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ASU Morrison Institute names two new Distinguished Fellows

Morrison Institute for Public Policy logo
November 14, 2014

Maria Harper-Marinick and Sharon Megdal were named Morrison Institute Distinguished Fellows at the State of Our State Conference and Luncheon, Friday, Nov. 7.

“We are so pleased both leaders accepted our invitation to join the Distinguished Fellows circle,” said Thom Reilly, director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.

The Morrison Institute is a statewide leader in examining critical issues for Arizona and the region, and is a catalyst for public dialogue. The title of Distinguished Fellow was created in 2012 to not only recognize Arizona’s best and brightest in public policy, but also to tap into their knowledge and expertise.

Harper-Marinick is executive vice president and provost for the Maricopa County Community College District and a member of the advisory board for the Latino Public Policy Center. She serves on several boards and councils, including as chair of the federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance by appointment of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“Maria is a tireless proponent for better schools and brighter futures,” Reilly said. “Anyone who’s involved in education knows Maria. She seemingly is everywhere – wherever and whenever she’s needed to push education forward, especially Latino education.”

Megdal is director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, as well as C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She is also finishing up her elected term as a member of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, is a former member of the Arizona Corporation Commission and current president of the National Institutes for Water Resources.

“With her wealth of knowledge and experience on water and economic issues, Sharon brings so much to the table,” Reilly said. “We are especially pleased she has joined the advisory board executive committee for the new Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute.” The Kyl Center for Water Policy, made possible by a $1 million gift from the Morrison family, was officially launched at the conference, with a mission to seek consensus for wise water policy and lasting solutions for Arizona.

Morrison Institute Distinguished Fellows provide insight, background and input on certain issues and/or research projects. They also participate in roundtable discussions or post select published works on the Morrison Institute’s website:

Previously named Distinguished Fellows are:

• Terry Goddard, former Phoenix mayor, Arizona attorney general, present elected member of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District and recent candidate for Arizona Secretary of State
• Don Budinger, chairman and founding director of The Rodel Foundations and an executive board member at the Morrison Institute
• Robert Robb, longtime columnist at The Arizona Republic newspaper
• Steven Seleznow, president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation

Media contact:
Joseph Garcia,