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Monique Gibbs

Master of Public Administration

2018

Monique Gibbs started out her professional career working for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as a political organizer in New York City, advocating for budgetary and legislative issues that affected union members and working people. She then joined the New York Public Library’s Office of Government and Community Affairs where she connected library programs to local elected officials, promoted community engagement, and supported budget and legislative advocacy. Wanting to deepen her knowledge of urban planning, development, and design, Monique enrolled in Northeastern University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies. She graduated in May 2018 and is now working for the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development as a housing development officer.  

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Monique’s Path

Why Public Administration?

When Monique started looking into MPA programs, she knew she wanted a challenging program that would expose her to a new environment.

As part of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (SPPUA), Northeastern’s nationally accredited MPA program stood out because of its rigor and community partnerships.

Experiential Learning

In May 2017, Monique Gibbs received a public policy summer fellowship from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, a university-wide entity housed at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government that strives to improve governance by strengthening connections between the region’s scholars, students, and civic leaders.

As a fellow, Monique managed two exciting projects for the Housing Innovation Lab at the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development. The projects focused on improving constituent access to affordable housing resources in the midst of a contentious mayoral election and housing crisis. In this column, Monique explains how her MPA degree helped her improve access and knowledge of affordable housing resources in Boston.

“Through this fellowship, I was paired with two Rappaport alumni mentors, Jessica Casey and Abudar Rahman, who are also SPPUA alumni. They both gave me great advice for succeeding within the fellowship, in my academic program, and finding career opportunities post-graduation.”

 Civic Engagement

For Monique, having a community is important, and she has found it right here on campus through the Northeastern Graduate Students of Color Collective (GSCC). The GSCC is a mission driven student organization dedicated to building the capacity of graduate students of color on Northeastern campus and the local community.

Through this group, Monique participated in a service project for underserved communities in Greater Boston, as well as a minority- and women-owned business expo. She has also participated in various campus activities including GSCC’s monthly Coffee and Conversation series and the group’s annual Multicultural Mixer.

Monique says her fellowship and internship with the Massachusetts Area Planning Council have allowed her to build a professional and personal network in the Greater Boston region. These experiences, she said, have given her the confidence to pursue career opportunities in Boston. She wants to educate people on the political process. “It is disheartening to meet people who don’t understand how much power they hold with a single vote in all elections,” she said. “I want to change that.”

Monique is now working as a Policy Innovation Associate for MassHousing.

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