The Center was created in 1996 through the efforts of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Municipal Association, Chubb Life Insurance Company of America, and the University of New Hampshire. The Center was established as an independent non-profit organization with its own Board of Directors, and originally drew administrative support from the University of New Hampshire. In 2004, the Center and the University amicably ended their administrative affiliation.
The Center has remained a lean organization, to allow it to remain flexible and responsive to state policy needs. Growth in the organization from a single founding executive director to as many as six staff members and a number of independent contractors has been made possible by increased and continuing support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, a growing group of individual donors who valued the Center’s work, and state and national foundations which sponsored research on a variety of topics.
The Center’s initial research projects related to public school funding, the state budget process, the flow of federal funds to our state, and the implementation of a new form of local governance known as “SB2.” Since that time, the Center has adjusted its focus to address emerging policy questions across the state, such as state corrections system effectiveness, education adequacy and funding, school drop-outs, and the state retirement system.
The Center’s founding executive director, Doug Hall, retired in 2006 and was succeeded by Steve Norton.