Leslie Porter Gives Students a Glimpse into the Future

Evaluation Lab News

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Seeing community members being successful in your degree of choice is nothing short of inspiring for students. MPP students got exactly that inspiration this week with a visit from Leslie Porter, who holds an MPP from American University. Ms. Porter is a Senior Policy Analyst for Project ECHO. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of Policy in the Governor’s office, overseeing developments in health and human services, taxation and revenue, finance and administration, and economic development.

Ms. Porter shared some policy analysis examples with students and talked about the passion that drives her work. She said, “Policy is the tool to do what we think is right.” Leslie encouraged students to “look at policy in a vacuum” as a way to discover unintended outcomes and get at the underlying mechanisms. With this approach, analysts are well prepared to answer concerns on both sides of the aisle and facilitate improved policy making.

Ms. Porter also gave some great tips to students about presenting their analysis to different audiences, how important it is to know what you’re talking about, and when to say, “I don’t know.” She gave students a good look into the future regarding numerous possible career paths. Many of us aspire to be involved with the legislative process, understanding that although it requires a tremendous amount of work, it is also the epicenter for policymaking. As Ms. Porter put it, this work can be “kind of miserable, but also kind of exciting!”