnetti ’84 served as the emcee for the event, which was hosted at the Gorton Center in Lake Forest on May 2. A local and regional studies major when he attended Lake Forest College, Castagnetti serves on the Lake Forest College Board of Trustees and the John McCormack Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Before joining the private sector, Castagnetti served as Chief of Staff to two committee chairmen, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) of the Senate Finance Committee and Congressman Norm Mineta (D-CA) of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, contributing to some of the most important policy advancements in the areas of trade, tax, transportation, and technology.

The Public Policy Analysis Challenge supports the public policy program's commitment to analysis and nonpartisan approach to educating students on issues of policy. The public policy program seeks an in-depth understanding of both the issues, including their interrelationships, and policy options, including their tradeoffs.

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