Alumni Highlight: Anna Brower
Meet Anna Brower, an alumna of the MPA program. The MPA program asked her a few questions about life after graduation:
Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
Voices for Utah Children, Senior Policy Analyst
What are some of the duties of your job?
As a Senior Policy Analyst, I will be responsible for conducting research and policy advocacy on a variety of issues that impact children in Utah, including early childhood education and quality childcare for working families. I will also be able to continue important work on juvenile justice reform, embarked upon in partnership with Voices for Utah Children during my time at the ACLU of Utah. As part of an informal coalition of community stakeholders, our organizations produced multiple reports and recommendations to influence the state’s official juvenile justice system reform efforts in 2016 and 2017. I look forward to monitoring the implementation of legislation passed during the 2017 legislative session, aimed at improving outcomes for kids and reducing racial disparities in Utah’s juvenile justice system. I’m also eager to take my experience advocating for reform in Utah’s public defender system for adults, and apply that to advocating for reform on the juvenile side of the public defender world.
What are some of your past careers, and how did your MPA lead to your new career?
Since earning my bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Denver approximately one million years ago, I have worked in a variety of capacities in the non-profit and public sectors. Usually, my professional contributions have included some blend communications, development and community outreach. When I began the MPA Executive program in 2012, I was the Development Director of the ACLU of Utah. I wasn’t in the program very long before I realize that I wanted to shift my professional focus to policy analysis and advocacy. I believe the realization crystalized right around the time I landed in Lina Svedin’s policy analysis class. I was hooked. I worked with my employer to shift out of my fundraising position and into a policy advocacy role, focusing exclusively on criminal justice reform. That year of policy advocacy work was the most fun I’ve had professionally in a long time! I continued with the ACLU of Utah for several more years, working on a blend of policy and communications work, until this amazing opportunity emerged to work with Voices for Utah Children.
What advice would you give to incoming or current MPA students?
Don’t worry about grades. Study the things that interest you. Enjoy your fellow students. Talk often and respectfully to people who have different perspectives that yours. Group work can actually be amazing (but pick your group members wisely).
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