Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

News: Government

Mark Nicolini (MA ’83) retired in September 2017 as the city of Milwaukee’s budget and management director, a position he had held since 2004. Throughout his career, he has shared his expertise with and provided guidance to dozens of La Follette School students.

David Boardman (MPA ’16) has joined the University of Wisconsin System as a government relations specialist. Most recently, Boardman was a legislative aide for State Rep. Joan Ballweg.

Brenda Mayrack (MPA, JD ’08) was appointed Delaware’s state escheator in the Department of Finance. In her new role, Mayrack will direct the state’s Office of Unclaimed Property.

La Follette School Professor Susan Yackee and Associate Director Hilary Shager will lead two of the five panel discussions at the opening conference of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Cody Keenan, a speechwriter for President Barack Obama for more than a decade, will discuss Bending the Arc: A Career of Purpose and Life in the White House on Friday, September 29. Keenan also serves as Obama’s collaborator on the former president’s upcoming book.

David Rank, the former acting U.S. ambassador to China, will discuss and answer questions about his experiences in government, his decision to resign, and the current state of the U.S. State Department on Friday, July 14 at the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

More than 20 public-sector employees attended the first Behavioral Insights for Government (BIG) lecture series sponsored by the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Behavioral Research Insights through Experiments (BRITE) Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Gillian Tett, the U.S. Managing Editor of the Financial Times, and Peter Hall, the Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies at Harvard University, will provide keynote presentations during “Europe in Crisis: The Future of the EU and Trans-Atlantic Relations” at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Thursday, April 6.

La Follette School Professor Pam Herd and three colleagues received funding from AARP’s Innovation Challenge to identify policy solutions for strengthening Social Security. Their proposal would create a new Minimum Benefit Plan (MBP) for low-income retirees that examines sufficiency of retirement income in lieu of calculating years of low earnings.

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson shared his commitment to The Wisconsin Idea – the principle that the university is intricately tied to the state – in the most recent issue of Public Administration Review (PAR).

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