UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Noted Berkeley political science professor named director of UC Washington Center

– Bruce E. Cain, a University of California, Berkeley, professor with almost 30 years of teaching experience and political expertise, has been named director of the UC Washington Center.

Bruce Cain
Bruce Cain (Peg Skorpinski photo)

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Based in the nation's capital, the center provides an experiential learning environment and coursework for students from UC campuses that includes internships. The UC Washington Center also sponsors policy debates and symposia.

"I look forward to going from one exciting and active political region of the country to another," said Cain, whose five-year appointment begins Sept. 1. "Washington is the hub of our nation's political and governmental life, and a great environment for faculty and students to study it and learn from it."

Cain will remain director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies for at least the next year. He will continue to work on research projects at the institute, advise students, and provide expert commentary on politics.

UC Berkeley Political Science Professor Jack Citrin will serve as the institute's associate director adding additional faculty leadership and administration, effective Sept. 1.

Cain was appointed director of the UC Washington Center following a systemwide search advised by a committee of faculty and academic administrators from around the UC system.

Cain, 56, succeeds Larry Berman, former chair of the UC Davis political science program, who opened the UC Washington Center just after Sept. 11, 2001, and has been director for the past six years. Under Berman's leadership, the number of students participating in Washington programs increased and the research space was completely filled through his efforts. Through the establishment of the Director's Forum, a number of high-profile individuals from all areas of Washington have given lectures at the center including Karl Rove, Helen Thomas and Robert Dallek.

"Professor Cain's tremendous knowledge of the federal government and its relation to the state and the university will add substantially to the many other benefits UC students receive from their time in Washington," said UC President Robert C. Dynes. "With his leadership and expertise, our students will gain a superb, hands-on understanding of the workings of American government."

While UC's academic internship programs in Washington first began in 1990, the current UC Washington Center, at 1608 Rhode Island Ave. NW, opened in 2001. The multicampus residential, instructional and research center is home to 280 students and faculty from UC campuses as well as the university's Office of Federal Governmental Relations, which serves as the university's liaison to the federal government, advocating for the university's mission of education, research and public service.

The building also houses research offices for the UC San Francisco Center for Drug Development Science, the UC San Diego Rady School of Management's Beyster Institute, the UC multicampus research Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the UC Davis Chemical Engineering and Materials Science research program, and the Inter-University Program for Latino Research.

"The UC Washington Center brings together the many components of the university, providing students and faculty a unique opportunity to become directly involved with the federal government," said UC Assistant Vice President of Federal Governmental Relations Scott Sudduth. 'Bruce is an outstanding choice whose academic and political experience will be a tremendous asset to the center."

The center provides UC students and faculty with opportunities to study and conduct research, work, and live within the rich cultural, political and environment of the nation's capital.

In addition to participating in internships throughout the Washington metropolitan area, UC students can take elective courses on such topics as health and education policy, politics and the media, and poetry to supplement their experience in Washington.

"My idea is to make the UC Washington Center the place in Washington for western and California issues, among other things," said Cain. "I hope to bring more visibility and programming to the center."

Cain was educated at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1970. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford (1970-72) and received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Oxford in 1972. In 1976, Cain earned a doctorate in political science from Harvard University.

From 1976 to 1989, Cain was a faculty member in political science at the California Institute of Technology, and since 1989 has been a full professor of political science on the Berkeley campus. In the mid-1990s, Cain was named the Robson Professor of Political Science and has served as the director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies since 1999. Under his leadership at the institute, its portfolio of extramural research funding has grown four-fold.

Cain has been honored for his teaching, his scholarship and his public service. He received the Associated Students of California Institute of Technology Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988, the UC Berkeley College of Letters and Science Distinguished Research Mentor award in 2003, and the outstanding teaching award from the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha (the national political science honor society) in 2003. His research excellence was acknowledged with his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. That year, Cain also received the Zale Award for outstanding achievement in policy research and public service from Stanford University.

For more information about the UC Washington Center: www.ucdc.edu