Dana Levin, MPA '16

October 7, 2014

Tells us a bit about your hometown.

I grew up in Harvard, Massachusetts (not the university). It's an hour outside Boston, rural, pretty, and very small - population 6,000. I went to public school, and everyone knew everyone else. Harvard has some interesting history: Louisa May Alcott lived there for a while with her family on an estate called Fruitlands, and a colony of Shakers, a religious group, settled on the other side of town. We're also a popular apple picking destination in the fall.

What were you doing prior to joining Fels?

After undergrad, I lived in eastern France for a year and taught English in two middle schools. When I came back to the U.S., I started working at an early literacy nonprofit in Boston, where I focused on government relations and grant writing; I left in June after three and a half years. I learned a lot but was ready for a big change.

What attracted you to the Fels degree program?

I like that Fels is practical, hands-on, and vocal about what its students do for Philadelphia. In college, I studied art history and French, and had zero political experience before I landed my nonprofit job. I loved the lobbying and policy work I did there, so I was looking for a program where I could learn more about the political process, and Fels fit the bill.

Tell us about your current job or internship.

I am working for Fels Consulting, so you'll see me around the mansion a lot with cups of tea. For the next few months, I will mostly be working on social innovation and research about the sharing economy, specifically transportation.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love reading, yoga, being outside, skiing, speaking French, exploring new places and anything cultural - museums, theater, movies, music. In Philly, I am living alone for the first time, so since I have a freezer to myself I am building up my ice cream collection.

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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