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LeRoy Collins Institute

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Carol S. Weissert, Director

Dr. Weissert became the director of the Institute in October of 2007. She is also the LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar Chair and Professor of Political Science at Florida State University. Prior to taking that position in August 2003, she was professor of political science and director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University.

Her research focuses on federalism and intergovernmental issues and state policy, particularly health policy. She has published over four dozen articles in political science and public policy journals and is the author or co-author of four recent books including Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy, the third edition of which was published in 2006 by Johns Hopkins University Press. She was the co-author (with David Denslow) of Tough Choices: Shaping Florida’s Future for the Collins Institute. She is the editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism, an international journal on federalism and intergovernmental relations published by Oxford University Press. Her doctorate in political science is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lester Abberger, Chairman

Lester Abberger is managing partner of B.L. Abberger & Co., senior adviser to Florida First Capital Finance Corp., and a limited partner of Civic Software/Hometown Neighborhoods, a new urbanist real estate development, investment, and consulting concern.

He is chairman of the Florida Conservation Campaign, the Museums of Florida History, the City of Tallahassee Urban Design Commission, and Horizon Communities, a national faith-based prison ministry. He is an emeritus director and past chairman of 1000 Friends of Florida and the Florida Humanities Council.
He served as chairman of the national Federation of State Humanities Councils and was a trustee of the National Trust for the Humanities. He was chairman of Leadership Florida and is a recipient of that organization’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Mr. Abberger serves or has served on the boards of several private companies and a number of civic, charitable, and cultural organizations including Neighborhood Medical Centers, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, M + S Banks, Health News Florida, the FAJUA, the Leon County Charter Review Commission, the LeRoy Collins-Leon County Public Library System, and the Tallahassee Bach Parley.

He is a graduate of Davidson College, where he serves on the Board of Visitors, and is a Knight Fellow at the University of Miami School of Architecture. He is a member of the American Bach Society, the United States Squash Association, the H.L. Mencken Society, the American Ceramics Circle, and The Congress for the New Urbanism.