Laurie Trautman Named Director of WWU Border Policy Research Institute
Laurie Trautman has been named director of the Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) at Western Washington University.
Trautman was associate director of the BPRI from 2014 until this year. She succeeds interim director David Davidson, who followed longtime director Don Alper.
“As BPRI associate director, Laurie has done a great job of continuing BPRI’s mission in the area and across the continent. She has brought a fresh perspective and new ideas to expand on the great base built by Don Alper and David Davidson. I am confident she will continue to maintain BPRI as a top institute of its kind and a vital element that makes Western one of the best universities in the nation studying the U.S.-Canada relationship, if not the best,” said Brian Burton, associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Western.
As associate director of the BPRI, Trautman worked on a number of research projects, including a Cross-Border Freight Operations Study for the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, an economic evaluation of both the NEXUS program and proposed pre-clearance legislation, and ongoing analyses of the relationship between the U.S. – Canada exchange rate and cross-border travel patterns in the region.
“It really is an honor to serve as the next director of the BPRI and to advance the cross-border dialogue that is so vital to both Canada and the United States. The work of the BPRI serves as a bridge between academic research generated by our students and faculty and policy makers at the state, provincial, and federal levels. As a graduate of Western, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to represent our community in a platform that fosters collaboration through informed policy-making on both sides of the border,” Trautman said.
Trautman has a doctorate in Geography from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in Earth Sciences from Montana State University and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Economics from Western. Prior experience includes as executive director of Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, graduate research and teaching assistant at the University of Oregon, education writer for the National Geographic Society, education and outreach specialist for the Big Sky Institute and conservation coordinator for the City of Blaine.
The Border Policy Research Institute is multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research that informs policy-makers on matters related to the Canada - U.S. border. Priority focus areas are trade and transportation, economics, environment, immigration, and border security. The University established the BPRI to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Pacific Northwest.