Inspiring diverse talent to lead in the field of public policy is critical to the diverse communities policies will affect.
Nine students from the LBJ School of Public Affairs have been chosen as part of the inaugural class of the Public Policy New Voices Fellowship, and have launched into their year-long exploration of building diversity within the public policy space. A collaboration among leading graduate schools, premier corporate public policy teams, and some of the most innovative global strategic advisory firms, the PPNV Fellowship aims to ensure that graduate students from BIPOC communities are aware of and have access to public policy careers across sectors.
The program provides participants with mentorship, skills-building opportunities and community-building sessions pivotal to bringing new voices to the public policy space. While a blend of functions, public policy primarily draws its talent pool from government and the private sector. To be effective, organizations and companies must prioritize the inclusion of new voices from underrepresented communities.
The LBJ student fellows:
- Walker Adams (MPAff)
- Azeem Edwin (MGPS / Law)
- Irving Calderon (MPAff)
- Amanda Chung (MPAff)
- Joseph Flores (MGPS)
- Sheriyar Hyderali (MPAff / Public Health)
- Priscilla Lugo (MPAff / Women's and Gender Studies)
- Liberte Manirakiza (MGPS / Public Health)
- Shaw Vallier (MPAff / Community and Regional Planning)
"The opportunity to build coalitions, networks, and have a support system where new and diverse voices are not only supported but prioritized is where we will start to see change in the policy sphere," said Priscilla Lugo, a dual degree MPAff/Women's and Gender Studies student. "I am stepping into the arena with some of my own wonderful LBJ colleagues, and I am sure that we will continue to be inspired by each other and the rest of the PPNV cohort."
"The opportunity to build coalitions, networks, and have a support system where new and diverse voices are not only supported but prioritized is where we will start to see change in the policy sphere." —Priscilla Lugo
"Discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community represents an enormous challenge to the public policy world," said MPAff student Walker Adams. "I am delighted to participate in a fellowship that creates the dialogues necessary to defeat that ignorance."
"It's thrilling to bring such tangible and immersive learning opportunities to these leaders of our future," said Aubrey Cox Ottenstein, CEO of Globally and executive director of the former Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. "We look at the demographics of public sector professionals and they simply do not represent our nation’s ever-growing diversity. We're emulating the Biden administration's efforts to advance racial equity in government careers by reaching students as they are in the heart of their graduate degree programs."
Over the course of the year, Fellows will take part in virtual programming each month, including panel discussions, mentoring sessions, and networking events. These engagements will provide Fellows with practical skills and substantive conversations around timely corporate and public policy topics relevant to young professionals.
Formerly Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, Globally is the go-to community organization for developing emerging leaders in global affairs for nearly two decades. Its network spans 80 countries and reaches more than 30,000 young people. Its latest program, the Public Policy New Voices Fellowship, seeks to increase inclusion and inspire diverse talent to lead in the field of public policy.
Universities participating in the pilot program include: Georgetown University, Seton Hall University, The University of Texas at Austin, and University of California at Los Angeles.
Corporate partners participating in the pilot program include: The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, Netflix, Verizon, Walmart, Eurasia Group, BowerGroupAsia, GeoQuant, and Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel.