Faculty Spotlight – Professor Barry Rabe

At the Ford School, our guiding principle is a dedication to the public good. Our faculty and students work every day to develop innovative solutions to the daunting challenges in our world. At this moment in history, perhaps no issue looms larger than human-induced climate change. 

In 2021, we’ve received numerous reminders that we can’t delay in tackling the climate crisis. Devastating wildfires in the West. Catastrophic hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Unprecedented flooding in major cities here in the Midwest and up and down the Eastern Seaboard. These are just a few examples of the “new normal” we face with our changing climate. The decisions we make in the next few years will reverberate for decades to come. At Ford, we know we can’t afford to wait. 

Enter: Dr. Barry Rabe, PhD. A leading scholar on the political feasibility of carbon pricing and the regulation of short-lived, intensive carbon pollutants like methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Professor Rabe serves as an excellent representation of the Ford School’s commitment to public service. In addition to his research and teaching here in Ann Arbor, Professor Rabe remains actively engaged in policy making at both the state and federal levels. When not teaching courses around campus, he frequently travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with public officials and discuss paths forward on addressing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Professor Rabe’s work has been recognized in the field for his contributions to the study and development of creative climate policies. He is the recipient of four American Political Science Association awards and was most recently presented with the 2021 Distinguished Research Award by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) at the organization’s annual conference. 

Here at Ford, we’re incredibly proud of the remarkable work being conducted by our faculty, students, and staff. As this semester unfolds, stay tuned for more information about the important conversations happening at Weill Hall. 

Inside the Ford School: Policy Pitch Competition Recap

With the semester underway and students, faculty, and staff returning to Weill Hall, the Ford School’s annual Policy Pitch Competition returned for the fourth time on September 14th. Every Ford School MPP student is required to complete a ten-week summer internship between their first and second years in the program. The Policy Pitch Competition gives Fordies an opportunity to share their experiences working in the policy world and reflect on the skills developed and lessons learned. 

At this year’s event, twelve second-year Fordies put on a show for the audience and judges. We’re so lucky to have such a talented, passionate student body here at Ford, and this event was yet another reminder of the special people who make the Ford School what it is. 

Fordies in the Fall 2021 Policy Pitch Competition:

  • Marissa Uchimura, REDF 
  • Maheen Zahid, Save The Children 
  • AJ Convertino, NASA 
  • Kristina Curtiss, City of Detroit 
  • Yasin Shafi, CARE 
  • Bethany Haddad, State of Michigan 
  • Priyanka Panjwani, GAO 
  • Clare Knutson, City of Detroit 
  • Linh Tran-Phuong, City of Chicago 
  • Pisacha Wichianchan, FINRA 
  • Doug Ortiz, Detroit Future City 
  • Justine D’Souza, GAO 

A panel of three judges (Ann Arbor City Councilor Linh Song, Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge, and Sam Geller ‘17 of the City of Detroit’s Budget Office) evaluated the student presentations and declared Marissa Uchimura, Linh Tranh-Phuong, and Pisacha Wichianchan as first, second, and third place winners, respectively. Audience members were given the chance to vote for their favorite presenter, with Bethany Haddad being crowned the winner of this prize. 

We’re so proud of the students who took part in this event and shared their internship experiences. With the fourth annual event being such a success, we can hardly wait for year five in 2022! 

Be on the lookout for more events happening at the Ford School!

GCS Career Expo

This past week at the Ford School saw the return of our Graduate Career Services January Career Expo! The annual event brings together current Ford students with alumni and policy professionals from around the country and globe. This year’s event was held from Tuesday, January 12th, to Thursday, January 14th.

While this year’s expo was held virtually, Fordies still had numerous opportunities to hear from Ford School alumni and distinguished professionals in a wide range of policy disciplines in both the public and private sectors.

Over the course of three days of panels, students were asked to reflect on their career aspirations and received advice and insight from alumni about navigating the field of public policy. Participants heard from panelists based in London, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other locales.

Be on the lookout for future events from the Ford School’s Office of Graduate Career Services!

Ford School impact: A world of possibilities

Whether they are closing achievement gaps, improving water quality, reinvigorating struggling communities, or streamlining government services, our graduates help shape the policy decisions that affect their neighborhoods, their countries, and people around the globe. They are diverse in their backgrounds, in their viewpoints, and in their passions. But Ford School alumni share this—a dedication to making a difference in our world.

And our powerful alumni network is deeply engaged in the Ford School community.

Our alumni bring it all—their vision, passion, and knowledge—to the next generation of policy leaders. In 2019-2020 more than 800 alumni served as panelists, attended events, shared professional achievements, provided career advice, conducted mock interviews, critiqued student resumes, hosted interns, hired graduates, and more.

Who will inspire you? Search through all the alumni spotlights by policy topic and degree to see our alumni’s impact!

Want to meet Dean Michael Barr? Join us January 6th at 8pm ET.

Heads up! We will be out of the office from December 23-January 3. If you have questions about your application, please feel free to email us at fspp-admissions@umich.edu, and we will respond when we return on January 4.

New webinar recording available!

Interested in learning more about what a career in public policy could look like for you? With professional, personalized career services and a powerful, deeply committed alumni network, the Ford School is dedicated to helping students achieve their career goals. 


In our latest webinar, hear from Jennifer Niggemeier, director of graduate career services and alumni relations, about these services and our leadership coaching initiative. Ford School alumni join Jennifer to discuss how Graduate Career Services helped them find internships during their time at Ford, and career opportunities upon graduation.


Watch the recording here, and don’t forget to register for our final webinar in this series, a special session with Dean Michael S. Barr. Hear about his priorities for the school and what he’s most excited about for the upcoming year.