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Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy

Wason Center

About the Center

The Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy was established in 2007 to provide unbiased and non-partisan scientific research about public policy issues facing Virginia. Without such information, Virginia’s elected leaders face increasingly difficult decisions with little guidance and feedback from the citizens they represent. This dialogue between the public and policy makers on important issues facing the Commonwealth is fundamental to the development of good public policy.

The Wason Center’s activities focus on two areas:

  • Conducting statewide and regional scientific polls focusing on matters of policy and politics. Scientific polls measure the public’s preferences on policy choices and advance the public’s voice enabling citizens to evaluate government and elected officials.
  • The Wason Center hosts community forums at Christopher Newport University on topics of relevance to public policy in Virginia.

Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo, Research Lab Director (

Rebecca Bromley-TrujilloDr. Bromley-Trujillo received her B.A. in political science from the University of Texas, San Antonio and M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University. Her research explores state and local climate change policy efforts, the relationship between public opinion and public policy and how science is used in the policy process. Her work appears in a number of journals including the Review of Policy Research, Climatic Change and the Journal of Public Policy, among others. Prior to her appointment at CNU, Dr. Bromley-Trujillo taught as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Quentin Kidd, Academic Director and Senior Political Analyst (

Quentin KiddKidd is Dean of the College of Social Sciences, professor of political science, and director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Texas Tech University and a BA and MA from the University of Arkansas. Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kidd’s teaching and research focuses on American civic and political behavior of the American South. He has received numerous teaching awards including the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, the Christopher Newport Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the Christopher Newport Alumni Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring, and was named “Professor of the Year” three times by the students at Christopher Newport.

Tom Kramer, Executive Director (

Tom KramerThe university has tapped Tom Kramer to serve as the Wason Center's first executive director. He is a veteran of multiple political campaigns working with candidates from both major political parties, has significant experience with the legislative process in Richmond and has a background in nonprofit management. Before coming to the Wason Center, Kramer most recently served as Christopher Newport's Director of External Relations supporting the university's government and public relations activities. He has an undergraduate degree in government and history from the College of William and Mary and is currently pursuing a MBA at W&M's Mason School of Business. He lives in Newport News with his wife, Lauren, and their very independent and outspoken toddler, JoJo.

Richmond Regional Advisory Board

The Richmond Regional Advisory Board is made up of statewide civic and business leaders who are interested in good public policy for the Commonwealth. The board acts as a “kitchen cabinet” in terms of advising the Wason Center’s statewide survey and public policy research while working with the Wason Center staff to host the annual Eggs & Issues breakfast in Richmond.

Richmond Advisory Board members include:

  • Wyatt Durrette of Richmond, VA
  • Eva Teig Hardy of Richmond, VA
  • Jay Joseph of Hampton, VA
  • Grant Neely of Richmond, VA
  • Bryce Powell of Manakin Sabot, VA
  • Harry Wason of Williamsburg, VA
  • Judy Wason of Williamsburg, VA

Peninsula Regional Advisory Board

Our Peninsula Regional Advisory Board is made up of a group of regional civic and business leaders who are invested in helping the Virginia Peninsula thrive. The board helps guide the Wason Center’s local research and public engagement activities.

Peninsula Regional Advisory Board members include:

  • Joe Witt of Newport News, VA - Board Chair
  • Stephen Abbitt of Williamsburg, VA
  • Julia Collier of Williamsburg, VA
  • Wendy Drucker of Newport News, VA
  • Kasia Grzelkowski of Hampton, VA
  • Janet Green of Norfolk, VA
  • Jemal Harris of Newport News, VA
  • Chavis Harris of Newport News, VA

Judy and Harry embody the meaning of active and engaged citizens. The Peninsula, the Commonwealth and nation have benefited from their energy, vision and wisdom. They have advised governors, senators and presidents. They have also advocated for good government reform and supported the development of dozens of strong community-based nonprofit organizations. Their vision for the Wason Center is to give citizens a voice in public policy debates and to engage students in civic life through research and engagement opportunities.

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