Seven Harvard graduate students were recently awarded prestigious Rappaport Summer Public Policy Fellowships by Harvards Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. Natasha Epissina, Erick Guerra, Rebecca Haessig, Matthew Murray, Jeffrey Roth, Bijal Shah, and Diane Smith were among the 12 fellowship recipients.
These students will spend 10 weeks working on projects for local elected and appointed officials, while helping to design and carry out a seminar series for their colleagues on key issues facing the region.
The 2006 fellows (also representing schools of government, education, and design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern, Tufts, and Suffolk universities) were chosen from approximately 90 applicants. They will work on such issues as health care reform, economic development, affordable housing, and special education for, among others, Sen. Richard Moore, Rep. Kevin Honan, Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini, U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Joyce London Alexander, Boston’s Emergency Shelter Commission, Somerville’s SomerStat program, and Massport.
Now in its sixth year, the fellowship program encourages graduate students interested in public policy to spend part of their professional careers in state or local government, ideally in Greater Boston. Approximately half of the former fellows currently hold public-sector jobs and have remained in the region working in such entities as Boston’s budget office, the Boston School Department, Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning, and the state’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
The Rappaport Institute, which runs the fellows program, aims to improve the governance of the region by strengthening ties between scholars, students, and public officials. The institute was founded and funded by the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation, which promotes emerging leaders in Greater Boston.