Sarah Lovenheim '10Sarah Lovenheim ’10

Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services

“I worked as a journalist and wanted to enter public policy. My master’s degree in government gave me to the tools and background I sought to start working for the U.S. Senate Majority Leader after graduation.

At Hopkins, I learned from current and former senior Administration officials who lent their expertise to offer practical exercises and thought-provoking reading material that have served me in the decade since. One professor assigned policy-focused speeches to be written in the U.S. President’s voice, challenging us to address the history of a policy, lessons of past presidents and opposing viewpoints. Another professor introduced six to eight books on the work and life of Abraham Lincoln, which I still turn to today, and asked us to dissect and analyze the Federalist Papers. Yet another explained the anatomy of the federal budget-making process.

Beyond the richness of the curriculum, it was invigorating to get to know classmates who shared similar professional interests – many of us have worked together since, and have become friends with each other’s families.”

Our Community of Learners

  • Tom Manatos '10

    Vice President of Government Relations, Spotify “When looking for a program that would challenge me academically while recognizing that I was a working student, I found the Johns Hopkins University government master’s program to be that perfect fit. During my time in the program my boss became Speaker of the House and my professional world was extremely busy. The JHU program was always understanding of my crazy work schedule and worked with me to keep me on track to graduate on time. I learned so much in the program while sitting next to future national TV political pundits, pollsters and state legislators. My fellow students went on to do amazing things and I have Hopkins to thank for those connections and friendships.”
  • Brooke Yeager McSwain '20

    Policy Analyst, Health IT and Public Health Infrastructure, American Heart Association “The autonomy students are given to design their focus of study is one of the most unique aspects of this program and is key to the success of those with a clear understanding of the direction they wish their careers to take. Courses from all of the AAP programs are open for cross-study and allow students access to an enormous range of topics. The faculty is second to none, and the adjuncts are leading experts in their field who bring real-world experience and dynamic teaching styles to the classroom, both online and on campus. As a mid-career professional, I knew what I wanted to accomplish and within two months of graduation was offered a position with one of the leading healthcare non-profits in the world. I am thrilled to say that I am fully prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead. I chose this path over several PhD programs, knowing that the courses would be more rigorous than most and that the connections I would make would position me for success. I could not have made a better decision.”
  • LTC Jeffrey Sacks '19

    Training With Industry Fellow (3M) “Studying at Johns Hopkins University (Advance Academic Programs) has really been the pinnacle of my academic career thus far. The overall Program is extremely well run and is very much tailored to working professionals. The faculty and staff are tremendous, and they really do go out of the way to have that one-on-one interaction with the students. Graduating with a Masters in Government from Johns Hopkins has furthered my understanding from the strategic perspective of how our constitutional framework functions. Specifically, this degree will allow me to adequately align Congressional priorities to that of the Department of Defense (DoD). I highly recommend the Advance Academic Programs at JHU for those working professionals who are seeking to be lifelong learners.”
  • Mike Chapman '18

    Partner, DC Strategies Group, LLC “The Masters in Government program at Johns Hopkins University exceeded my hopes and expectations for an academically challenging and professionally enhancing course of study. The professors are excellent and without peers in their knowledge of how governments at all levels actually work. My experiences as a senior staff member on Capitol Hill and my decades of career experience in government relations were useful in my academic pursuits. The coursework contributed to my effectiveness as a lobbyist at the federal level and have directly contributed to the success of the government relations firm I founded earlier in my career.” I highly recommend the Advanced Academic Programs based in Washington, D.C. to professionals who want to pursue a course of study that will sharpen their political skills and enhance their intellectual abilities relevant to their already successful careers in government and government relations.  
  • Romeo Domdii Cliff '11

    Doctoral Candidate “The MA in Government program nurtured the spirit of curiosity in me and inspired me to pursue an academic path in order to deepen my understanding of politics. I went on to obtain a doctoral degree in philosophy, with a dissertation on Plato’s Statesman.”
  • Chris Sadler '11

    Fellow, New America “I’d worked for a number of years in IT, for consulting firms, and the government, but these jobs became increasingly unsatisfying. I’d always had an interest in politics, political philosophy, and public policy, and decided I would attend the Governmental Studies program purely to pursue those intellectual interests further – but I also hoped it might help with a career change. Through the program, I was able to deepen my thinking about politics and policy, and greatly improve my research and writing skills. It was every bit the intellectually satisfying experience I’d wanted, and it could have simply stayed at that. However, I kept looking for potential opportunities to shift my career path and eventually found one – I landed a tech policy fellowship at a think tank that bridged my IT experience and my studies at Hopkins. Three years later I’m still a fellow at New America and have had a chance to research and write about a number of interesting topics. I wouldn’t be here without my Governmental Studies MA as a policy calling-card, and I wouldn’t have lasted long without the knowledge and skills I acquired at Hopkins.”
  • Hannah B '19

    Special Investigator “I am currently a federal background investigator, a position I believe Johns Hopkins certainly helped facilitate due to the targeted classes I took in the intelligence/government field during my Master’s degree program, which significantly contributed to my CV. Additionally, in order to obtain my position, I was required to undergo an extensive background investigation for a security clearance. Because my professors at JHU were well-versed and familiar with the clearance process, they were able to efficiently respond to inquiries concerning my educational references rather than delay the process due to intimidation or confusion at the requested information. I believe it also lent substance to my application to have a professor with 30 years’ experience with the CIA and another with expertise on the Department of Homeland Security testify to my merit and suitability for employment. One of the things I most appreciate about JHU’s government program in D.C. is that the faculty and staff are not simply career academics who teach lofty ideas from ivory towers. Instead, they’ve got boots on the ground, working in the very field in which they teach. On more than one occasion I experienced a professor who would teach my class one semester, only to catch a flight the day after class concluded to work in the Middle East the following semester. I found this refreshing because it testified to JHU’s ability to offer so much more than just theoretical knowledge.”
  • Ivy Bostock '18

    Policy Analyst at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention “My MA in Government with a concentration in Security Studies undoubtedly was one of the deciding factors for being selected for my current position in DHS’s Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. Before receiving my MA from JHU, I was working as a Human Resources Assistant for the Department of the Navy, so this degree was instrumental in shifting my career path to where I wanted to be in the federal government— homeland security!”

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