Alumni Profiles: Howard Wang

howard-wang-2016Thanks for taking the time to let us know how you’re doing! Prof. Thornton Lockwood has let us know you were just accepted into Georgetown’s prestigious McCourt School of Public Policy. Congratulations! To begin, can we tell our readers how many years you spent at BU?
I spent three years at BU in undergrad and graduated with a joint degree in Philosophy and Political Science.

Where do you currently live?
I live in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Where do you work and what position do you hold?
I work at Navigant Consulting, Inc. as a Consultant in the Government Health Solutions practice. I previously worked at the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), where I served as the Assistant Director of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), a caucus within the RSLC.

What type of work have you done up until now?
I served as part of the RSLC team during the 2014 election cycle. The RSLC is a 527 political committee which spent nearly $40 million in the 2014 cycle and is the only Republican committee dedicated to supporting down-ballot candidates running for state legislature, Secretary of State, and Lieutenant Governor. Working specifically in the RLGA caucus, I built coalitions of support for the caucus of Republican lieutenant governors among private citizens, corporations, and associations supportive of conservative policies and governance. The RSLC’s efforts contributed to the 2014 Republican wave and expanded the nation’s count of Republican lieutenant governors to 31.

After the 2014 cycle, I joined Navigant’s Government Healthcare Solutions practice, which helps state Medicaid agencies develop and implement program reform to manage costs and protect their populations. Navigant helps with all the full spectrum of tasks Medicaid agencies perform as they pursue expansions, including program design, development of implementation plans, and assessment of provider network capacity.

Now that you’re a few years past graduation, looking backwhat would you say have been the benefits of your Core education?
D.C. is a city built on relationships, but strong relationships aren’t built from favor-seeking or glad-handing. Core’s coverage of philosophy and literature ancient and modern with contemporary social sciences tills a broad landscape of thought which, if cultivated, can touch on and become relevant to anyone’s thoughts or life experiences. The generic yet ubiquitous career advice given to every student coming to D.C. is to network and network aggressively. A network built on “what-can-you-do-for-me” mentality or “will-you-please-hire-me” mentality is both fragile and shallow; it boils the person across the table to a suit and business card and makes the networker easily forgettable. It is much more impressive in every case to speak comfortably to one’s work objectives while letting conversations evolve to personal interests, which may as easily be particular sports or musicals as it may be the writings of Asvaghosa or Cervantes. The breadth of Core’s curriculum and its subsequent encouragement to its students to continue learning in this fashion is a valuable way to understand and efficaciously engage another.

What book did you encounter in the Core that impacted you the most?
Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods made a significant impact on me. It’s not quite a double-blind study concluding clear causes, but the case studies presented cogently articulate the interplay of race, class, gender, and institutional efficacy with each variable. It is a work I return to regularly in studying welfare or healthcare policy. I’ll still leaf through the book on occasion; in my library, it serves as a reminder of why elections matter and the socio-economic issues our elected officials address, exacerbate, or ignore.

Anything else you want to share?
It’s pretty normal in D.C. to drink 3-6 cups of coffee in the morning. Doctors everywhere probably recommend we cut back. (We won’t.)

Are you a Core student or alumnus interested in working in lobbying, policy, or politics in D.C.? Send the Core staff an email, and we’ll forward your message directly to Howard so you can do some networking.

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