Andrea Whitsett is the director of Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research institute that houses the Kyl Center for Water Policy and the Arizona Governance and Policy Academy. Previously, Whitsett has held a variety of positions within the Institute including associate director, senior research analyst, and special projects manager. During her tenure, Whitsett has overseen the publication of numerous research studies and public opinion polls on a broad range of topics including child well-being, housing, and policing. She has led the Institute’s signature State of Our State Conference and helped launch the pilot Arizona Citizens’ Initiative Review. In 2019, Whitsett was named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Phoenix Business Journal.
Whitsett’s passion for service traces back to her grandmother, Julieta Saucedo Bencomo, a community activist who in 1979 became the first Latina to serve on the Arizona State Board of Education. Whitsett is a member of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s DATOS Research Committee and has edited multiple background reports for Arizona Town Hall. She is Chair of the Arizona Foundation for Women and Vice President of the national Consortium of University Public Service Organizations. She also serves on the core team for the Arizona Collective Impact for Child Safety and Well-Being. In 2022, the Arizona Capitol Times named Whitsett a Leader of the Year in Public Policy.
Whitsett holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Yale University where she was awarded an Amy Rossborough Fellowship through the Yale Women’s Center. Whitsett graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Studies and has taught as a faculty associate in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development.