To provide public official and others involved in the development, management, and execution of public policy with the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions and manage responsive organizations in order to lead effectively.


Originally the Bryant Institute for Public Leadership, the Hassenfeld Institute was founded in 2010 through generous financial support from Alan G. Hassenfeld, former Bryant trustee and chair of the Executive Committee of Hasbro, Inc.

The Institute is currently led by Founding Director Gary Sasse, whose long career in public service includes roles as Director of Rhode Island’s Department of Revenue and Administration as well as Executive Director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

Since launching, the Institute’s customized programs have enabled state and local leaders to access university-level training in topics such as design thinking, communications, strategic planning, and leadership. Through Bryant University’s distinguished, interdisciplinary faculty, the Hassenfeld Institute provides practical, relevant skills to public and non-profit organizations.

The first leadership development seminar in 2010 brought together newly elected Mayoral teams to effectively prepare them for the transition from campaigning to governing. Now the Institute’s signature program, the biennial Newly Elected Leaders Orientation welcomes over 100 municipal and education officials from all 39 cities and towns to prepare new public leaders for their first term in office.

Today, the Institute provides a broad range of services, including public opinion surveys, policy briefs, and case studies. As a non-partisan organization, the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership also serves as a neutral third party for working group facilitation.


The Institute responds to service requests on a first-come, first-served basis. Most Institute programs are partially or entirely subsidized through the Institute’s available funds.

To request our services, contact us at hassenfeld@bryant.edu.