Clifford Chen graduated from CIPA in May of 2017 with a concentration in Social Policy, with a specific eye towards health policy. He currently works for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget as an Analyst on the Health Task Force. (more…)
Danielle Mearis is a second year CIPA fellow focusing on Public and Nonprofit Management. Here, she shares her experiences in the nonprofit sector, her interest in women’s reproductive rights and family policy, and how she manages a busy schedule of coursework, serving as president of the graduate organization Women in Public Policy, and her work outside of CIPA.
It’s hard to believe that I am already a second year CIPA fellow! The first year is now a distant memory, and summer just flew by! With only 1.5 semesters until the end of my MPA program, I am so thankful to have been afforded the opportunity to learn and grow in this community.
My concentration is Public and Nonprofit Management. Previously, I worked as a program administrator and advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care with a nonprofit in Savannah, Georgia. The experience of working at all levels of the organization – with the children and families that are served, our volunteers, and executive board – cultivated an interest in strengthening the impact of social organizations through evidence-based programming, resource development, evaluation, and stakeholder engagement. I am taking courses to develop skills in all of these areas; I’m also completing a certificate in Environmental Finance and Impact Investing so that I can manage and regulate innovative finance tools for nonprofit programming.
Family policy, especially as it relates to women’s sexual and reproductive health, is a great interest of mine. My first foray into the nonprofit sector was working with a statewide campaign for adolescent pregnancy prevention in North Carolina. This past summer I interned with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York City, where I worked with the innovation team to promote innovation in sexual and reproductive health service delivery and programming across the organization. I was also exposed to the greater innovation movement within the UN system. (And at the end of the summer, after this great practical experience, I got married!)
In addition to completing degree requirements, I also serve as president of Women in Public Policy, a CIPA-based graduate student organization, and as a board member of the Cornell-affiliated nonprofit incubator, the Center for Transformative Action. My numerous pursuits can seem overwhelming at times, but at the end of it all I believe my interests, activities, and coursework will work together to shape a career in nonprofit management beyond what I have imagined.