Griffin Lerner

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

Focus: Public Leadership, International Development, and Public Finance and Budgeting

Pronouns: He/His/Him

Bio: I originally hail from the greater DC metro area — Silver Spring, MD — and I attended undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in History and minoring in Education. I moved to Seattle sight unseen almost five years ago for an AmeriCorps position in an 8th-grade math classroom. After promptly discovering my future would not be as a teacher, I began to look for other forms of public service that connected with my passions. After bouncing in youth development, global health, and even HR, I began to sense that a graduate degree would better prepare me to both make an impact in peoples’ lives and equip me with the technical skills that writing an 80-page thesis on 19th century Louisiana history apparently didn’t.

Internship: N/A

Why did you choose Evans? Given how I’d fallen absolutely in love with Seattle in the last 5 years, I was committed to staying in the area. Compared to other degree programs, Evans stood out as a professional program designed specifically with the job skills I needed to become a more effective altruist. It quickly became clear to me that an MPA is a fantastic degree to get for not simply government work, but non-profit and private sector employment as well, as the program (Evans in particular) takes many business school and management frameworks and reinterprets them through an equity lens.

Once I applied and was accepted, the Evans admissions staff was great, making me feel both wanted and welcomed throughout the entire process. After Admitted Students Day, I was sold on not only the curriculum and professors, but my prospective cohort as well. I am inspired every day by the rest of my cohort.

Ask me about: Literally anything! My job is to be a resource for you. If I don’t know or can’t speak confidently on your question, I’ll try to direct you to somebody who does. That being said, I can offer more personal insights on – moving cross-country, transitioning from the workforce back to school, outdoor adventures of all kinds in the area, how the core curriculum will fit into my life, ballin’ on a budget, defrosting the “Seattle freeze”, and comparing Evans to both other MPA programs as well as different degree programs altogether.