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The State Policy Fellowship Program supports a diverse generation of future leaders in shaping state policies and fiscal choices that affect disadvantaged families and communities.

Fellowship Sponsors:

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The State Priorities Partnership

The 2012-2014 State Policy Fellows:

David Gray
Louisiana Budget Project

David Gray received his Master of Public Policy degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley. While pursuing his postgraduate degree, David was an Analyst for the Richmond City Council, Graduate Minority Students Project Coordinator for UC Berkeleyís Graduate Assembly, and Outreach Manager for the Downtown Berkeley Association. Before that, he held a PolitiCorps Fellowship with the Oregon Bus Project and worked for multiple community-based and non-profit organizations in his hometown of New Orleans. Gray completed undergraduate studies at Tulane University with degrees in Sociology, Social Policy and Practice, and Urban Studies. His research interests focus on the intersection of social entrepreneurship and public policy, and his policy interests include employment and training, economic development, and urban policy.

Chris Gustafson
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

Chris Gustafson is a graduate of Harvardís Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a Master in Public Policy degree. Gustafson has worked for the Arizona State Legislature, City of Houston and State of Montana in various roles. He graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History. His policy interests include health care policy, child welfare policy and human services. He is originally from Fort Worth, Texas and is a diehard, yet heartbroken, Dallas Cowboys fan.

Laura R. John
Montana Budget and Policy Center

Laura R. John completed her Masterís degree in psychology at the University of Montana. Johnís academic research interests included community-based participatory research in Indian Country and stereotype internalization among Native Americans. John, who is of Seneca/Blackfeet heritage, earned undergraduate degrees from Haskell Indian Nations University (American Indian Studies) and Portland State University (Psychology/Social Science). Her passion is utilizing research methodologies to drive positive change for Native American people. John previously interned at the Oregon Social Learning Center, where she conducted research on best-practices in behavioral health for Native American families. John is a former Native American Research Center on Health (NARCH/NIH) Early Career Scientist, a role in which she worked closely with the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health to assist local tribal communities in conducting community-driven research activities. She also provided training in how to establish responsible relationships with future outside researchers. Some of her additional areas of experience include child abuse prevention efforts in Indian Country, adolescent-focused program development and evaluation and clinical therapy.

Yannet Lathrop
Michigan League for Human Services

Yannet Lathrop holds an M.Phil in Political Science from the New School for Social Research and obtained an M.I. in Information Studies from the University of Toronto, where she completed a research project in communications privacy policy for IXmaps, a tool that allows users to study data use patterns across North America. Lathropís diverse professional background include internships in the office of former U.S. Representative Martin O. Sabo (D-MN) and a stint with the communications team for a multinational labor union. She also was a project manager with the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping, where she led the production effort for a campaign strategy tool for a hotly contested gubernatorial race. She also held social service positions, working with battered women and people with disabilities. Lathropís research interests include education, fiscal and tax policy, and investigating the feasibility of a guaranteed minimum income program as part of a strong social safety net.

Wes Rivers
DC Fiscal Policy Institute

Wes Rivers earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Rivers formerly interned at the Urban Instituteís Income and Benefits Policy Center, where he tracked changes to statesí cash welfare policies. Before that, he was a policy analyst for the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service. There, Rivers worked on fair housing and community development for low-income communities. Rivers graduated from Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. His research interests include housing policy, cash safety-net programs, and asset building for low-income families.

Amber Wallin
New Mexico Voices for Children Fiscal Policy Project

Amber Wallin was awarded a Master of Public Administration degree in 2012 from New Mexico State University. While completing her graduate degree, Wallin was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Government and a Budget Analyst Intern with the City of Las Cruces, NM. She also previously worked as a clerk for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at Government Canyon State Natural Area and as a program coordinator for the U.S. Army in Kaiserslautern, Germany, organizing cultural and recreation opportunities for Americans living in Europe. Wallin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Her policy interests include budgetary and fiscal policies and their impacts on social equity, education, and the environment.