Kristi Rogers doesn’t shy away from challenges. In her presentation yesterday to MPP at MSU students, the proud MSU political science alumna highlighted how her willingness to ask questions and take risks has allowed her to develop expertise in crisis response and given her unique insight into public policy challenges from the perspective of both the public and private sector.
Her career has involved helping the Department of Transportation develop post-9/11 crisis communications plans, working though the startup of the Department of Homeland Security and the response to Hurricane Katrina, serving the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, launching a private security firm subsidiary, and now directing an international health care services company. She credits her success to balancing risk and opportunity and not being afraid to fail. Her current work includes response to the West Africa Ebola Outbreak, which she recently discussed at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D. C.
She emphasized to students the importance of internships, which allow for the combination of academic lessons with learning from practitioners. Rogers believes this up-close view of the gaps between what’s on paper and how things actually work develops essential skills for those who work in public policy. Knowledge of the process allows one to develop alternative solutions and make informed decisions, and she sees this as especially critical in areas that require public-private partnerships.
Kristi encourages Spartans to get experience on the ground in D.C. and to seek out opportunities to learn from mentors. We are thankful that she took the time to visit, answer questions, and share lessons from her career with our students.