Medtronic Executive: Skills Gained as Humphrey Policy Fellow 'Directly Applicable' to Workplace
After spending a year as a policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Rob Clark (2007-08) said one thing became very clear: Being surrounded by different perspectives is hugely beneficial.
“All year I observed people who were looking to solve problems with respect and fairness,” Clark said. “Hearing their different perspectives significantly improved my thinking.”
Today, as vice president of global communications and corporate marketing for Medtronic, Rob Clark spends his days working with diverse teams around the globe.
“I work to build collaboration, transparency, trust, and relationships with communities worldwide,” he said. “The Humphrey School works in a similar way.”
Clark and the more than 250 employees he manages are tasked with working across multiple constituencies, governments, health care systems, suppliers, partners and regulators.
“What I learned as a policy fellow is directly applicable to the work I do,” Clark said. “Whether I need to inspire new ideas or bring important context to why people have a certain position, having a wide range of perspectives is of huge value.”
Prior to his current position, Clark served as vice president of healthcare modernization for Optum, the IT support business of UnitedHealth Group. He also created and led Medtronic's corporate state government affairs group; held communications and government affairs leadership positions with ADC Telecommunications, Digi International and Acterna; and served in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve.
Clark is passionate about the Humphrey School’s mission to find common good.
“We need institutions that can bring people together and solve problems without yelling at each other, without being judgmental,” he said. “We have a general void of that in our society, and often we’re trying to have that conversation online. The Humphrey School instead promotes fair and respectful exchanges. That is central to why I invest in this school.”