About Us

IPS Corporate BrochureIPS is a public health organization. We specialize in implementing upstream, population-level prevention programs that reduce health disparities and advance equity. We work alongside residents and other stakeholders to advocate for policy and systems change to protect health and safety, prevent community trauma, and expand opportunities so that people can reach their full potential.

A shift toward equity.

In recent years, the role of equity in determining health outcomes has become widely understood, and IPS’s approach has evolved. Advancing equity has become a fundamental feature of our work.


Volunteer GroupInitiated in 1991, the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) originally focused on providing media advocacy services and training and technical assistance. IPS was formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1992. It soon became clear to us that media advocacy was not a stand-alone strategy. It needed to be part of a well-designed, comprehensive approach.

IPS was fortunate to learn about the breadth of prevention from great expert researchers, which enabled us to engage in broader, more productive prevention work. Over time, IPS began operating its own projects, performing prevention implementation on large research initiatives and providing technical assistance and training to many government agencies and program operators across the nation. IPS emerged as a leader in program design and implementation of “environmental” or “upstream” prevention in the public health and safety field. We have learned how to help other agencies nationwide and internationally to apply strategic approaches with holistic project design and operation. We have worked on projects that range in size from small towns or neighborhoods to initiatives that are statewide and international in scale.

In the early years, we worked in projects with multi-state sites including Community Trials to Reduce Alcohol Trauma and, with the American Medical Association, A Matter Of Degree (AMOD) – a college-community alcohol and binge drinking prevention program – as well as on our own international Cross-Border Teen Drinking Program. Our expansive body of innovative work continues today. Initial staff consisted only of IPS’s founder, James Baker. We now have over 50 employees and offices in multiple California cities, as well as in Montana and Maryland.


Safe, secure, vibrant and healthy communities where everyone can thrive. IPS has worked with communities, governments, and prevention providers across the country, designing prevention programs, implementing projects, and providing training and technical assistance. We focus on systemic change, advocating for healthy social, economic, cultural, political, and physical conditions that support health and improve quality of life today, as well as tomorrow.


We work alongside communities to build power, challenge systems of inequity, protect health, and improve quality of life. IPS is a “partner in change.” We work alongside communities to build collective efficacy, social capital, and political will in order to advance healthy social, economic, cultural, political, and physical environments. Our experience confirms that lasting change starts with those who didn’t think they had a voice.

Core Values

IPS’s Core Values are grounded in decades of experience working side-by-side with our community partners.

  • Equity

    We are committed to just and fair solutions.

  • Diversity

    We are committed to learning the unique needs of communities.

  • Empowerment

    We are committed to elevating the voices of those directly affected by societal problems and emboldening them to take action.

  • Systems Change

    We are committed to advancing healthy social, economic and physical environments.

  • Results

    We are committed to achieving positive, measurable change.

  • Integrity

    We are committed to being accessible, accountable and inclusive.