Our History

A Vision for Effective Leadership

Visionary leader and philanthropist Alan G. Hassenfeld and Gary Sasse, Founding Director of the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership

Launched as the Bryant Institute for Public Leadership in 2010, the institute was renamed the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership in 2012.

Alan G. Hassenfeld, a former Bryant Trustee and chairman of the Executive Committee of Hasbro, Inc., has a long-standing interest in helping state and local officials prepare effectively and ethically for the challenges of public policy governance and management. Impressed by the mission and goals of Bryant’s program, he offered generous ongoing support from Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC in support of the Institute’s work.

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

The Hassenfeld Institute shines a light on best practices in leadership and helps people of divergent viewpoints find common ground. By acting as a neutral player, the Institute encourages robust discussion among stakeholders, empowering individuals, organizations and governments to achieve best-case results that reflect the highest level of public good. Through leadership workshops and conferences, facilitated discussions, team-building programs and scholarly research, the Institute serves more than 1,000 public leaders every year.