MGA alumni and current student named Presidential Management Fellowship finalists

Three alumni and one current student from the Master of Global Affairs program at the Keough School of Global Affairs are among a select group of finalists in the United States Presidential Management Fellowship Program (PMF), a highly selective, two-year program administered by the US Office of Personnel Management. Since 1977, the fellowships have provided pathways to career opportunities in the US government for outstanding graduate students and recent graduates with advanced degrees.

Finalists include Theresa Puhr (MGA ’20), Jasmine Passa (MGA ’19), and Steven Wagner (MGA ’19), along with second-year MGA student Rachel Gagnon. Puhr currently is a Raymond C. Offenheiser Fellow at Oxfam America in Washington, DC; Passa is a case investigator lead for the Arlington (Virginia) County Health Department’s COVID-19 emergency response team; and Wagner is a program associate at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Gagnon, a second-year master’s student and a returned Peace Corps volunteer, is a co-author of the recently published report “Presidential Transition Index: Contemporaneous Assessments of the Trump-Biden Transition.” She is interested in human rights and social advocacy, especially the role of advocacy in strengthening laws and institutions.

“To have four finalists from the Keough School in one year is a tremendous achievement that speaks to the caliber of our Master of Global Affairs program and the type of students it attracts,” said Melinda Fountain, associate director for professional development and alumni relations at the Keough School. “The Keough School is well represented by these accomplished candidates.”

The PMF program received more than 6,800 applications for the 2021 class and accepted 551 candidates. Selected candidates represent 77 different degree programs across 153 institutions. The fellowships are designed to lead to permanent career appointments within federal agencies, with preparation through the fellows’ rigorous mix of classroom training, cohort engagement, and rotations through different experiences.

The Keough School’s two-year Master of Global Affairs program prepares professionals for skilled, effective leadership and careers in government, NGO and civil society organizations, and the private sector.

Photo: Clockwise from top left are Steven Wagner (MGA ’19), Rachel Gagnon (MGA ’21), Theresa Puhr (MGA ’20), and Jasmine Passa (MGA ’19), who are finalists in the United States Presidential Management Fellowship Program.



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