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Meet MPP Alumni

Mayors, environmental advocates, analysts, council members and more.  Alumni from the Master of Public Policy program have gone on to find career success in a myriad of industries and public platforms.  Below, you can read about a snapshot of these successes, and learn more about the paths MPP alumni have taken toward success.

Mayor Muriel Bowser,

Muriel Bowser 

On November 4, 2014, SPA graduate Muriel Bowser was elected as the seventh, and only second female, mayor of the District of Columbia. Read more »

Jennifer Fernandez,

Jennifer Fernandez

2014 Reilly Scholar Jennifer Fernandez paired an early focus on housing issues with a new passion in pursuing environmental policy after joining SPA's MPP program. Read more »

Zachary Rybarczyk,

Zachary Rybarczyk 

Zachary Rybarczyk believes his Boren Fellowship in Morocco will teach him “the successes and challenges of providing urban and rural populations with clean water and adequate sanitation.” Read more »

Brianne Nadeau,

Brianne Nadeau 

Brianne Nadeau brings to DC's Ward 1 Council a commitment to community activism and expertise in communications and advocacy. Read more »

Jane Clark,

Jane Clark

Current position: Knowledge and Data Management Analyst, U.S. Department of Education

Favorite internship: Public policy assistant at Baker Donelson, a policy advising firm. I got to research topics ranging from health care to Superfund, and cover Hill briefings, the 2008 elections and think-tank events.

Jonathan Kappler,

Jonathan Kappler

Current position: Director of State Government Relations, University of North Carolina

Favorite aspect of program: My fellow students were diverse, smart, and engaging.

Career tip: Be aggressive in your job search, starting soon after beginning the program.

Nichele Waller,

Nichele Walelr

Current position: Project Manager, U.S. Census Bureau

Favorite class: Social Policy with professor Alison Jacknowitz

Career tip: Work hard and build healthy relationships with those who are working in the positions that you want to reach.

Aimee Custis,

Aimee Custis

Current position: Communications Manager, Coalition for Smarter Growth

Favorite aspect of program: In retrospect, it is learning to write concisely

Favorite class: Nonprofit Management

DC tip: Who you know is just as important as what you know. Network, network, network!

Michael V. Palinkas,

Michael V. Palinkas

Current position: Management Analyst, NASA

Favorite internship: Targeting Department at the Democratic National Committee

DC tip: Live in it! Move around to different neighborhoods; meet people outside of your career field; go to local music and art shows; go to as many events as possible.