What is your role and primary responsibilities at the Academy?
I am a Senior Research Analyst for the Academy’s Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships. My primary responsibilities include project management, research/writing, event planning, support of Fellow activities, and relationship building with our various partners and stakeholders.
What do you like best about working at the Academy?
My favorite aspect of working for the Academy is my coworkers. The Academy fosters a collaborative and supportive environment and recruits friendly, helpful, kind, and intelligent individuals. Someone is always there to lend a helping hand, lift your spirits, or ensure you’re taking care of yourself.
Which of the 12 Grand Challenges in Public Administration resonates the most with you?
I wholeheartedly support all 12 Grand Challenges and believe they are all intertwined and vital to our future. However, my primary focus falls on three, “Steward Natural Resources and Address Climate Change,” “Create Modern Water Systems for Safe and Sustainable Use,” and “Build Resilient Communities.” These three speak to my educational background (Biology, Chemistry, and Coastal Policy), previous work experience in local government at the beach, and longstanding love for nature. Without significantly increased respect for natural resources, including freshwater, our society will struggle in many ways. We all must do our part to help build more equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities, and one way is to prioritize the resource we all depend upon, the Earth.
Why is public service important to you?
Society shares finite resources, and we must promote equitable, responsible behaviors or risk further societal decay. Too few individuals, myself included at times, focus on the common good. We spend too much time identifying our differences and isolating ourselves from each other and our responsibilities toward each other. No one person can solve any of the problems that face our society, but we cannot use that as an excuse to do less or live in ignorance. Public service helps fill the gaps many of us cannot address alone. Ideally, public service helps combine and magnify individual efforts into a collective effort to support each other and navigate life’s challenges.
What is your favorite hobby or interest outside of the office?
Outside the office, I engage in various exercise and leisure activities; however, my favorites are running and reading. My mother is a librarian, and reading has always offered me an escape. I dive into fantasy, sci-fi, classics, and other fiction, with the occasional nonfiction mixed in. As far as running goes, it is what helps keep me level-headed. I run 3 to 8 miles 4-5 times a week and am debating running my third marathon in 2023. If I do, I will be chasing a 3-hour marathon, but ultimately just happy to finish on my feet!
What is your favorite travel destination, either past or future?
I love exploring this amazing world, so picking favorites is challenging. It would be a tie between Costa Rica, Ireland, and Scotland for various reasons. In the future, I hope to make it to every continent and every country, trying all the food, hiking all the trails, and wandering all the city streets along the way.
Fun Fact: Miles and our amazing Director of Fellow Engagement, Kailtlyn Blume, met during their undergraduate years at Wake Forest University. Go Deacs!