About the Annenberg Public Policy Center

Annenberg Public Policy Center building in the spring

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has been the premier communication policy center in the country since its founding in 1993. By conducting and releasing research, staging conferences and hosting policy discussions, its scholars have addressed the role of communication in politics, science, adolescent behavior, child development, health care, civics, and mental health, among other important arenas. The Center’s researchers have drafted materials that helped policy makers, journalists, scholars, constituent groups and the general public better understand the role that media play in their lives and the life of the nation.

APPC’s work has informed the policy debates around campaign finance, children’s television, Internet privacy, tobacco advertising and the tone of discourse in Washington. Scholars at the Policy Center have offered guidance to journalists covering difficult stories, including terrorist threats, suicide and mental health. The Center’s discussions of key public policy issues have brought together industry representatives, advocates, government officials and the scholarly community. Its research has examined what messages work best to reduce the spread of HIV and drug use, how to improve candidate discourse and specific strategies for parents to use to monitor their children’s media exposure. APPC has developed materials to help educators and schools do a better job of teaching youth about civic responsibility, democracy and the Constitution.

This website is designed to give scholars, the media and the general public expanded access to the work that we began in 1993. If there are any questions about materials not yet posted on the site, please contact our office at (215) 898-9400 or send us an email.

Center History

When the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) was established in 1993, its founders, Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg, sought to increase the impact of the scholarship produced at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, the Policy Center’s home. It was their hope that the APPC would apply its knowledge about communication to improve the well-being of those in the U.S. and throughout the globe. In the subsequent years, APPC research has been put to use in studies of adolescent health, HIV and AIDS, media content analysis and political civility.

APPC’s ongoing funding comes from an endowment established for it by the Annenberg Foundation in 1993.