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2010 Public Policy Summer Fellows

2010_booth.jpgLalita Booth
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School
Undergraduate Degree: University of Central Florida
Areas of interest: Social Services Issues
Mentor: Tiziana Dearing, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Boston
Agency: Department of Youth Services
Supervisor: Edward Dolan, Deputy Commissioner of Youth Services and Amy Seeherman, Project and Grants Manager
Project Description: Lalita assisted the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services write a report on the Community System Case Study Project. She focused on questions such as how and why DYS implemented the system, to what extent it has been implemented, why some parts have not been implemented, what the intended and unintended outcomes have been caused by the implementation, and what courses of action are recommended for DYS to follow.

2010_brooks.jpgBrandy H.M. Brooks
Graduate Degree:
Suffolk University
Undergraduate Degree: Boston Architectural College
Areas of interest: Community and Economic Development
Mentor: Chrystal Kornegay, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Edge and Mary Jo Meisner, VP for Communications and External Affairs, The Boston Foundation
Agency: Cambridge Community Development Department
Supervisor: Susan Glazer, Acting Assistant City Manager for Community Development; Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning
Project Description: Brandy's project for the summer was a feasibility study on the development of a public market at Lechmere Square in Cambridge, prepared for the City of Cambridge Community Development Department. She had a tremendous amount of autonomy in this project – from determining the appropriate content to conducting interviews and writing the final report – but she also had wonderful support from her supervisors, Susan Glazer and Stuart Dash, and the whole staff at CDD. Her work included research on public market development, governance and operations in markets across the country, as well as research on the history, planning, and development of Lechmere Square and its surrounding neighborhood. She was fortunate to be able to visit several public markets in other cities because of my personal travel plans, and these site visits and interviews were incredibly valuable for our research. The final report was presented to the City Council was also be shared with interested stakeholders in the community.

2010_feeney.jpgKevin Feeney
Graduate Degree:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University
Interest Area: Workforce development and Labor
Mentor: Kathy Kottaridis, Executive Director, Historic Boston, Inc.
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Labor, Division of Career Services and Massachusetts Parole Board
Supervisor: David Sullivan, Massachusetts Department of Labor and Massachusetts Parole Board
Project Description: Kevin Feeney worked with the Massachusetts Department of Labor and the Parole Board on issues of job access for people with criminal records. He produced a memo on strategies for building employer demand for ex-offenders, a mid-year evaluation of a state reentry grant, and an outline of a pilot training and placement initiative for reentry candidates who wish to enter the building trades.

2010_goodspeed.jpgRobert Goodspeed
Graduate Degree:
Massachusetts Instititute of Technology
Undergraduate Degree: University of Maryland
Area of Interest: Performance Management and Transparency
Mentor: Professor Dan Kennedy, Northeastern University
Agency: Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston
Supervisors: Nigel Jacob, Senior Advisor for Emerging Technologies and Chris Osgood, Senior Policy Advisor
Project Description: This summer Robert created an Open Government Strategy for the city, providing recommendations for how the City of Boston can lead by using the Internet to enhance city services and support citizen participation. Following the Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative, the strategy provides recommendations for how to make city data and information more transparent, conduct online participation, and use crowdsourcing to tackle public problems. In addition, he contributed to a number of ongoing initiatives of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, including improving the city’s use of social media, beta testing a mobile app that detects traffic and pavement conditions, and evaluating citizens’ use of the Mayor’s 24-hour hotline. Robert says that the Rappaport Fellowship enabled him to explore a rapidly developing policy area, and collaborate closely with City of Boston staff to create highly customized recommendations. The experience also provided him an invaluable perspective into city government that will enrich his research for years to come.

2010_honigberg.jpgMichael Honigberg
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Medical School
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University
Area of Interest: Health Care Policy
Mentor: Phyllis Rappaport, Chair, Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation
Supervisor: Amy Smalarz, Director of Performance Measurement
Project Description: This summer, Michael worked at the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy in the Health Systems Policy group. There, he developed and delivered a comprehensive briefing on health care quality measurement and reporting for the Commissioner and later delivered it to the entire Division. This research will be used heavily by the agency in future research, analysis, and public discussion on health care quality and cost. The Commissioner, in particular, will draw on this work in his position on the state Health Care Quality and Cost Council and also when he begins his chairmanship of a forthcoming state committee on quality measurement. Additionally, he researched and wrote a white paper on accountable care organizations (ACOs), a new model of organizing and paying for health care, recommended for implementation in Massachusetts by the 2009 Special Commission on Health Care Payment. Under the ACO model, groups of providers accept responsibility for the cost and quality of care delivered to a specific population of patients cared for by the group’s clinicians. Providers in ACOs will receive bonuses for controlling costs (a portion of savings below an established spending target) while meeting quality targets. ACOs are one possible tool in the state’s arsenal of strategies for combating high and growing health care costs.

2010_krishna.jpgDeepa Krishna
Graduate Degree:
Boston University Scool of Management
Undergraduate School: New York University Tisch School of the Arts
Areas of interest: Education and Social Services Issues
Mentor: Jim Segel, Special Counsel to U. S. Representative Barney Frank
Agency: City of Boston's Circle of Promise Initiative
Supervisors: Judith Kurland, Chief of Programs and Partnerships, Marie St. Fleur, Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment, and Eliza Greenberg, Commissioner for Elderly Affairs
Project description: Deepa Krishna spent the summer working for the City of Boston in the Mayor’s Office primarily on the Circle of Promise, a neighborhood-based education initiative designed to improve student achievement, family engagement, and community outreach in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End, and Roxbury. Along with three other Rappaport Fellows, she defined the scope of the Circle, identified the City’s priority areas for Years 1-3, and built out an operating structure and timeline to oversee and coordinate future actions taken by the City. She also had the opportunity to work with the Boston EITC Coalition and MTAC on strategy and development related issues.

2010_lambiehanson.jpgLauren Lambie Hansen
Graduate Degree:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Berkeley
Areas of Interest: Housing Issues
Mentor: Karl Case, Wellesley University and Carol Burns, Principal, Taylor Burns Architects
Agency: City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development
Supervisor: Robert Gehret, Deputy Director for Policy and Research Development
Project Description: Lauren worked with the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development on issues relating to bank-owned foreclosures in the city. She developed a database of foreclosed lots throughout the city as well as a list of absentee landlords.

2010_levine.jpgJeremy Levine
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Undergraduate Degree: University of Michigan
Areas of interest: Community and Social Services Issues
Mentor: Paul Scapicchio, Mintz Levin Strategies
Agency: Boston's Circle of Promise Initiative
Supervisors: Judith Kurland, Chief of Programs and Partnerships, Marie St. Fleur, Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment, and Eliza Greenberg, Commissioner for Elderly Affairs
Project Description: Jeremy Levine will be working with the City of Boston's Circle of Promise Initiative. Jeremy spent his summer working in the Office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino on Boston’s new place-based education initiative, the Circle of Promise. The geographic area of the Circle encompasses Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, North Dorchester, and parts of the South End. The City intends to leverage local resources in conjunction with school reforms, and Jeremy created a database of local community-based organizations in these neighborhoods. Specifically, Jeremy analyzed the networks of inter-organizational partnerships, and assessed the distribution of local resources within the Circle. His research pointed to a number of geographic and service gaps to be filled by the City as they move forward with the initiative. He says that he had a tremendously informative summer as a Rappaport Fellow. His placement in Boston City Hall afforded him introductions to a number of department heads and influential policymakers. He shared office space with 7 other Rappaport and Boston Urban Mechanics Fellows, and the camaraderie alone made the experience worthwhile. Throughout the summer, he felt genuinely integrated into the policymaking process—including all the necessary bumps and hiccups along the way. He learned more about government—and the city of Boston—than he ever could have hoped for.

2010_maher.jpgAmanda Maher
Graduate Degree:
Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree: Boston University
Areas of interest: Economic Development
Mentor: Jerome Lyle Rappaport, Chair, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston
Agency: Executive Office of Economic Development and Housing
Supervisor: Stan McGee, Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning
Project Description: Amanda worked on a variety of economic development projects including the proposed Holyoke Innovation District, an advanced manufacturing initiative, improving broadband connectivity in Western Massachusetts, and legislation related to casinos and gambling.

2010_parikh.jpgRavi Parikh
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Medical School
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard College
Areas of interest: Health care finance
Mentor: Renee Landers, Suffolk University Law School
Agency: Massachusetts State Legislature's Joint Committee on Public Health
Supervisors: Amaru Sánchez, Health Policy Research Analyst and Timothy O'Neill, Research Director
Project Description: This summer, Ravi worked as a research analyst for the Joint Committee on Public Health at the Massachusetts State House. His main project was to prepare a report for the Committee on workforce reform in the context of Massachusetts' proposed changes to health payment and delivery systems. His work involved briefing the Committee on existing structures of global payments and integrated delivery systems, comparing Massachusetts' legislation regarding allied health professions with those of other states, and speaking with various professional organizations about possibilities for reform in Massachusetts. In the end, he wrote a comprehensive report that included detailed overviews and state-by-state comparisons of workforce legislation in Massachusetts and legislative recommendations pertaining to future delivery system reform. He presented this report to the committee and will hopefully send the report to the Speaker of the House. He was also involved in research contributing to several bills that were enacted in this legislative session. Ravi says that working for the State House was rewarding because he contributed to legislation that was actually enacted or will be considered in future legislative sessions. It was exciting to be involved in an institution where "the action" happens, to see policy being designed and to observe how evidence competes with politics with regards to health policy. The last two weeks of the legislative session were particularly memorable – news regarding potential legislation was coming in constantly, and it was exciting to drop everything he was doing to respond to a particular concern. He also had the opportunity to sit in on meetings with lobbyists, professional organizations, and governmental institutions. These meetings allowed him to see where reform needs to occur to improve health delivery at the state level. Perhaps the greatest lessons he learned, however, were from speaking to groups of allied health professionals. As a future physician, it was a tremendous experience to be exposed to the practice and policy concerns of these groups. Having an understanding of these issues for both physicians and allied professionals will undoubtedly allow him to practice medicine as part of a team and help him become a better doctor.

2010_taso.jpgEugen Taso
Graduate Degree:
Tufts University
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University
Areas of interest: Environmental Issues
Mentor: Phil Puccia, JP Morgan Securities
Agency: MassPort
Supervisors: Lowell Richards, Chief Development Officer, Andrew Hargens, Senior Planner and Project Manager, and Deborah Hadden, Deputy Port Director
Project Description: As a Rappaport Fellow during the summer of 2010 Eugen worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority because he wanted to gain experience in public policy at a state level and learn about the different operations of an independent agency. He was very fortunate to share his ten weeks there between the Economic Planning and Development Department (EP&D) and the Maritime division. He was therefore exposed to not one but three very different projects which have allowed him to explore different aspects of his fields of interest: environmental policy, alternative energy, and business. Eugen's main assignment involved designing a study offering options and recommendations to Massport about the best approach to a clean truck program at its port facilities. The study included a comprehensive overview of other port programs already in place or under development through phone interviews with program administrators, an in-person fleet characterization survey at the container terminal, a technology overview of available options for truckers and a list of options and recommendations including legal considerations for implementing a clean truck program under different scenarios. His second assignment involved drafting a presentation for senior staff on the feasibility and applicability of investing in the development of a solar power installation at one of Massport’s facilities. Finally, he was tasked with conducting a due diligence study on the direct current transmission infrastructure and its applicability in the context of a proposed project on one of Massport’s recently acquired properties. Overall, he had a great experience and he is very grateful to the Rappaport Institute, the program administrators and his supervisors for making this such a successful and fulfilling summer.

2010_vorse.jpgJennifer (Vorse) Wilka
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: Williams College
Areas of interest: Community and Social Services Issues
Mentor: Larry DiCara, Nixon Peabody, LLP
Agency: Office of the Mayor, City of Boston
Supervisors: Judith Kurland, Chief of Programs and Partnerships, Marie St. Fleur, Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment, and Eliza Greenberg, Commissioner of Elderly Affairs
Project Description: Jennifer worked in the Mayor's Office in the City of Boston on the Circle of Promise initiative. The Circle of Promise is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office and the Boston Public Schools, as well as other City departments and partners, to support educational achievement, family self-sufficiency, and community stability for students and families in some of Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. She began the summer by gathering and presenting descriptive data about the Circle of Promise to identify characteristics, assets, and challenges of these children, families, and neighborhoods; and to understand how the Circle of Promise differs from the City of Boston at large. Working with a team of Rappaport Fellows, she helped develop a theory of change and overarching strategy for the Circle of Promise, and outlined a work plan for the initiative’s first year.

2010_zakaras.jpgMichael Zakaras
Graduate Degree:
Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University
Interest Area: Community development
Mentor: Vivien Li, Executive Director, The Boston Harbor Association
Agency: Office of the Mayor, City of Boston
Supervisors: Judith Kurland, Chief of Programs and Partnerships, Marie St. Fleur, Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment, and Eliza Greenberg, Commissioner of Elderly Affairs
Project Description: Michael spent his summer at the City of Boston working in the Mayor’s Office on two policy initiatives. The first was the Circle of Promise, a neighborhood-based education initiative, for which he helped develop a work plan for the city over the next several years. This involved identifying high-level goals, recommending priority areas for city intervention, and articulating next steps for an operations team – with an emphasis on ensuring quality out-of-school time and family engagement. Michael also worked to shape the Mayor’s fresh food agenda with a focus on farmers’ market viability in Boston, as well as strategies to make healthy local food more accessible to low-income communities.