Watson MPA graduates ready to make an impact in public affairs careers

Many 2023 graduates of the Watson Institute's Master of Public Affairs program have already accepted jobs in government, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits and industry where they can use their public policy expertise in impactful and fulfilling careers.

Before they even pass through the Van Wickle Gates at Commencement, many graduates of Brown University's Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs have already accepted exciting jobs in government, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits and industry.

MPA students in the class of 2023 have spent the past year sharpening the analytical, communication and strategic leadership skills necessary to develop effective, evidence-based solutions to pressing policy challenges. Many of them are already poised to launch impactful careers in public affairs. Below are just a few 2023 MPA graduates who have already accepted new positions.

Jason Barajas

Jason Barajas has accepted a position as a consultant in Deloitte's Government and Public Services division. He will be working on business technology solutions that improve outcomes that impact the public. Barajas said, "Considering the complex issues facing the public sector, I'll develop cutting-edge solutions to help governments and public services stay connected, resilient, and sustainable."

"The MPA program gave me the tools and exposure to propel me into the deep end where I hope to successfully analyze problems and offer novel solutions to our increasingly complex public issues," said Barajas.

“ The program encouraged critical thinking, strategic decision-making, and effective communication, all of which will be useful in my work… Overall, the MPA program has played a crucial role in preparing me for the challenges and responsibilities of my new position… ”

Keming Tan MPA class of 2023

Alyssa Parr

Alyssa Parr has accepted a position as a Health Systems Scientist, Database Manager at the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion in the Department of Veterans Affairs. She will be part of the quantitative team, the Biostatistics and Informatics Core, supporting quantitative analysis for various research projects. Parr will be extracting data from large databases to make datasets, as well as using statistical software to manipulate and analyze the data. 

Coming into the MPA program, Parr said she "didn't know what specific career path I wanted to take." But, she added, after completing the program's summer quantitative courses, "I realized I wanted to pursue a career in data analysis. I then took the data analysis specialization that the MPA program offered, which helped me learn new statistical software and improve my statistical analysis skills."

Keming Tan

Keming Tan will work in the Airport Economic Regulation division's Price Regulation section in the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). He said his job will include "evaluating and regulating airport fees as well as guaranteeing fair pricing practices and supporting healthy competition in the aviation industry."

Tan said Watson's MPA program helped him further his career objectives. "It gave me a thorough grasp of government administration, policy analysis and regulatory frameworks," he said. "The program provided me with the knowledge and abilities I needed to tackle difficult economic and regulatory challenges in the aviation industry." 

Tan added, "The program encouraged critical thinking, strategic decision-making and effective communication, all of which will be useful in my work at CAAS. Overall, the MPA program has played a crucial role in preparing me for the challenges and responsibilities of my new position, and I'm excited to contribute to the development of the aviation industry in Singapore."

Accelerated Professional Development

The Watson Institute provides robust support and opportunities to support MPA students' professional growth, network development and career planning. MPA Associate Director of Professional Development and Alumni Engagement Benjamin Chalot provides individualized career advice to all MPA students, from resume and application material review to interview preparation and offer negotiation. 

Chalot also stewards an impressive annual program of opportunities to meet recent alumni and leading figures in the international and public affairs space in different settings, from coffee chats and mentoring breakfasts to one-on-one office hours and soft-skills workshops.  

Signature guests this year included: 

  • Senior Advisor for Climate Implementation at the U.S. Treasury, Nimita Uberoi, an alumna of the class of 2015

  • United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary A. DiCarlo, an alumna of the class of 1969 and a master's (1971) and Ph.D. (1979)

  • Former Dean of the University of Oregon Law School, Michael Moffitt

  • Former Deputy State Director to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Rele Abiade

  • Chief of Staff to Providence Mayor Brett Smiley, Emily Crowell

Promising Outcomes

According to Chalot, MPA students "continue to find success in a broad range of sectors, including consulting, nonprofit management, domestic and international government and intergovernmental organizations." The spring semester is "typically a busy and dynamic time for MPA students as they finish their coursework and policy in action projects while conducting their job search," Chalot added, but "early indicators look promising as a number of MPA students have already accepted job offers prior to graduation."

Some other examples of positions our 2023 MPA graduates have recently accepted include: 

  • Megha Datta accepted a position at APPRISE, a nonprofit research institute dedicated to collecting and analyzing data and information to assess and improve public programs. 

  • Anza Hayat accepted a position at the Rhode Island Black Business Association, which provides programs and services designed to help small businesses grow, build sustainable wealth and create jobs to impact their communities. 

  • Raffaele Moore accepted a position at Bennett Midland, an organization that works with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and foundations to develop and implement new programs and initiatives, solve operational problems and execute effective management strategies.

  • Daniel Triestman accepted a position at XPO, a leading global provider of transportation and logistics services. 


The Master of Public Affairs class of 2023 Commencement ceremony will take place in Brown University's Meehan Auditorium on Sunday, May 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The master's ceremony will celebrate the academic achievements of MPA graduates, and MPA graduate Hamidou 'Hammi' Sylla will give the student address after having been selected by the Graduate Student Council.