Alumni from the Public Affairs program at the University of Florida have obtained jobs in a variety of public, private and non-profit organizations including the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Presidential Management Internship Program finalists, the Institute of Child Health Policy, Budget Analysts in a variety of city/county governments, City Managers and Assistant City Managers in various locations, U.S. Sprint, Hewitt & Associates in Chicago, the Department of Health & Human Services, director of public radio stations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Policy Analyst, and South Carolina Primary Care Association.
Public Affairs alumni include:
The Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability
Claire Mazur serves as staff director for the Criminal Justice policy area. Since 1999, she has conducted and led numerous teams in reviewing a variety of programs throughout state government, including health and human services and environmental programs. She also has assisted with OPPAGA products including the Florida Monitor Weekly and Government Program Summaries.
Boca Raton Police Department
Dan Alexander has served as Boca Raton’s Police Chief since 2006. In 2003, he was named the Southwest Florida Police Chief of the Year by the Southwest Florida Crime Prevention and Community Policing Association. He became a Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Assessor in 2002 and has been a Team Leader since 2004. Chief Alexander’s professional affiliations include the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, and the FBI National Academy Associates.
President and CEO
Florida Association of Health Plans
Dr. Michael Garner currently serves as President and CEO of the Florida Association of Health Plans, the state trade association for HMOs and PPOs in Florida. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate from the University of Florida in Political Science with specialties in health and environmental policy. Michael has worked for both the private and public sectors. He started his career as a Health Planner with the North Central Florida Health Planning Council conducting community needs assessments and implementing Florida’s Healthy Start program. After the Health Council, Michael worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida as a Senior Policy Analyst, focusing on state and federal health policies including mandates, civil remedy, and the implementation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Later, Michael worked with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville establishing a Medicare outpatient reimbursement system before moving to Tallahassee in 2000, to work for the Florida Legislature.
Jennifer Cohen graduated from the Public Affairs program in May 2010 as a joint-degree candidate, earning a masters in political science and a juris doctorate. She currently works at Rojas & Stanham, LLP, a Miami law firm with a concentration on real estate and corporate work. She is actively involved with the Junior League of Miami, which allows her to use the skills and knowledge she acquired in the Public Affairs program in her work with the various community projects and other non-profits with which JLM partners. Although her work at Rojas & Stanham is not directly related to public affairs, her master’s degree was an attractive point to the firm because of her understanding of collateral issues that play into business organizations each day. Jennifer ultimately hopes to serve her community through her work in non-profit organizations. Her understanding of associations and boards of directors has allowed her to be a more effective leader by understanding the goals, responsibilities, and requirements of organizations and their board members.
Financial Management Analyst
City & County of Denver, Colorado
Laura Kane currently serves as a Financial Management Analyst in the City and County of Denver, Colorado’s Budget and Management Office. Laura received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida in Political Science with a focus in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning and a concentration on local government.She started her career as a Staff Assistant in the Alachua County, Florida Manager’s Office working on a Countywide Visioning and Planning Process. Upon completion of her master’s degree in 2009, Laura relocated to Colorado to work for the City and County of Denver. Since 2009, Laura has completed various projects including the creation of the City’s first “Citizens’ Budget,” restructuring of the City’s Six-year Capital Improvement Plan, analysis of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding investments in the Denver community, and citywide grants management improvements. She currently serves as analyst to the Denver Office of Economic Development, Department of Environmental Health, Community Planning and Development, and the Board of Adjustment-Zoning.
Director of Economic Development
City of Orlando
Brooke R. Bonnett is Director of the City of Orlando’s Economic Development Department. As Director, Brooke is responsible for coordinating an annual budget of more than $34 million and managing nearly 200 employees encompassing six City divisions. Brooke is currently managing the Creative Village project, which includes the redevelopment of a 68-acre tract of land in Downtown Orlando into a place where high-tech companies locate, and she was instrumental in launching Orlando’s Main Street program, which offers business revitalization support to five of Orlando’s neighborhoods. Prior to being named Director, Brooke served as the City’s Business Development Division Manager from 2004 to 2006. She began her career with the City of Orlando in 1998.
Quality and Statistical Analyst
Huntington-Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc.
“I would say that two things helped to get my foot in the door at Ingalls. The first was earning a public affairs certification at UF. This came with the graduate degree which is the minimum education level requirement to qualify for my job. The second was the year that I spent working at the Florida Survey Research Center. This gave me practical experience that transferred into statistical process control management, a key component of my job description. My supervisor specifically cited these as highlights in my resume that led her to place my qualifications among the top three candidates. During the interview, my experience in preparing survey documents, completing field work and analyzing data were explored at length. I was able to comfortably relate how my academic background and work experience would be useful in heavy industry. No investment that I have made has paid the dividends earned as a result of my studies in the Public Affairs program at UF. Go Gators.”