Blog Staff

The staff of Brief Policy Perspectives consists of an Executive Editor, four Deputy Editors, and ten Staff Writers.vernon org chart

For the 2017 – 2018 academic year, the staff of Brief Policy Perspectives is:

Executive Editor

LinkedIn Shot_MeganMegan Mattson is a second-year MPA candidate in GW’s Trachtenberg school, where she focuses on Program Evaluation. Megan is a Pickering Graduate Fellow and will enter the Foreign Service after completing her MPA. She has worked in different capacities for the State Department, including as the Sub-Saharan Africa Area Studies Program Assistant at the Foreign Service Institute and as an intern for the Populations, Refugees, and Migration Bureau. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Development and a minor in Arabic from GW. In her undergraduate studies, Megan studied abroad in Muscat, Oman and Amman, Jordan. When she is not thinking about how the government works, Megan enjoys writing poetry, trying new food, and watching live music.

Deputy Editors

Haley Dunn

Haley Dunn is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. She grew up on Cape Cod, MA and graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in central New York in 2013 with a double-major in Philosophy and Social Justice. She is most passionate about criminal justice, drug policy reform, and anti-poverty programs and currently works in the Applied Research and Methods group at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, reading, going on adventures, and (slowly) learning to roller skate.

Grace head shot

Grace Mausser is currently a second-year candidate for a Masters of Public Policy at The George Washington University, where she is a Presidential Administrative Fellow and works as the Student Liaison in the Office of the President. She also attended GWU as an undergraduate where she studied international affairs and economics. She has worked at a hodgepodge of places around Washington, D.C. including a feminist think tank, a marketing firm, ACT, and an economic research/lobbying group.


Jenn Spangler

Jennifer Spangler is a first-year Master of Public Administration candidate at the Trachtenberg School. She is a lifelong Marylander; she grew up in Hagerstown (located in Western Maryland) and went to the University of Maryland, College Park (Go Terps!), where she majored in Government and Politics and Criminology. Before coming to GW, she worked as a legal assistant at an energy law firm and held internships in federal and state government. Jennifer plans to focus her studies on state and local government management, or on management and communications generally. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring the D.C. restaurant scene.


Michael Steinberg is a second-year Master’s of Public Policy student at GW’s Trachtenberg School with an interest in technology policy. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Partnership for Public Service, where he studies how to improve government and the federal workforce. He previously worked as a paralegal for an intellectual property law firm, and he has held internships on Capitol Hill, at the National Archives, and in local government. Michael is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park, where he double majored in Government and Sociology.


Staff Writers

Blackband_Headshot copyJessica Blackband is a first-year MPP student at GWU planning to concentrate in environmental and regulatory policy. She currently works as a communications specialist for a federal-university partnership called the South Central Climate Science Center, where she uses communications tactics and tools to make climate science more accessible for decision makers. Previously, she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Science Applications Division of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She graduated from Florida State University in 2015 with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Environmental Studies.


Steve BrunsSteve Bruns is a second-year MPP candidate. He is currently a public affairs specialist at Mathematica Policy Research, and also works at two farmers markets in the city – one on 14th and U St and the other in Bloomingdale. Steve graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012 with a BA in Political Science and American Studies. While an undergraduate, he was a legislative intern for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and volunteered on Sen. McCaskill’s reelection campaign in 2012. Outside of work and school, he likes to travel new places, try new restaurants, run, and read.

MDotMatt Dotzler is a second-year MPP focusing on Foreign and Security Policy. Matt is from the SF Bay and has lived in Germany and Switzerland. He fittingly loves to ski. Matt currently works at the Center for European Policy Analysis after spending ten months in Congress. He focuses on Eastern European diplomacy and has a specialization in Turkey and the EU.


View More: Lancaster is a Political Correspondent and Columnist.  She is a graduate of Duke University and a Charlotte, North Carolina native. Lancaster moved to Washington, D.C. to create policy solutions to manage the social inequalities created by disruptive technologies and explore civil rights in the information technology space. During her time in the District, she’s worked as a Policy Analyst and Multimedia Journalist. Cory is a thrift store enthusiast, yogi in the making, and a carefree creative millennial.



Charles Landau is a second-year Master of Public Administration candidate at GW’s Trachtenberg School. He also holds a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University. Prior to joining the Trachtenberg School he served in research and administrative roles at The Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center. As a Staff Writer, Charles plans to focus on energy and environmental policy.



Shiva Sharma is a second-year MPP student at Trachtenberg School of Public Policy, George Washington University. She is also working at GW’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies as Graduate Research Assistant. She pursued her undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota with a double major in Economics and Political Science. She worked at Centre for policy Research, New Delhi for the past year.


Elizabeth SherwoodElizabeth Sherwood is a first-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School with an interest in Program Evaluation. She is a West Coast native and earned a BA in Communication Studies from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Most of her professional career has been spent in events marketing in the radio industry, but she is excited to make a transition into the policy world. When she isn’t in class, you can find Elizabeth planning her next adventure or hunting down the best coffee in D.C.


Kelly StraubKelly Straub is a first year MPA student focusing on security and international development policy. She has a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University (2010), and studied abroad in Mongolia. Kelly spent four years in the Army as an analyst, including a year in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She now works for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Kelly is originally from the mountains of Colorado, and avoids homesickness by getting out to the many state and national parks in the DC area.


Travis ReginalTravis Reginal is a first-year MPA candidate in GW’s Trachtenberg School and is a research assistant at the Urban Institute where he conducts criminal justice research. He is a graduate of Yale University where he studied sociology and education studies. Travis has written and spoken on the matter of low-income, first-generation college students for a number of outlets such as the New York Times, PA Times, NBC News, and American RadioWorks.




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