Maddie Leonard graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Health & Societies and an MS in Social Policy in 2018. As an MSSP submatriculant, she is grateful for the unique opportunity to combine a macro-level policy approach through a graduate curriculum with a micro-level public health undergraduate focus of study. During her time at Penn, Maddie developed skills in policy evaluation, research, and data analysis through her coursework and work experience at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. For her MSSP capstone internship, Maddie spent a year working as a research assistant on the United Way ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) Project, where she analyzed state and county census and budget data to adequately capture financial hardship and issues faced by the middle class in the United States.
Currently, Maddie works as a health policy analyst at LMI in Washington, D.C. In her role, she assists with application and policy efforts as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services operationalizes the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model through the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
“The MSSP Program provided me with both a strong understanding of the policymaking process and a comprehensive skill set to write, research, and analyze social policy. It solidified my interest in the intersection of evidence-based research and community-driven policy interventions and gave me the background to contextualize current policies and the preparation to influence and assess future policy.”