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Strategic Issues Program

Colorado State Capitol

James Griesemer Dr. James Griesemer - Director

Jim Griesemer is professor and dean emeritus at the University of Denver and serves as director of the University's Strategic Issues Program. His background includes extensive public sector executive experience and over 20 years of experience in higher education. During his career he has taught management and strategy at the University of Denver, the University of Colorado and Aurora University in Illinois.

From 1994 to 2004 Dr. Griesemer served as dean of the Daniels College of Business. During his tenure the Daniels College was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as a top 50 business school nationally and as one of the top 10 regional schools in the U.S. The Daniels College business ethics program is ranked as one of the best in the world.

Before becoming dean, Dr. Griesemer served as chief financial officer of the University of Denver, where he helped lead the financial turnaround of the University.



Photo of Jennifer Superka Jennifer Superka, JD - Associate Director

As a Colorado native, issues of public policy in the state are of special interest to Jennifer Superka.

Before joining the Strategic Issues Program, Jennifer was a Denver attorney specializing in business and estate planning. She graduated from the College of Law at the University of Denver in 2002, and passed the Colorado bar in February 2003. Jennifer attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs and obtained her B.A. in History with a Minor in Southwest Studies.

In addition to lending her research, writing and analysis skills to the SIP, Jennifer coordinates SIP panel meetings and oversees the day-to-day operations of the SIP office.


Photo of Rebecca Swanson
Rebecca Swanson, MPP -  Research Director

Rebecca Swanson is charged with research, policy and strategy development for the Strategic Issues Program.

Prior to joining the University of Denver, Rebecca served as a Senior Policy Analyst for Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. Her primary areas of focus included natural resources, energy, agriculture, local government and environmental issues. She also represented the governor on the Western Governors Association Staff Council, and chaired or served on several gubernatorial boards and task forces.

Rebecca obtained a Master's degree in Public Policy in 2005 from the University of Denver, where she worked as graduate research assistant for former Governor Richard D. Lamm and for professor of political science Andrew E. Busch.

Additionally, after studying Neuroscience at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Rebecca spent more than ten years educating youths and adults. Her work included five years in the Minnesota public k-12 school system, and many enjoyable years planning and leading national and international-based wilderness and service learning trips.


Terry Zdrale
Terry Zdrale  -  Assistant to the Director

Terry Zdrale moved to the Denver area in 2013. She provides administrative and writing support to the program director and attends to day-to-day operations of the Strategic Issues Program office.

Terry’s background is in non-profit management with 28 years executive leadership experience with a multi-service, senior organization in Ohio. She received her B.S. in Business Administration and Organizational Management from Ohio Valley University.