The Veterans Policy Leadership Institute is a research and policy institute to advance veteran outcomes through research, policy change and a focus on state and local systems change in Nevada and across the country. It is an off campus affiliate to the University of Nevada, Reno, and a partner of the UNLV School of Public Policy and Leadership.

Vision: The VPLI is the national leader in growing our nation’s veterans and military families into the next generation of public leaders through developing, establishing, sharing, and scaling state and local best practices for policy change and advancement to improve the employment, education and wellness outcomes for veterans, military and their families.

Mission: The VPLI develops leaders, advances state and local government policy, evidenced based and best practices in order to maximize the enormous potential of today’s veterans and military families.

Strategic Goals:

  • Convene experts from around the country to develop comprehensive scholarly, evidence based policy solutions to reduce barriers and improve outcomes for today’s veterans.
  • Serve as the clearinghouse for state and local policy solutions.
  • Assist other states in implementing evidence based and best practices and programs developed by the VPLI.
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for public private partnership models that leverage private assets to innovate and address public solutions in this space
  • Develop today’s veterans into tomorrow’s leaders.


  • Publish annual recommendations for reducing barriers, improving service delivery, and increasing collaboration around veteran employment, education, and wellness for state and local governments and systems.
  • Work with national scholars from a variety of fields that address veteran issues to host an annual academic conference.
  • Develop a national veterans leadership conference to bring together recently transitioned veterans, student veterans, or veterans seeking self-improvement to expose them to opportunities and encourage them to lead locally.
  • Develop successful models for states to measure outcomes and returns on investments, leveraged buy our partnership with the University of Nevada’s data lab and dashboard project.
  • Developing and consulting on the implementation best practices for peer-to-peer mentorship programs, community engagement, and public private partnership models for other states.
  • Fund research and scholarship at the university being conducted by researchers, scholars, and students.
  • Sustain the Veterans Policy and Leadership Center through partnerships, contracts, grants, and philanthropy.