Jonathan Macomber, a 2018 graduate of Brown's Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program, initially envisioned pursuing a career in nursing. However, during his first semester at Rhode Island College's nursing school, he developed a deep interest in healthcare policy and shifted his major to healthcare administration. "Of all the policy levers you can pull," said Macomber, "I feel that improving healthcare has the most positive downstream impact."
Just as his undergraduate studies shifted his career focus, so too did Macomber's MPA studies. "I entered the MPA program interested in a position with a local or state government. However, my Policy-in-Action Project showed me that I was better suited to a role with the federal government," said Macomber, who now serves as a policy analyst with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.
For his MPA Policy-in-Action Project Macomber served as a project analyst in the office of then-Governor Gina Raimondo. While working with the governor’s office, he single-handedly created an online interactive map for the Rhode Island Summer Food Service Program that identified correlations between health indicators and food security status.
Through his Policy-in-Action experience, Macomber discovered that he enjoyed being a tiny cog in a big wheel. "Not many people like that kind of work, but it appeals to me. At the CDC, I'm able to separate the forest from the trees and fulfill my niche responsibilities to a much larger entity," he explained.