Alex Payne is an education policy advisor for the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives. Originally from Chester, New Jersey, he now lives in Arlington, Virginia.
In his role as education policy advisor for the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Payne advises the Committee on several issues, including early childhood education; child welfare; and career and technical education. For example, Payne was responsible for leading the Committee's response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the broader childhood development problems resulting from lead poisoning. He also served as the principle negotiator for Democratic members of the house during bipartisan discussions regarding the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act. The bill passed the House unanimously. Lastly, he participated in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) negotiations and assisted in conducting outreach to gain buy in from other Democratic Caucus and Committee Members.
Before his role with the the U.S. House of Representatives, Payne served as policy associate with the First Five Years Fund, where he helped provide policymakers, advocates, business leaders and the public with the research and information necessary to make informed investments in quality early childhood development. Before working at the First Five Years Fund, Payne served as a legislative fellow for Congressman Rush Holt in the U.S. House of Representatives. In his role there he served on two committees--Natural Resources and Education and the Workforce. He focused on education initiatives and legislation, especially ones affecting STEM and foreign language.
"Maxwell helped me to analyze research and policy perspectives in a critical and quantitative way, which is extremely important in my current job," Alex says. "Professor Wilcoxen was my favorite professor, and Professor Lopoo's statistics and quantitative analysis courses were my favorite courses. Professor Bifulco's ed policy course has provided me with great resources and an inquisitive, questioning perspective of education policy."
Alex's advice for current Maxwell students: "Take courses that expand your expertise and build your skill set. Essentially, work outside of your comfort zone."