Previous Associate Consultants

Fels Consulting has been providing the public sector with practical solutions for over 75 years. Many talented graduate students have filled the role of Associate Consultant during this period. Below is a snap-shot of the work selected students performed during their time here. To see biographies of current Associate Consultants, click here.



Alan Sable recieved his MPA from Fels in May of 2014.  As an Associate Consultant he led a strategic visioning process for an adult literacy non-profit. Originally from the Boston area, Alan worked in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for several years leading union organizing campaigns for a healthcare workers union and was the campaign manager for the earned-sick-day legislative campaign in Philadelphia.

Susit Dhakal is a MPA (Public Finance) candidate at Fels. As a member of Fels Consulting, Susit worked with the Wyomissing Foundation to identify best practices across the United States in urban entrepreneurial development and targeted application of those best practices to the current circumstances of the City of Reading, PA. Susit has experience working in both corporate finance and public finance in the U.S. and Nepal, his home country. He has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a certificate in international business.

Tess Mullen received her Masters in Public Administration from Fels in May 2013. She worked in the past on exploring how elected officials and civic entrepreneurs can work together to build healthy urban communities.Tess completed a recent study of economic impact in West Philadelphia and has examined best practices for Cabinet Secretaries. Prior to attending Fels, Tess worked in Congress for nearly six years,most recently serving as a communications director for U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04). In this position, she consistently secured print, radio and television coverage highlighting the local impact of Congressman Altmire’s legislative initiatives. Tess graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in English.

Samuel Williford received his Masters in Public Administration from Fels in May 2013.  During his time at Fels Consulting he worked with the Wyomissing Foundation to encourage entrepreneurial development in the town of Reading, PA.  Sam worked on identifying and examining replicable employer-driven talent development strategies aimed at lower skilled workers and creating job-centered economic development strategies in concert with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.His background includes research on international trade and employment, homelessness, and labor issues. Sam graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in Communications.

Lauren Hansen-Flaschen received her Masters in Public Administration from Fels in May 2012. During her year as an Associate Consultant, Lauren completed work on four projects. She prepared policy briefs and collected client testimonials for Graduate! Philadelphia. She was on a team hired to lead the strategic planning process for LEARN Philly, a coalition of six PDE funded adult literacy agencies. Lauren is the co-author and co-researcher of "The Rise of Social Government", Fels' social media in local government promising practices report. She is also a contributing author and editor of "Building Common Ground: Public Engagement Promising Practices Report", and was the report's distribution manager. Outside of her projects, Lauren contributed to the general communications for Fels Consulting through writing press releases, photographing people and events, and helping to redesign the website. Lauren also managed several interns during this time and established the "Associate Consultant Handbook" a guide on best practices and lessons learned to aid current and future ACs.

Hadi KhanHadi Khan was an Associate Consultant at Fels Consulting from 2011-2012. During his time with the team he worked on the Keystone Project evaluating Pennsylvania's Keystone Principles for Growth, Investment, and Resource Conservation and providing recommendations to state agencies and the Governor's Office in how to appropriately take these Principles forward. He graduated from Fels in 2012 with a Master of Public Administration and a Certificate in Economic Development and Growth.

Kimberly Leichtner led research on the role of State Chief Administrators and developed case studies for the National Association of State Chief Administrators’ (NASCA) annual Institute on Leadership and Management. Prior to attending Fels, Kim was actively involved with various Philadelphia non-profits including Students Run Philly Style and most recently interned at the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition. Prior to that, Kim worked in health care research and consulting where she helped launch a new membership program for hospital physician leaders and wrote reports on medical workforce issues. Kim graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in Biological Anthropology.

Rob Morgan supplemented his study as a full-time MPA student at Fels program by serving as an Associate Consultant for Fels Consulting. What made the opportunity especially enjoyable for him was the quality of Fels administration and his colleagues professionalism, as well as the peer interaction and deliberation that creates and refines great ideas, approaches, strategies, tactics, and relationships.  The ability to interact with high-level practitioners and peers encourages and enables thorough reflection and preparation, and connects the learning experiences of a professional program student with the responsibilities of professional leader. 

Cursory tasks for Fels Consulting Associate Consultants are major organizational innovations, primarily because of the nature of Fels Consulting as a learning organization that is constantly evaluating its own progress, relevance, impact, and strategic deployment of assets.  Imagine a professional organization made up of Ivy League trained learning practitioners of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, varied interests, demonstrated talents, specialized skill sets, and undefined career trajectories, who each have a thorough understanding of the practical applications of an education grounded in Quantitative Analysis, Management, Finance, and Politics (with a capital P). That could be the profile of the blue-ribbon government entities, consulting firms, foundations, agencies, authorities, boards, commissions, departments, or cabinets.  That is Fels Consulting.

Katherine Parker received her Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government in May 2012 and served as an Associate Consultant with the Institute's Consulting arm during her tenure at the school. As a member of the Fels Consulting team, Katherine helped design an initiative to tackle neighborhood revitalization in three Pennsylvania townships and served as a co-author of "The Rise of Social Government," a Promising Practices report about social media usage in local government.

Joe Semsar was a Masters of Public Administration candidate at the Fels Institute of Government. As a member of the Fels Consulting Firm, he served as the lead editor of The Annual Report of U.S. States project, funded by the American Education Foundation. Joe drew upon his past professional experience as a teacher to inspire civic engagement by producing annual reports that provided reliable, clear, and non-partisan analysis of the state budget, public policy, and the overall fiscal health of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Also, he worked on a best practices study, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, of employer driven talent development strategies.

Prior to attending Fels, Joe served as a Teach for America corps member in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a teacher, he led his students to over 2.5 years growth in reading, a 28% increase in math, and was named Teacher of the Year in only his second year of teaching. Joe graduated from Clemson University with a B.A. in Political Science.

 Christina Tierno  both led and contributed to multiple projects during her time as an Associate Consultant at Fels Consulting. Christina developed the project scope of work and methodology, performed research, and authored the report, “Sustainable Strategies for Small Communities.” Targeted to start-up or struggling grassroots community organizations, this publication is a user-friendly guide that will help with the business of running an environmental nonprofit. Christina co-authored and edited the report, “Building Common Ground: Promising Practices in Public Engagement”, which is an excellent resource for public administrators who want to engage citizens in productive dialogue. Christina evaluated and proposed improvements to an innovative piece of Pennsylvania public policy – the Keystone Principles and Criteria for Growth, Investment, and Resource Conservation.  In partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Christina was part of a team that researched job-centered workforce development strategies, with the goal of developing a transferable model that could be used to encourage additional hiring and retention of low-skill adults. During her time at Fels Consulting, she was also able to assist with business development, writing a proposal to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and maintained Fels Consulting’s website.  Working as an Associate Consultant allowed Christina to interface with clients, develop relationships with prominent experts, and gain extensive project management experience.