Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

PPIA Junior Summer Institute 40th anniversary celebration

Date & time

Jul 26, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

The University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy has proudly supported the PPIA fellowship (formerly known as the Sloan or Woodrow Wilson fellowship) since its inception in 1981 and has been one of just a handful of policy schools to host the 7-week educational initiative for undergraduates students every summer. Read more about the PPIA program.

To celebrate this milestone, we bring together a panel of distinguished leaders, each of whom attended the University of Michigan Junior Summer Institute and went on to forge careers of tremendous impact and service.

Join us to hear their reflections on how their time in the PPIA program impacted their careers, what advice they have for young professionals interested in public service, and lessons learned about the role that universities can play in building more inclusive and equitable public institutions. Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr will moderate the conversation. 

Networking reception

After the panel discussion, from 6:00-6:30 we'll host a networking session for attendees. Alumni and supporters of the program will join current PPIA students and each other to share career advice, talk about current policy issues, and catch up with friends in small breakout room discussions. If you would like to join the networking session but have not received the link, please email [email protected].

Headshots of Farouk Ophaso, Kenita Williams, and David C. Wilson
L-R: Farouk Ophaso, Kenita Williams, and David C. Wilson

From the speakers' bios

Farouk Ophaso (MPP ‘06) is the Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller). Mr. Ophaso has over 15 years of experience in the federal budget and appropriations process, serving in a variety of roles in the U.S. Congress, White House Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. Air Force. He has been responsible for allocating billions of dollars for clean energy and the environment, overseeing budget activities related to education, labor, science, and space programs, and creating and executing legislative strategies to secure funding to combat the zika virus, Ebola, and the opioid epidemic.

Kenita Williams (MPP '07) is the Chief of Staff for the Southern Education Foundation. In her role, Kenita works to strengthen existing programs, leads on key strategic initiatives/new pathways for impact, supports the President & CEO in the development and management of organizational strategy and operations, and represents SEF’s values and efforts to key external stakeholders and the public.  Additionally, Kenita oversees SEF’s leadership development portfolio, creating and managing a cadre of fellowship programs and resources designed to cultivate a constellation of change agents to enact policies and practices that lead to a more equitable education system throughout the South.

Dr. David C. Wilson is the Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Wilson is a political psychologist specializing in the use of survey-based experiments to study political behavior and policy preferences. His scholarship focuses on the psychology of political opinion about policies, contentious social issues, and political figures. He is drawn to investigate justice-related biases in political preferences created by judgements of others.

Did you attend a PPIA Junior Summer Institute in Ann Arbor or elsewhere? We’d love to hear from you. Please tell us what you’ve been up to. We’ll send a commemorative gift!