Mission and History


The Carsey Institute conducts national and regional policy research on vulnerable children, youth, and families and on sustainable community development. We give policy makers and practitioners the timely, independent resources they need to effect change in their communities.

The institute has a rigorous, engaged team of applied social scientists and natural resource experts committed to this work, a well-established communications and outreach program, and an impressive list of published reports, policy briefs, and fact sheets. Our advisors and partners on the ground and in the nonprofit arena are guiding our work so that it can be a responsive resource to policy makers and practitioners on the ground.

The Carsey Institute produces topical reports and briefs that present complex data analysis on pressing issues that are grounded in real-world conditions and tied to current policy debates and practical solutions. This publications program is the core of the Carsey Institute’s work to offer high quality, powerful resources to decision makers working with vulnerable rural families and communities.

Read our 2012-2013 Carsey Institute strategic plan.

Read our Carsey Five-Year Report.

Policy and Research Areas

  • Civic Engagement
  • Demographic Analysis
  • Education
  • Health
  • New Hampshire and New England
  • Rural America
  • Vulnerable Families
View all policy and research areas...


University of New Hampshire alumna Marcy Peterson Carsey, a 1966 cum laude graduate in English literature and the producer of such television classics as The Cosby Show and Roseanne, established the Carsey Institute in May 2002 through a generous gift to the university. The Carsey Institute was created to address the new reality of families and women, work, and communities in the twenty-first century. We are situated within the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Health and Human Services at the University of New Hampshire.

Marcy Carsey, Founding Director Mil Duncan, and UNH President Mark Huddleston in 2011

Marcy Carsey, Founding Director Mil Duncan, and UNH President Mark Huddleston in 2011