Two additional Towsley Foundation policymakers in residence offer practical learning opportunities

January 11, 2021

Since 2002, the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence Program has brought national and international leaders to campus as Ford School faculty. 

For the winter 2021 semester, the Ford School welcomes two additional Towsley Foundation policymakers in residence: Bill Bynum and Phyllis Meadows.

They, along with other Towsley policymakers in residence, will bring their leadership and on-the-ground experience to bear as they teach graduate and undergraduate courses on economic mobility for disenfranchised populations, the impact of financial technology, foundations of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and leadership in public affairs. They will also host public lectures, and advise and mentor students. 

Bynum is currently the CEO of HOPE Credit Union Enterprise Corporation that provides financial services; leverages private, public and philanthropic resources; and engages in policy analysis to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2 billion in financing that has benefitted more than one million people in one of the nation’s most impoverished regions.

Teaching a new class this semester, Bynum will leverage his extensive experience to advance economic opportunity for disenfranchised populations in PubPol 750: Topics: From voting rights to economic rights: increasing economic mobility through community development in America’s Deep South. The Deep South is home to the highest proportion of Black residents and one-third of America’s persistent poverty counties—populations with the lowest economic mobility. This course will examine community development practice and policy through a variety of topics. 

Meadows was previously a Towsley Policymaker in Residence in winter 2019 and winter 2020. Since joining the Kresge Foundation in 2009 as a senior fellow of the Health Program, Meadows has engaged in all levels of grantmaking activity, and advises on the development, design, and implementation of grantmaking initiatives and projects. In this way she shapes the direction and scope of the foundation’s funding for health. Her 30-year career spans the nursing, public health, academic, and philanthropic sectors. She is the former associate dean for practice at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and clinical professor in health management and policy – where she designed and implemented community-based health strategies, evaluation, research and courses on leadership, policy, population health and health equity.

Meadows will teach PubPol 590: Public Affairs Management and Leadership with Marriane Udow-Philips for MPA students. The course will equip students with a set of powerful tools to perform in the public sector, making for more effective and efficient governance. 

Other courses being taught by Towsley Policymakers in Residence include:

The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence Program was established at the Ford School in 2002 to bring individuals with significant national and international policymaking experience to campus to interact with students and faculty. The program enhances our curriculum and strengthens our ties to the policy community.