“I hope that current students not only come away with a dispassionate analysis of policy but also a passion for advocacy.”
Degree: MA 1979
Location: Washington, D.C.
Why study public policy?
You don’t go into public service to make billions of dollars; you go into public service to make a difference. The most important thing is to be clear with yourself about what turns you on, what you can do to make a difference. If you start with that, you will find happiness; there are too many people in the world who are unhappy with what they’re doing in their jobs.
Why is the Humphrey School unique?
Whether you focus your attention on your local school, neighborhood, city, state, country, or the entire world, we need to ask ourselves how we can affect change. We have to step out of our comfort zones and make connections with those who are different from us. The Humphrey School is a great place to do that because it draws people from around the country and world to have conversations about what’s the best way to successfully make change.
One of the strength of the Humphrey is to dispassionately explore issues to figure out a “right” answer. The other side of that equation is that many nonprofits practice advocacy and, at some point, you need to be able to put a stake in the ground and argue why and how something should be done. I hope that current students not only come away with a dispassionate analysis of policy but also a passion for advocacy.
How has the Humphrey School shaped your career?
When I began my career, most of the policy work concerning telecommunication was focused on the business side—regulation and deregulation, for example. I was more interested in how we could use telecommunication for improving health, education, and libraries. Getting an education at the Humphrey School instilled in me a firm understanding that we need to work for the public good.
What is the value in the Humphrey network?
Over the last several years, the Humphrey School has brought students to D.C., giving them exposure to opportunities here. I think a lot of students have always been interested in Washington, but few knew how to jump in. It has been fruitful to take alumni and match them with talented Humphrey students who want internships here. Through this partnership, we’ve found a great way to infuse the best of the alumni network with excitement from current students.
March 15, 2012