The Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum and Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance will merge into one organization by the end of the year.
The merger brings together two of the top nonpartisan research organizations in the state. Leaders of the two organizations say the merger will provide more staff capacity for research and a better platform to engage with policymakers, citizens and other stakeholders.
“By merging the tradition and expertise of these two nationally recognized groups, we aim to create the most effective independent policy research organization in the country,” added Rob Henken, President of the Public Policy Forum. “Never before has the need for greater efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability in our state and local governments and school districts been more important. Together, we can be a stronger voice to examine, analyze, and inform on behalf of Wisconsin citizens.”
Legal work to complete the merger is expected to be complete by the end of the year and a new name will be announced in 2018. It will have 11 full-time staff members.
The new organization will continue to focus on state and local government, schools, metro Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s economy. Leaders said the new entity would be able to do more in-depth studies on major state and local issues while also using a wider range of communication tools.
Rob Henken, Public Policy Forum president, and Dale Knapp, WISTAX research director, will continue in their respective roles with the new entity. Todd Berry, WISTAX president, will be an advisor as the merger is finalized and then retire.
A new executive committee will also be formed with equal representation from the two organizations.