Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two students make finalist stage of Presidential Management Fellows Program

Two graduating public affairs students reached the finalist stage of the prestigious Presidential Management Fellows Program that places recent graduates with federal agencies for two-year assignments. It accepts applicants who are committed to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.

One La Follette School student, Patrick (Paco) Fuchs will continue the process to select a federal agency after he graduates in May.

The second, Dominique Williams, is not moving forward with the program, having accepted a position with Civic Consulting Alliance in Chicago, a non-profit organization that builds pro bono teams of government leaders, business experts and staff to address key issues facing the city of Chicago. "While I am interested in all levels of government, I am drawn to policymaking at the local level," says Williams, who is completing a dual degree in law and public affairs. "CCA works to reshape how the City of Chicago works in terms of affordability, economic growth, education, environment and transit, and workforce development. I'm looking forward to gaining experience in this broad range of policy areas."

Fuchs says he is open to all opportunities with the federal government, and so he plans to assess positions based on the amount of creativity and complexity involved in fulfilling a position's responsibilities. "I am most engaged and motivated by challenging work," says Fuchs, who is completing a Master of Public Affairs. "At the La Follette School of Public Affairs, I have greatly improved my ability to examine complex public problems, work in a team-based environment and perform quality program evaluations. I believe I can apply those skills in a wide variety of positions, in nearly any federal agency."

Fuchs adds that in addition to his coursework, his project assistantship with the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education gave him excellent experience to prepare him to serve as a PMF. As an intern with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, he led the evaluation of the effects of major legislation on the inspection and enforcement efforts of a federal agency. "I will utilize those lessons learned as a PMF," he says. "I now better understand the impact of legislation and federal agencies on private industry and labor."