"I was coming off a tour of duty in Iraq during the 2007 surge and wished to continue to lead from the front, and the Master of Public Policy program was quite attractive at that point in my personal and professional career."
Degree: MPP, 2008
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
There's never a dull moment in Ross Monten's life. In 1991, Monten was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and entered remission in June 1993. He began active duty service in the U.S. Air Force in 2005 and volunteered for combat, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2007. He then completed his A.S. and B.A. in 23 months with high honors while on active duty. After serving in the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., Monten earned a Master of Science with merit from the London School of Economics. Last year, he was named as one of the 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans by the Minnesota Jaycees.
Why did you choose the Humphrey School?
I chose the Humphrey School because I felt it was the best way to continue my public service. I was coming off a tour of duty in Iraq during the 2007 surge and wished to continue to lead from the front, and the Master of Public Policy program was quite attractive at that point in my personal and professional career.
How is the Humphrey School unique?
To me, the Humphrey School is unique because of the expertise of the professors. What brought me to Humphrey was a national security offering that included Steve Andreasen, who is in the forefront of current international nuclear weapon policy, and Andrew Borene, a former Marine Intelligence Officer who had an outstanding background in the intelligence community.
How did your experiences at the Humphrey School influence your career choices?
I had an idea of what I wanted to do prior to attending the Humphrey School, but the experience also encouraged me to take a partial detour before serving the nation on active duty again. In early 2011, I began work at a private equity firm in Minneapolis and also did consulting for small energy and defense firms located in the Upper Midwest. This was an especially good experience—my first work in the private sector—and our efforts led to the creation of about 63 jobs here in Minnesota. So, being able to directly contribute to an expansion in our economy was very rewarding, particularly at a time when government policy struggles to do just that.
March 15, 2012