Public policy organizations in Boston?
February 28, 2010 8:01 PM   Subscribe

What are some socially progressive public policy organizations in the Boston area? Bonus points if they might have internships for an MPP student this summer. Asking for a friend who is not a Boston native but is moving there for the summer and doesn't have great networking contacts.

I have a friend who is a Master of Public Policy student in DC who is diligently trying to find an opportunity in the policy field in the Boston area. Since they're out of town they're having a tough time navigating what's available in terms of substantive grad-level work that is more in the socially progressive camp.

Does anyone have any suggestions of organizations they could research further?
posted by heyforfour to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you say anything about the issue areas that your friend is interested in? Housing? Healthcare? International studies?

Also, do they want to be at a think tank, or at an organization that is developing policies and simultaneously organizing to have them implemented?
posted by alms at 8:05 PM on February 28, 2010

Previously, kind of.

Narrowing things down would help, but off the top of my head: One Laptop Per Child, Be the Change Inc, Philanthropic Initiative, Barbara Lee Foundation & Political Office
posted by quadrilaterals at 8:15 PM on February 28, 2010

Some clarification:

He's pretty open to the type of organization. As far as interests go, he's interested in local/state level policy work on a variety of topics - education (w/ a little experience here), housing, health-care, or even more political work. His background is mostly in politics, so he's looking for an opportunity gain some experience on the policy side of things.

Thanks for the link to the other thread - I'd forgotten to mention I'd seen it, and was hoping to generate some more domestic-focused organizations.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, and looking forward to hearing more ideas!
posted by heyforfour at 8:27 PM on February 28, 2010

He should contact the relevant centers at the Harvard Kennedy School. I'm a alum, and in my experience, those centers were a rich and under-utilized resource for internships and volunteer leads.
posted by lunasol at 10:28 PM on February 28, 2010

He goes to school in policy, in DC, and doesn't have great networking contacts...? He needs to get in there, and fast!

Besides looking at the schools in the area, he needs to
- contact his OWN alumni office in DC and get some contact info of relevant people in Boston who may be able to pitch him to their organization, or do some informational interviewing that could lead to positions
- have a sit-down with his advisor or another trusted faculty about where he is going and WHY, and ask about that professor's connections and if a good word could be put in for him
- peruse the local papers (the Boston Globe, for starters, and I recommend the regional and Metro/West sections) to learn about ongoing local initiatives that might interest him and for names of organizations that are active in the area. For example there are a lot of innovative educational programs going on in some of the older towns that are losing factories and jobs and money
- presumably he is involved in some "socially progressive" groups where he is? My turf was a little different (Int'l Dev), but if he asks around the groups he works with in DC, I think he will find that the whole region is pretty well connected and they may point him in the right direction
- don't underestimate the value of calling up some people who work in the field in the area! Especially to work directly with local government agencies, some phone calls and an eventual visit can be a good entrypoint to otherwise unfilled or uncreated positions.

(I used to go to school in policy in Cambridge)
posted by whatzit at 12:05 PM on March 1, 2010

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