Kathy Quick

Kathy Quick
Associate Professor
Humphrey School of Public Affairs


Dr. Kathy Quick's focus is bringing together people with diverse perspectives to work on high-stakes, complex, and often contentious public policy problems. Trained in public management and urban planning, she works in a variety of policy content areas, the common thread being identifying practices and processes that improve equity and inclusion. 

Since 2016, she has centered her work on how different people define and experience public safety. Quick researches effective approaches by studying professionals doing their work and shares the lessons learned with graduate students and community partners working to build their civic engagement skills and strengthen democracy. She also continually hones her own craft by practicing what she studies and teaches, for example by facilitating the Falcon Heights Task Force on Policing and Inclusion and cochairing the University of Minnesota's MSafe Committee on campus policing.

Her transportation-related scholarship and public service includes: extensive work with tribal governments in Minnesota and nationally on improving roadway safety in reservations; several case studies and community service to improve equity and safety in police-constituent interactions on roads; a case study of the construction of a coalition of bicyclists with diverse and originally conflicting interests; a stakeholder identification and engagement tool for roadway safety professionals; analyses of public communication gaps regarding the challenges and priorities for sustaining local road systems in Minnesota; and a review of best practices for social media use in transportation planning and implementation.

Quick is an associate professor, academic co-director of the University-of-Minnesota-wide Center for Integrative Leadership, and former chair of the Humphrey School of Public Affair’s public and nonprofit management and leadership area. She holds a PhD in planning, policy, and design from the University of California, Irvine, which recognized her as one of their top 50 graduate student alumni from the first fifty years of the university. Originally from rural Pennsylvania, Quick worked as an environmental advocate and policy analyst in Indonesia for eight years and as a community development manager for two California cities for six years.