People

Student Profile: Maria Velasquez, Executive MPA '18

January 2, 2017

Maria Velasquez, Executive MPA ‘18, is currently working as a national consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Fels student Meghan Pierce, MPA '18, sat down with Maria to discuss her career and academic experience.

Please describe your role at the Annie E. Casey Foundation:
I am currently working as a national consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As a member of the Child Welfare Strategy Group, I consult for different Child Welfare jurisdictions across the country. We support states as they embark on entire system reforms to better serve children and families in the foster care system using national best practices.

Why did you choose Fels to pursue your Executive MPA?
As a Pennsylvania resident, it was an honor and privilege to apply to our very own Ivy League university. Although I considered several programs, Fels’ ability to integrate working executives into their program while still providing in-person learning experiences made the program the best fit.

How do you seek to use your Fels degree post-graduation?
My goal is for my Fels education to further enhance my skills as a consultant for the benefit of my clients, my colleagues, and myself.    

What is your favorite aspect of the Fels experience?
Although there are many things I appreciate about Fels, my favorite has been the cohort nature of the Executive program. As a full-time working professional, it is great to be able to move throughout the program with classmates who become friends and colleagues.

How has Fels influenced your understanding of public service?
Although I am just starting my journey at Fels, I can already see how the courses and networking experiences we are exposed to positively impact my understanding of public service, and, most importantly, my personal plan to continue working in the field.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu