Executive Director, The Patman Center for Civic and Political Engagement; Assistant Professor of Practice
Emily Bhandari serves as the Executive Director for The Patman Center for Civic and Political Engagement at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. In her role, she oversees all Center activities including the Patman Scholarships, the Research Award for Advancing Democracy, the Senior Fellows mentorship program, and the Leadership Symposium. As an Assistant Professor of Practice, she teaches graduate courses in civic leadership, advocacy, and campaigns and elections.
Prior to The Patman Center, Emily served as Strategic Learning and Evaluation Program Officer for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. There, she managed a complex portfolio of grant initiatives and research projects aimed at helping Texans improve their mental health and thrive.
For almost a decade, Emily worked at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. As their Director of Public Engagement, Emily produced nonpartisan programming for college-aged youth including a yearly Campaign Bootcamp, Texas Legislative Intern Seminars, and Careers in Politics Conferences. She also co-authored the Texas Civic Health Index (2013, 2018) a comprehensive look at civic engagement in Texas compared to other states in the nation.
Emily has experience working on political campaigns, for interest groups in Washington D.C., and in legislative offices at the Texas State Capitol. She has a master in public affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, with a nonprofit portfolio certificate from the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service; a master in the science of social work degree with a concentration in community and administrative leadership from the Steve Hicks School of Social Work; and a bachelor of arts degree in government, with a minor in sociology, from The University of Texas at Austin’s Department in Government.