University of Michigan Gateway Ford School


Thomas Ivacko, Associate Director (Interim Director, 2019-2020)

Tom joined CLOSUP at its founding in the fall of 2001 and serves as associate director of the Center. He also oversees the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) program and has been the lead or co-author on more than 60 MPPS publications covering a wide range of state and local government policy topics. He previously served as study manager, program manager and administrator for 11 years with the American National Election Studies at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Outside of work, Tom serves as a board member and past president of a nature area non-profit organization that focuses on stewardship and elementary school environmental educational opportunities in Ann Arbor, MI. He has a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in public administration, both from the University of Michigan.

Natalie Fitzpatrick, Research Area Specialist

Natalie joined CLOSUP in June 2015 as a Research Area Specialist. She is responsible for data operations and management for the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) and the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment (NSEE). She received her Bachelor's degree in Economics and Master's degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University. Prior to joining CLOSUP, she worked for the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan.

Debra Horner, Project Manager

Debra joined CLOSUP in September 2008 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to help design, launch, and manage the Michigan Public Policy Survey. Following her fellowship, Debra became a regular member of the CLOSUP staff in September 2011, as the MPPS Project Manager. She received her doctorate in Political Science from the University of Michigan and has experience with survey research projects both in academia and the private sector. Her primary areas of research center on political attitudes and political participation with her dissertation research focusing on the concept of political interest and the different ways we can think about individuals' engagement in political processes. Debra is also Voter Service Chair for the League of Women Voters Oakland Area and an active volunteer at her three children's schools.

Sarah Mills, Senior Project Manager

Sarah joined CLOSUP in September 2013 as a policy analyst, and transitioned to a postdoctoral fellowship in January 2015, then to senior project manager in February 2018. In this role, she manages CLOSUP's Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative (EEPI), including the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) and the new Energy and Environmental Policy Research Group, expanding the reach of UM's research related to renewable energy policy. Sarah's own research considers how energy development impacts rural communities, and in turn how state and local policies facilitate or hinder renewable energy development. Sarah received her doctorate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, where her dissertation looked at the impact that wind energy projects have on farming communities. She has a master's in engineering for sustainable development from the University of Cambridge, and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University. Sarah also serves on the City of Ann Arbor Planning Commission.


Bonnie Roberts, Project Coordinator

Bonnie joined CLOSUP in August 2008. She is responsible for coordinating various events and projects, as well as office and grant administration. She has a B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Michigan University. Before joining CLOSUP, Bonnie was the Program Administrator for the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program, and Program Administrator and Events Manager for the UM Labor Studies Center at the Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations.

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University of Michigan Gateway Ford School Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy