What is your role and primary responsibilities at the Academy?
I am a Research Analyst, so much of my time is devoted to understanding agencies and developing actionable solutions to help them become more efficient and effective. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with more than ten different agencies on topics ranging from recreational drone use to the National Marine Sanctuaries. Our research process involves collecting data on any given issue through various methods. Once we collect the data, we distill key insights and apply them to that issue and develop actions to recommend to our client. One very important responsibility of Research Analysts is coordinating and leading interviews with a variety of stakeholders and subject matter experts to inform the study team’s analysis.
What do you like best about working at the Academy?
My favorite part about working at the Academy is the variety of subjects and people we get to engage with. I know many of my mentors and colleagues here feel the same way, and with good reason. Speaking as a researcher, it is incredibly stimulating to engage regularly with subjects and organizations I am unfamiliar with. Developing that understanding over the course of a study has broadened my perspective in many ways. Learning from talented people from a wide range of disciplines and collaborating with them to enhance their work is extremely rewarding.
Which of the 12 Grand Challenges in Public Administration resonates the most with you?
“Steward Natural Resources and Address Climate Change” resonates the most with me. I grew up in South Florida just a short distance from both Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, so the importance of those environments was emphasized to me from an early age. They are critical sources of drinking water and food for the local population and contain a tremendous amount of biodiversity that should be preserved for its own sake. One reason why I concentrated in sustainability and sustainable development while pursing my Masters in Public Administration was to find better ways for people to work with the environment.
Why is public service important to you?
Public service is important to me because it makes public goods available to people who would not have them otherwise. Public servants work every day to ensure the public has access to clean air and water, national parks, emergency services, and defense. What’s more is that they work to preserve natural resources for their own sake. One of the biggest motivators for me is to make all the work that public servants do to make the world a better place more visible.
What is your favorite hobby or interest outside of the office?
My favorite hobby outside of the office is playing the guitar. I always loved instrumental music but had no prior musical training whatsoever. I finally decided to pick up a guitar and start learning during the early days of COVID-19 and have been able to stick with it for over 3 years now. The learning curve is still very steep, but I enjoy the rewards I get back for the time I spend learning about music theory and practicing technique.
What is your favorite travel destination, either past or future?
My favorite travel destination is Glacier National Park in Montana, which is a sight to behold. I visited with my grandparents and cousin when I was ten years old, and the landscape is unlike anything I’ve seen before or since. It elicits a mighty feeling of appreciation and pride in what the public, our government, and public servants have preserved for us all.