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2024

Saba Siddiki Named Chapple Professor

March 11, 2022

Saba Siddiki

Saba Siddiki


Saba Siddiki has been named the Chapple Family Professor of Citizenship and Democracy at the Maxwell School.

She is the fourth faculty member to hold the professorship, created in 2006 with a gift from alumnus and Maxwell School Advisory Board member John H. Chapple ’75 B.A. (PSc)/’11 Hon.

Siddiki joined the Maxwell School in 2017 and is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs. She says the professorship will help support her research, which examines the designs of institutions that communities use to solve public problems and how governments engage non-governmental organizations and citizens in public problem solving, policy design and policy implementation.

“I’m honored to serve as the Chapple professor,” says Siddiki, who earned a Ph.D. in public affairs from the University of Colorado in 2011. “The professorship will enable me to expand my research and help me engage students in creative ways to support their understanding of institutions, policy design, governance, and the public policy process more generally.”

Siddiki is the founder and co-director of the Institutional Grammar Research Initiative, a consortium of scholars from around the world who work to uncover and define the commonalities, or “grammar,” of successful democratic institutions. Their efforts lead to the development of frameworks for future policy and governance design.

Additionally, she is a senior research associate with the Center for Policy Research and a research affiliate with the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute. She teaches courses such as Data-Driven Decision Making, the Public Policy Process, Policy Design and Implementation and Environmental Governance.

Siddiki has helped secure $4.2 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other organizations. Included is a $2.5 million grant from the NSF and U.S. Department of Agriculture that has enabled her to examine the role of food policy councils in food policy design and implementation and how these councils are helping cities address critical issues facing local food systems.

Her work has been published in leading public affairs journals, including the Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Public Administration, among others. She is also the author of three books on policy design, institutional analysis, and policy compliance.

“Professor Siddiki’s innovative work in institutional analysis and design ignites a whole new field of academic inquiry aimed at integrating policy and political and computational sciences to advance research on the scientific study of institutions and the rules that govern social systems to address collective goals,” says Maxwell Dean David M. Van Slyke. “This scholarly work and her integration of students at all levels into her research, makes her richly deserving of this professorship.” 

Published in the Summer 2022 issue of the Maxwell Perspective