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Student Renato Barreda Follows Passion for Public Policy

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Renato Barreda

Renato Barreda, a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, came to the School of Public Policy with a passion for public policy and a desire to gain applicable knowledge to pursue a career with the federal government.

After double majoring in history and political science, Barreda taught English in Hangzhou, China. “I was in China for one academic year teaching in an international school in Hangzhou,” he says. “By going to China I was seeking to experience a culture that sharply contrasted not only my own, but also any I had experienced previously. It was a place that was not only geographically distant, but also historically and culturally.”

Specializing in international development at the School, Barreda says he found public policy appealing as a practical field that could pair well with his background studying political science. “I wanted to learn less theory and more applications,” he says. “I chose UMD because of its proximity to D.C. I was looking for an experience as wonderful as I had in Florida, and I believe I’ve found it. UMD in my mind stood out from the start as the only major, research-oriented public university in the DC-metro area.”

I believe that we need professionals able to make informed recommendations and decisions in our federal government, as well as NGOs and local governments.
Renato Barreda SPP Student

Barreda is not only a new student, he is also a Robertson Fellow. He was selected, along with three other new students, to receive the fellowship, which is offered by the School of Public Policy in partnership with the Robertson Foundation for Government. Barreda says he’s looking forward to beginning his graduate career as a Robertson Fellow.

Barreda is currently interning with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and says he hopes to work in the federal government following graduation, preferably with the State Department. “I believe that we need professionals able to make informed recommendations and decisions in our federal government, as well as NGOs and local governments,” he says. “Without the study of public policy we would find more difficulties strengthening our civil society and leadership, and we would find less solutions.”


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