MPA graduate selected to the 2015 Presidential Management Fellowship

m_polandCongratulations to recent MPA alumnus Matthew Poland for being named a 2015 finalist for the Presidential Management Fellowship! The PMF is the federal government’s premier post-graduate fellowship in public service. Established by President Jimmy Carter, the two-year program grooms its fellows for leadership positions in federal programs and agencies. Being named a finalist allows Matthew an unparalleled opportunity to work on varied projects and programs while gaining first-class professional development and setting up permanent employment in federal service. We asked Matthew about his career plans:

Why did you apply to the PMF?

            “I’ve spent my entire career so far in the non-profit world and I’ve always had a strong interest in government and public policy.  After reading up about the opportunity and talking to friends who work for federal departments, I decided it was a great way to break into government without having to start at the bottom.  Most everyone I’ve asked speaks highly of the PMF program and agree that it is a fast-track to upper management in most agencies.”  

Which agencies or programs are you interested in?

            “There is a lot of variety in the [PMF] – most federal agencies participate and offer positions both in D.C. and in regional offices.  I’m very interested in working for departments that align with my 12 years in workforce development such as the Department of Labor or Health and Human Services.  On the other hand, the PMF experience allows you to access management positions in agencies you wouldn’t normally be qualified for so, I may also explore working for NASA or the Department of State.  Either way, I’m excited about the many possibilities the program offers.”   

What kind of assignments/postings do you hope to do?

            “I hope to land a position that includes project management, policy analysis/development and leadership of a team.  I enjoy positions that allow me to collaborate with other agencies, contractors, constituents, etc. and offer variety in the assignments as well as interesting challenges.  I would like to further develop my leadership skills and learn about how work is conducted in a government agency compared to a non-profit.  The PMF program has one required rotation in a different agency and I look forward to the exposure I will get from working at a second agency.”  

What are your career aspirations?

            “The MPA program was instrumental for me in choosing a career path.  When I entered the program, I knew I was interested in government and public policy and through the course of my studies, I was able to identify a specific goal within workforce development.  I hope to someday lead a non-profit or government agency that is directly related to workforce development, primarily serving people with barriers to employment and education.”    

Anything else you want to share about your PMF future?

            “Wherever I end up through the PMF experience or otherwise, I intend it to be at a place that values public service and quality work above all else.  You may read about me someday on Politico, but most likely I will remain behind the scenes working hard to effect change for the good of the country, or at least the Bay Area community.”

Matthew is the latest in a long and proud record of PMFs coming from SF State’s MPA program. At least 10 of our alumni have been named to the fellowship in the last 12 years. If you are interested in connecting with Matt, email him your favorite Poltico blog at (his is the Morning Shift).


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