Marty Peterson Named Interim Director of U-Idaho’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research

Wednesday, May 9 2012

BOISE, Idaho – He retired from the University of Idaho in December, yet five short months later, Martin L. “Marty” Peterson is back at work.

Peterson has been tapped as interim director for the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research, based in Moscow. Among his responsibilities, Peterson will be providing leadership to the interdisciplinary work of the center, planning and implementing programs, initiating research projects and seeking external funding for center activities.

“The McClure Center and its role on public policy research is important, not only to the University of Idaho, but our state and nation. This center has positively impacted thousands of policy changes and affected everything from food supply to natural resources, energy and sustainable communities,” says University of Idaho President, Duane Nellis. “We appreciate Marty’s willingness to head up this center as we look for the right person to direct it into the future.”

Peterson is no stranger to the McClure family and its political work. Following his 1968 graduation from the University of Idaho, Peterson took a job with U.S. Rep. Compton White Jr. But when White lost his bid for re-election, U.S. Sen. Frank Church hired Peterson and brought him to Washington D.C. Peterson later joined Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus’ staff, before taking a position with the Association of Idaho Cities.

Peterson worked as Idaho’s budget director and advised two governors and the legislature on a wide range of budget and tax issues. Despite challenging economic times and partisan wrangling, Peterson helped Idaho restore stability without cutting essential state services or education funding.

When it was time to celebrate Idaho’s birthday, the state called on Peterson to assist in the job. He helped raise more than $8 million in contributions, and actively involved Idaho’s 44 counties and its four Indian tribes.

Peterson will now lead the McClure Center, which promotes critical thinking on public policy issues in the state of Idaho. The center produces research reports for local and state officials and conducts topical policy and political analyses for the state and nation.

"The University of Idaho's work in public policy extends back well over 100 years,” says Peterson. “The McClure Center is an integral part of that activity and I am excited to be involved with it during such a critical time for our state."

Before retirement, Peterson served as special assistant to the president of the University of Idaho and a Hemingway scholar, with a focus on Hemingway’s years in Idaho. He is a member of the Hemingway Society and a founding co-chair of the Idaho Hemingway House Foundation. Peterson was active in the 1999 Hemingway Centennial and he is a former member of the board of directors of the Finca Vigia Preservation Foundation.

All totaled, Peterson has more than a half-century in public service to Idaho, of which 22 years have been spent at the state’s land-grant university.

The James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research provides non-partisan public policy research for Idaho and the region, promotes sustainability, fosters collaborations, improves civic education and increases public dialogue. Research from the center also enhances opportunities for graduate and undergraduate student research and offers faculty opportunities to meld scholarly interests with practical applications to benefit Idaho and the region.

A nationwide search for the permanent director will be underway soon.

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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to than 70 additional research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: