Careers in public policy

Our graduates help shape the policy decisions that affect their neighborhoods, their countries, and people around the globe

A world of possibilities

Ford School graduates understand the facts. They communicate clearly. They make ethical, principled decisions. They lead for positive change in our communities and nations.

Our world is in urgent need of those skills.

Ford School MPP and MPA alumni come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. And they go on to lead nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and in the private sector. Some hold political office, or they advise policymakers on strategy and policy, and others passionately advocate for issues they care about.  

Our Bachelor of Arts in public policy graduates go on to a diverse array of careers—on Capitol Hill, in classrooms, at hospitals, nonprofits, consulting practices, and law firms. They include the chief of staff for a Member of Congress, an assistant attorney general, and a judge.

What will you do with your Ford School degree?

60% of our on-campus employers have an alumni connection

A growing and powerful network

Our alumni are active and engaged.
Post-grad plans by sector, five year average

MPP/MPA jobs

There are many paths to policy impact.
20% of MPP students intern outside of the U.S. each year


MPP students take internships around the world.

Alumni spotlights

Check out LinkedIn for additional information about the Ford School alumni. See all alumni spotlights here.

Filter by:
Filter by:
Filter by
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Demessie (PhD ‘10) advances underserved communities

Reflecting on her experience as a PhD student and now an alum, Dr. Demessie highlights the Ford School’s ability to advance a socially conscious analysis with empirical and qualitative methods.
Read more
Michigan Senate

Sen. Chang (MPP/MSW ‘14) commitment to public service

Whether she is advocating at the Capitol or speaking to her counterparts, Staebler Award winner Senator Chang relies on the communication skills she nurtured at the Ford School.
Read more
Institute for Defense Analyses

Claudia Muñoz (MPP ‘09) improves U.S. defense and security

Muñoz points to the quantitative, writing, and technical skills she learned at the Ford School for keeping her adaptable in a changing political environment. She recognizes the continued dynamism of students coming out of the Ford School and has recruited several graduates to work with her.
Read more

Sean Jones (MPP ‘00) draws on the teaching of the Ford School as a diplomat in Ethiopia

Jones attributes the Ford School’s flexible curriculum and interdisciplinary approach for providing the skills to think critically and creatively about issues like the Covid-19 pandemic while focusing on long-term advances in Ethiopia’s development.
Read more
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Latesha Love-Grayer (MPP ‘02) brings fact-based analyses for better government decision making

Love-Grayer’s interest in international policy was first inspired by her experience on the Ford School’s International Economic Development Program’s trip to South Africa, which continues to influence her worldview on the interconnectedness of all countries.
Read more
Children Now

Lishaun Francis (MPP ‘09) advances child advocacy and California's youth policy

Whether working in or outside of government agencies, Francis knows how to effectively frame how people think about a topic or an issue—a skill she learned at the Ford School.
Read more
Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Nick Occhipinti (MPP ‘08) works across differences for the environment

In this moment of political polarization, Occhipinti leans into seeing different points of view—an important skill he learned at the Ford School.
Read more
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Laura Rivera-Carrion (MPP ‘02, PPIA ‘99) assists communities and territories in disaster recovery

The Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute guided her to graduate school, and the Ford School provided a strong policy writing foundation.
Read more
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Susan McLaughlin (MPP/MBA' 93) manages financial crises in three decades at the Fed

McLaughlin credits the Ford School for helping her develop the problem-solving, communication skills, and quantitative analysis necessary for managing crises at the Fed.
Read more
Energy Impact Center

STPP alum Michelle Brechtelsbauer (MPP '16) works to impact zero-carbon energy

Brechtelsbauer worked at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House prior to attending the Ford School. She uses her understanding of stakeholder mapping and engagement to inform her advocacy and product development work.
Read more
McKinsey & Company Japan

Yosuke Matsuda (MPP ‘03) marries economics and public policy for organizational efficiency

The rapid, global economic growth in the late 1990s led Matsuda to want to sharpen his economic expertise. He knew he needed a strong analytical base and sought a school that was equally high-caliber in economics and public policy.
Read more
Promote the Vote Michigan

Sharon Dolente (MPP/JD ‘04) expands ballot access in Michigan

Dolente looks for opportunities to find creative solutions. She says the Ford School allows students to add tools to their advocacy toolbox to advance good policy.
Read more

Geoff Gamm (BA ‘18) shapes social care policy through technology

After focusing on health care policy at Ford, Gamm translated that to his current position with a startup called findhelp, a network that connects millions of people in need to social programs that serve them, with dignity and ease.
Read more
Center for American Progress

Alan Cohen (MPP ‘75) improves U.S. social security under 7 administrations

Cohen came to the Ford School intending to work on anti-poverty programs. He credits the Ford School with connecting him with the right resources for his interests and career path.
Read more
Aspen Digital

Katie D’Hondt Brooks (BA ‘12) creates a safer digital world and develops people-focused solutions

Brooks believes the Ford School prepared her for her job, whether it was through group projects, stakeholder analysis, or writing policy memos, to build a more inclusive cybersecurity workforce.
Read more

Student opportunities lead to incredible learning

Skills development

Engaged Learning

Hands-on, practical policy experiences, including policy simulations, international travel, competitions, internships, and more.
Engaged learning
Skills development

Preparing Leaders

The Ford School helps foster a professional growth mindset that contributes to their success in diverse environments.
Preparing leaders

Policy Pitch Competition

Students returning from internships pitch their experiences, future goals. Municipal governance, economic inclusion, and environmental action among the topics covered.
Ford School hosts 5th Annual Policy Pitch Competition

2023 Riecker Fellow applies local government experience on Capitol Hill

A self-described "good government geek," James Hiebert (MPP '23) worked for Senator Gary Peters researching how the federal government allocates grants and bringing his significant local government experience to Capitol Hill.
2023 Riecker Fellow

Want to engage with our students?

Have any questions?