The Evans School was established in 1962 as one of the nation’s first schools of public policy at a public university.

Formerly known as the University of Washington (UW) Graduate School of Public Affairs, the Evans School was renamed in 1999 to honor Daniel J. Evans, who served as both a U.S. senator and three-term governor of the State of Washington. In 2015 the school was renamed the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance to reflect the school's intellectual and practical contributions to the fields of policy design and public leadership.

The University first offered the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in 1947 through the Department of Political Science. In 1958, UW President Charles Odegaard appointed a committee to determine how the University could improve public policy and management education. Following the committee’s recommendations, Odegaard asked Brewster Denny to develop a model for an independent school of public policy and governance.

Denny, the great-grandson of one of Seattle’s founding families, a former staff member for U.S. Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson, and a UW alumnus, designed a mission and curriculum, serving as the school’s first director and dean.

In 2003, the Evans School welcomed its sixth dean, Sandra O. Archibald, took the school’s strong legacy of public service and academic achievement created by her predecessors—Brewster Denny, Jared Hazelton, Hubert G. Locke, Margaret T. Gordon, and Marc Lindenberg—into the next era.

Find out more about the history of the University of Washington.