Alex Johnson
Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson is taking his master of public policy degree to Washington, D.C., as a Fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus.

Alex Johnson is spending the next nine months in the nation’s capital as one of seven Congressional Fellows for the Congressional Black Caucus. He sees it as an opportunity to get more experience in his areas of interest. And it may even be training for possible future political involvement.

“I expect to look at environmental and governmental reform issues,” says Alex, who will be working with the office of Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida. “This should synthesize my interest in public policy and my interest in the environment.”

Alex, who received his bachelor’s degree in natural resources from OSU in 2004 and his master’s this past June, started his college career looking for ways to involve people of color in environmental issues. “Later I became interested in access issues and got involved in student government,” he says.

That led to a strong interest in politics, “and I became really excited about opportunities in graduate school.” He looked around at other schools but decided to stay at OSU because he wanted to see some of the issues he had been involved in through to completion.

“I looked at the master of public policy program, and I’m glad I did it,” he says. The program opened doors to a number of opportunities, including a trip to Bulgaria for a research project on environmental science and getting his first journal article published, with Brent Steel, director of the MPP program.

Because of his activism and his involvement with MPP and OSU’s Community and Diversity Office, Alex was asked by Corvallis City Council members to review the city charter with an eye toward diversity and inclusion, a process that involved numerous meetings and public discussions and resulted in a measure that will be on the November ballot.

As he thinks about his future, Alex acknowledges that there may be opportunities for him in the capital, “but I’m hoping to make it back out to the Northwest.” And then? “I might even run for office eventually.”

Congressional Black Caucus Web site

Master of Public Policy program Web site

Office of Community and Diversity

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