About Us

MOST Policy Initiative, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation aimed at bringing scientists and policymakers together to improve livelihoods for people and communities in the Midwest. The Missouri Science & Technology Policy Fellows program is the core, inaugural program under the umbrella of MOST Policy Initiative.

In addition to placing scientifically-trained fellows in our state capitol to provide scientific resources for policymakers, we also connect science to policy through the following priority areas:

1. Policy Initiatives – working side-by-side with elected officials to incorporate more scientific information into state and local policy decisions
2. Empowering Scientists – providing resources and training for scientists interested in interacting with the policy-making process
3. Public Engagement – engaging with the media and broader community on issues related to science and technology. 

We are a growing organization with a passion to use science to make the world a better place by starting locally. To stay up-to-date on Missouri science policy and our organization, join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Committed to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

As an entity of the University of Missouri, MOST Policy Initiative will adhere to their inclusive excellence framework: https://diversity.missouri.edu/our-work/inclusive-excellence-framework/

MOST Policy Initiative is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all employees, fellows, and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feel valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our programs and initiatives. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard in all levels of our organizational leadership.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, MOST Policy Initiative strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission to facilitate connections between scientists and decision-makers, and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and the lives of Missourians, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, fellows, and advisory bodies.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

MOST Policy Initiative abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
  • When possible, generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts.
  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other science-policy organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process. Train our selection committee on equitable practices.
  • Include a salary range with all public job descriptions.

Our Roots

In 2016, MOST Policy Initiative was founded by three Ph.D. students at the University of Missouri – Hallie Thompson, Mike Hendricks, and Rachel Owen. We have continued to rely on support from the Associate Students of the University of Missouri, University of Missouri Graduate Professional Council, and several individual students with a passion for science policy. In 2019, we hired one of our co-founders, Rachel Owen, to be our full time director. Additionally, we rely on support from several undergraduate interns and graduate volunteers.