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What is the DeVoe L Moore Center?

The DeVoe L. Moore Center is a public policy research institute, or “think tank” involved in examining market-oriented solutions to pressing social problems on the state and local level in Florida. The center focuses on areas such as regulation, land use and urban development, entrepreneurship, government accountability and transparency, and economic development.
Click here for Sam Staley's statement on the DeVoe L. Moore Center's commitment to excellence at the Florida State University.
Click here for this overview of the center in a PDF document.
Click here for an in-depth overview of the center’s business model.
Click here to read our newest policy study on Cost Overruns and Public Infrastructure: The Case of Tallahassee’s Cascades Park and Trail.
The media coverage created by this study can be found here.

Mission Statement

As an interdisciplinary, applied public policy research institute, we examine the role of the private sector in addressing pressing concerns relevant to Florida. Via a market-oriented perspective, we analyze, develop, and propose policy recommendations and guidance for policy makers at the state and local level.

Our Origin

The center was founded in 1998 through an endowment by entrepreneur and land developer, DeVoe L. Moore. Developing the center originated from difficulties Mr. Moore encountered during the urban redevelopment process. Recognizing the expansion of Florida State University, Mr. Moore wanted to provide students with quality housing near campus but was met with problematic city regulations and government policies that hindered his plans and interests as a property owner. Troubled by such complications, Mr. Moore sought to expose discrepancies and underlying issues with land development policies and thus created the DeVoe L. Moore Center, where public policy research could be utilized to offer constructive solutions that would address such problems and lead to reform. Mr. Moore endowed the center with $5 million of his own money that was matched by the State of Florida to create a $10 million endowment to fund the center. Officially opening its doors in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy in October 1999, the center has grown to a full- and part-time staff of nearly 40 faculty, staff, and students. The center supplements its operational funds through grants and individual contributions and is regularly monitored by an independent Advisory Board. More on our story can be founder here.

Primary Products and Outputs

The DeVoe L. Moore Center’s primary activities involve policy-oriented research in its respective focus areas. This research is critically dependent on research assistance provided by undergraduate and graduate students and is made available to the general public and policy makers through a wide range of published products which include:

Evidence-Based Philosophy

The integrity of the center’s work is critical to its operational success and goals. The center has developed internal procedures and processes to ensure high-quality, evidence-based products suitable for engagement in professional settings such as high-level dialogues and discourse at the local and state levels. All the center’s products are subject to a rigorous research, review, and editorial process modeled on procedures in place at national think tanks, leading public affairs organizations, and organizations involved in rigorous investigative journalism. The DeVoe L. Moore Center strives to build a reputable identity as an institute for policy analysis and research while maintaining transparency and credibility through its published works.

Public Policy Focus Areas

  • Government regulation of private businesses and individuals
  • Entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic growth
  • Land-use regulation, land development, growth management, and urban growth
  • Government transparency, accountability, and performance

More on our applied public policy research can be found here.

Internship and Research Assistant Program

As the working and leveraging arm of the DeVoe L. Moore Center, the Internship and Research Assistant Program is responsible for a substantial portion of the center’s output for publications and analysis on government regulation and public policy issues. The program welcomes undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in areas of government, public policy, and entrepreneurship. Prospective interns may contact Dr. Samuel Staley, the director of the center, through an email inquiry to sstaley@fsu.edu or leaving a written stating interest in the center’s office at 150 Bellamy Building. Interns are expected to be a part of a professional public discussion on key policy concerns in Tallahassee, Florida, and at the national level. Integrated into the program is an optional academic credit-based system that is applied toward the interns’ academic progress.

Intern Requirements and To-Do’s

  • Submit an inquiry of interest to the director or general Office.
  • Submit an internship contract if enrolling for academic credit.
  • Adhere to work plans and objectives in assigned focus areas.
  • Report to group manager(s) and professional staff where necessary.
  • Attend workshops in editing, writing, and research throughout the semester.
  • Produce credible and noteworthy material for review and publication.

Working Groups

  • Data Analytics – Tasked with gathering and modeling data from state agencies and government entities with the goal of discovering useful information that supports improved decision-making in regulation and public policy areas. The group is also involved in interpreting this information for practical use.
  • Policy Research – Examines a wide range of public policy issues relevant to Florida and presents this information at state and national levels. Research gathered is also presented internally within the center to keep account of progress and for review.
  • Public Affairs – Handles the community outreach operations of the center which include creating social media campaigns, publishing newsletters for the general public, releasing public policy reports, and educating students on campus about the center’s mission and values. The group is also involved with updating the center’s website.
  • Editorial – Facilitates the publication of articles, reports, and commentary, including publications on the center’s blog site, for public use through a team of skilled writers and editors. Students from the FSU English department’s Writing, Editing, and Media major are an integrated component of the center’s Writing Coach Program and provide constructive criticism and guidance during the writing and publication process.

Core Values

  • Empowerment – Ensure public policy and government regulations support individual initiative through private enterprise.
  • Opportunity – Minimize barriers, hinderances, and government regulations that inhibit individual and business growth and create value for the economy and community.
  • Innovation – Provide a framework that allows change and value creation through more effective regulatory processes, the creation of new products, and the fostering of new ideas in areas of business and public policy.
  • Fairness – Promote impartial decision making in legislative and public policy processes, giving citizens and residents a level playing field and equal access to government and public agencies.
  • Justice – Ensure our research and analysis helps mitigate unfairness or restore balance to those unfairly treated or marginalized by the policymaking process.

More than 100 students have interned or served as research assistants in the DeVoe L. Moore Center since its Intern and Research Assistant Program began in 2012. Originally employing only a handful of students, the program expanded to include a broader range of applicants from a diversified range of majors in economics, entrepreneurship, political science, interdisciplinary social sciences, international affairs, computational science, communications, and English. The Center’s reputation for providing tangible and policy relevant research stems from the work produced by interns and expectations are held at a professional standard.