Elizabeth Crosby Fomegne is a policy team lead at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In Fomegne's role at HRSA, she is responsible for managing a team that coordinates policy requests for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, manages the budget formulation process, and responds to congressional inquiries and requests. Originally from central Massachusetts, she earned her MPA from the Maxwell School in 2009, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Illustration ('04) from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, also at Syracuse University.
Prior to her work at HRSA, Fomegne served as a public health analyst at the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. During her time spent working for the federal government, Fomegne enjoyed many opportunities to work and partner with NGOs. One exciting opportunity she has had was when she spent a month in Haiti, while with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), responding to the recent cholera outbreak. As she notes, "The CDC does a lot of its work through cooperative agreements with NGOs. I worked with NGOs such as Partners in Health and Catholic Charities to refine their grant applications so that we could fund them to set up cholera treatment centers throughout the country."
How did she know Maxwell was the right choice? "I did my undergraduate degree at Syracuse and then worked in the Undergraduate Admissions Office after graduation for a few years. During that time, I interviewed a lot of students and got more involved in nonprofits, which is when I realized that I was really interested nonprofit work and international development. Maxwell was the only school I applied to; I knew the area, had a lot of connections on campus, and was hooked up with a good GA-ship."
Fomegne attributes Maxwell for helping her get her job as a Presidential Management Fellow. She explains, "It prepared me for the exam as much as it could and once I was selected as finalist the person who hired me was a Maxwell alumna. She pulled out my resume and reached out to me directly. I worked in several offices of the CDC, and I can't tell you how often the preparation of the Maxwell School has come into use. The whole program is relevant to what I do and has helped me excel in my job."
While at Maxwell, Fomegne enjoyed many of her classes. Some of her favorites included Professor Steven Lux's class in managing NGOs in developing countries, economics with Professor Wilcoxen, and anthropology courses with Rob Rubenstein as part of the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC).
Her advice for students? "I have nothing bad to say; it changed my life path. It is an incredible experience where you meet amazing people and learn as much from your colleagues as from your professors. I would say be flexible and willing to work in groups a lot. You're going to learn a ton and have a great time!"