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Our Mission

The Iowa Family Impact Seminar works with an advisory council made up of bipartisan house and senate leaders, university extension staff and educators to identify upcoming family policy issues and seminar topics. 
Not only do we host seminar series on family related issues for policy makers, we send out regular digital newsletters with current nonpartisan research on future policy issues like healthcare, childhood education, mental health and other pertinent policy that impacts Iowa families. After each seminar, we provide a briefing that can be used by policymakers to make informed policy decisions.


The Family Impact Seminars have provided state policymakers with nonpartisan, solution-oriented research on family issues for over twenty-five years. Based in Wisconsin, the Seminars now connect legislators with valuable information on topics including education, welfare reform, and job creation in twenty-one states and the District of Columbia. 
Iowa held it’s first Family Impact Seminar in 2010, and has hosted five events since. You can learn more about each of our four seminars on our Seminar Archives page. Under the leadership of Dr. Mack Shelley, the Iowa Family Impact Seminar team at Iowa State University is currently planning our next event, which will concern mental health and brain development.
We are always looking to increase participation, both at our events and during the Seminar planning process. To join our network, which includes all three Regents universities and Iowa community colleges, as well as a legislative Seminar Advisory Council, please contact Mack Shelley at

The Harvard Innovations in American Government Awards Program named the Family Impact Seminars as a Bright Idea on September 25, 2012.

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