Regional Center for Public Policy

Regional Center for Public Policy

Regional Center for Public Policy

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UOG Regional Center for Public Policy (RCPP)

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Dr. Annette Taijeron Santos, DBA
Dean, School of Business and Public Administration

Director & Co-Founder

Dr. John J. Rivera, PhD
MPA Program Director

Phone: (671) 735-2501 / 20


The Regional Center for Public Policy (RCPP) aims to be the regional nexus in Micronesia where leaders converge to address, collaborate and solve crucial issues in relation governance, leadership and public policy.



The Regional Center for Public Policy (RCPP) is an initiative of the School of Business and Public Administration.  It was established under the leadership of Dr. Annette Taijeron Santos, Dean of SBPA, and co-founded by Dr. John J. Rivera and Dr. Gena Rojas.  Primary support comes from the Public Administration and Legal Studies Faculty.

The Regional Center for Public Policy (RCPP) was endorsed by Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Anita Enriquez and officially approved in November of 2016 by President Dr. Robert Underwood.



The Regional Center for Public Policy (RCPP) will create a globally minded and locally relevant strategic conduit whose purpose is to effectuate policy review, innovation, and change. 


Vision Statement:

The Center aims to become the premier policy research nexus in the region.


Mission Statement:

It is our mission to innovate and improve governance, leadership and public policy for the people and institutions of Guam, the Asia-Pacific, and the world.  Through education, research, professional development and public service we will be the premier catalyst for excellence and a repository of indigenously relevant knowledge.



Over the years, the School of Business and Public Administration has served as a partner to the community to solve crucial problems affecting its people and its wellbeing. The Center was developed in response to the island and region’s growing need for objective research on public policy issues. The Center seeks to address topics that include government structure, public finance, environment, sustainability and economic development, water resources, education, health care, human services, technology, urban growth and quality of life.

Programs within the School have produced events such as the Great Gubernatorial Debates, an Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking, and Project Foresight (an anti-sexting campaign resulting in the establishment of a non-profit organization and winner of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award).

The demand for continued future engagement and outputs with relevant, meaningful impacts to the community remain not just an expectation from the local and regional community, but a necessity.  We must be responsive, innovative and mindful of the realities of such times.  We must affirm our place in the world and remain relevant and competitive in this global environment.  As the premier knowledge producer of the Western Pacific, we have a responsibility to be at the forefront of this charge.  Moreover, who better to reflect the diversity and values of our people, and places we come from than us?  Our solutions must be our own; globally minded and indigenously relevant. 

As a Land Grant Institution, the University of Guam has a responsibility to examine and research the economic, social, and cultural issues that affect Guam and the region.   Over the years Land Grant institutions, along with their counterpart associations, have fostered the movement to conduct research that is interdisciplinary; understanding that the issues that society grapples with is not drawn in distinct lines.  Rather, that the issues of the day are complex, complicated, and influenced by a multitude of factors.  Culture, economics, public citizenry, social interactions, formation, and other factors require that solutions to the pressing socio-and economic issues be of an interdisciplinary nature.   In the past ten years, grants and external funding for research and education have reflected this interdisciplinary nature with funders now requiring education and community components as part of its funding schemes.  

Public policy centers in higher education across the US have mainly emerged in Schools of public policy, business, public administration, and public affairs.   Through the decades as more directed research was needed many institutions have added issue driven centers under the umbrella of a policy center.   Centers and institutes for health, economic and entrepreneurial growth, conflict and resolution, aging, and the environment have been offshoots of a main public policy institute.  

Even with the emergence of these centers, faculty from business, policy, and public administration remain core to a variety of institutes and centers because practitioners and scholars bring a nuanced understanding of the multiple aspects affecting policy making and the impacts to communities and individuals.


Projects and Publications

Download the Report

This report, release in August 2020, is the work of the Master of Public Administration program.  PA501, led by Dr. Gerry Perez, engaged community partners to capture valuable insights to narrow the gap between small business owners and financial institutions’ expectations on financing.


Download the Report
About the Authors

This report, released in January 2020, is the work of Dr. Maria Claret Mapalad-Ruane as the principal author with contributions from the following research fellows: Efigenia Rose Barcinas, Daniel Cayanan, Prairie Rose Garrido, Sofia Diane Meneses, Jun-Patrick Salalila, Kristina C. Sayama, MPA, Luisa V. Tenorio, and Angelina T. Tretnoff, MPA.

Download the Report

This report was the work product of the Fanuchånan 2018 (Sept. - Dec.) Master of Public Administration Students. At the request of George L. Charfauros, Jr. (Former Homeland Security Advisor for Guam) the University of Guam Regional Center for Public Policy was engaged to assist in research that would identify gaps between Customs and Border Patrol and Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency.

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Report Highlights

A research product of the UOG Regional Center for Public Policy, the "Guam Corruption Perception Report" is the first attempt to measure corruption perception in Guam and aims to provide a benchmark that will allow for comparison of Guam residents' corruption perception over time as well as comparison to the United States and 100+ other countries. It is based on a survey of Guam residents conducted by the School of Business & Public Administration's Master in Public Administration program in 2015.

The paper was co-authored by Dr. Maria Claret M. Ruane, Daniel Cayanan, Dr. Gena A. Rojas, Jun-Patrick Salalila, Luisa V. Tenorio, and Christian Valencia.

Download the Report

A research product of the UOG Regional Center for Public Policy on factors relating to corruption in the U.S. was selected for publication in “Asia Pacific Business & Economics Research Perspectives.” The publication is a peer-reviewed journal of the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, the second largest international university in Japan.

The paper was co-authored by Dr. Maria Claret M. Ruane, Dr. John J. Rivera, John E. Ruane, and Rebecca G. Casimbon.

Download the Report

The UOG Regional Center for Public Policy has released the 2018 Guam Economic Report. Authored by Dr. Maria Claret Ruane, Professor of Economics, and research fellows Alexander K.M. Aflague, Rebecca G. Casimbon, and Luisa V. Tenorio, the report provides a year-in-review analysis of Guam's economy and an outlook for 2019.

About the 2016 CNMI Economic Report
Download the Report (PDF, 694K)

2016 CNMI Economic ReportThe 2016 CNMI Economic Report is the first official publication from the newly formed University of Guam Regional Center for Public Policy.  Dr. Maria Claret Ruane, PhD was the principal author, along with contributions by Dr. John J. Rivera, PhD and Janelle Santos, MPA.  The MPA Graduating Class of Fall 2016 and alumna Maria “Dondi” Quintans, MPA provided support. 

Dr. John J. Rivera was the MPA Capstone Course Instructor and Janelle Santos was the MPA Capstone Project Leader. 

The MPA Graduating Class of Fall 2016 initiated this economic report as part of their MPA capstone – Project Thrive.  Their capstone project focused on economic research, policy recommendations, grant training and outreach aimed at helping the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) move toward a sustainable economy.  Their work received congressional recognition from both Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo and Congressman Gregorio Kalili Sablan from the CNMI.  The MPA class made presentations to government officials and stakeholders on December 1 and 2, 2016 in Saipan.  

The 2016 Economic Report is a significant publication as this is the first economic report focused solely on the CNMI.  

About the Author

Dr. Maria Claret Mapálad-Ruane is currently a tenured Professor of Economics at the University of Guam-School of Business and Public Administration and the Resident Development Economist for the University of Guam-Pacific Center for Economic Initiatives.  She has 25 years of experience in International Macroeconomic Development, with focus in the area of policy formulation and the Asia-Pacific region.  Dr. Ruane has written several socio-economic studies at regional, national and international levels, including a 20-equation simulation model to analyze the effect of development aid on a recipient economy.

Dr. Ruane is also the author of the annual publication by the First Hawaiian Bank entitled “Economic Forecast:  Guam-CNMI Edition” for the last six years.  Her other work includes contribution to the generation and analysis of much-needed economic and business indicators on Guam, including consumer and business confidence survey, buying local behavior, local spending multiplier, effect of exchange rate changes on tourist arrivals to Guam, local farmer and village residents survey and, most recently, corruption perception of local residents.