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Policy Careers: Alumni Changing the World

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School of Public Policy alumni graduate with the skills and experience to change the world. Come hear from a panel of alumni that are making an immediate impact on important policy issues. Learn how you can also derive more meaning from your career. Light refreshments provided. 

This event is being presented as part of the University of Maryland Alumni Association’s third annual Career Week: an entire week dedicated to advancing careers, elevating skills and connecting Terps. Career Week features over 25 virtual and in-person events across the country.

Learn more and register for more events here.  

About the Speakers
headshot of Michelle Garcia

Michelle García BA '16, Chief of Staff to Prince George’s County Council Chair Tom Dernoga
Michelle García is a committed and accomplished public servant with a diverse background and a solid commitment to serving her community. As the daughter of a Peruvian immigrant father and a mother from Puerto Rico, she deeply understands the challenges and opportunities that immigrant communities face. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Women's Studies. 

Ms. García began her public service career as Chief of Staff to State Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk. Then she worked on Attorney General Anthony Brown's campaign for Governor, as a Field Director on Congressman Ben Cardin's re-election campaign, and as a Community Liaison for State Senator Jim Rosapepe. Ms. García was elected to the Prince George's County Democratic Central Committee in 2018 and re-elected in 2022. She currently serves as Chief of Staff to Prince George's County Council Chair Tom Dernoga. In addition to her professional roles, Ms. García is dedicated to mentorship and leadership development, having served as a National Council Delegate for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital and as the first Executive Director of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus. She currently resides in Beltsville with her daughter.

headshot of Amber Ivey

Amber Ivey MPS-PA '14, Vice President, Impact Advisory, Social Finance
Amber Ivey “AI” is a prominent thinker, voice, and leader of cultural change, an expert in data utilization and management, while also being an equitable leader -- an attribute that leads to an improvement in her clients' systems and lives. With over ten years of experience leading dynamic teams that transformed systems across private, public, and non-profit sectors, she has dedicated her life to helping make people and processes work better to improve outcomes for individuals, communities, and companies.

Amber is currently a Vice President at a non-profit and leads a team that helps governments drive impact. Previously, she served as the Senior Director for the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University. At GovEx, Amber led a team that helped government leaders and their staff use data to make decisions. She has her MPS-PA and J.D. and is excited to serve at the intersection of data, technology, public policy, and law.

headshot of Eddie Martin

Eddie Martin MPP '14, Deputy Executive Director for Racial Equity, Center for Law and Social Policy

Eddie Martin, Jr. serves as the Deputy Executive Director for Racial Equity at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions to improve the lives of people with low incomes. In this role, he leads the organization's racial equity strategy both internally and externally, expanding CLASP's capacity to effectively center racial equity in every aspect of its work.

Eddie possesses knowledge, experience, and leadership in racial equity and policy in the nonprofit, federal government, health care, education, and theological sectors. He has extensive experience guiding transformational change to address institutional and structural inequities; creating strategic partnerships; designing and facilitating equity trainings; and helping to build strong organizational culture.

Eddie is also a chaplain (Major) in the U.S. Army Reserve and a Ph.D. candidate in Eastern University's Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Over the course of his career, he has served as the Senior Director of Equity and Engagement at Health Care for the Homeless (Baltimore, MD), Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Center for Faith-Based ad Neighborhood Partnerships, Special Assistant in the U.S. Department of Education's Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership Center, and Director of the University of Maryland Positive Schools Center, a nonprofit focused on addressing educational inequities. He has also worked as a grassroots organizer, policy consultant, and community-based activist.

Eddie is a 2014 graduate of University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He also holds Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and an International Business Double Degree from Mississippi State University.

headshot of Daniel Wolf

Daniel Wolf MPP '16, Policy Manager, American Council on Renewable Energy
Daniel Wolf is Policy Manager at the American Council on Renewable Energy. In his role, Daniel advocates before Congress and the Executive Branch on policies to accelerate the renewable energy transition, including on issues relating to clean energy tax, federal appropriations, transmission and grid-related technologies, domestic manufacturing, and trade. Prior to his current role, Daniel worked as Program Associate at the American Wind Energy Association (now American Clean Power) and as Associate at a lobbying firm.

Daniel graduated from the School of Public Policy in 2016 with a Master of Public Policy, with a specialization in Energy and Environmental Policy. He also graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics.

headshot of Leslie Zarker

Leslie Zarker MPP '98, Director of Sustainability Policy, National Housing Trust
Leslie Zarker is the Director of Sustainability Policy at the National Housing Trust where she works to advance clean energy and carbon reduction policies that allow all Americans to equitably benefit from healthy, resilient and sustainable homes.

Leslie graduated from the University of Maryland in 1998 with a Master of Public Policy degree.


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