Anna Abbey, '09 MPA
Conflict Resolution Specialist
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Anna Abbey is a Conflict Resolution Specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She earned her MPA in 2009 with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Applied Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, and also holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Anna now lives in Washington, DC.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center (CPRC) provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services to the entire agency. CPRC develops and implements Agency ADR policy, administers Agency-wide Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution (ECCR) programs, coordinates case management and evaluation, and provides support to program-specific ECCR activities. Building on existing ECCR efforts at EPA, CPRC assists other Agency offices in developing effective ways to anticipate, prevent, and resolve disputes, and makes neutral third parties more readily available for those purposes.
In her work, Anna is engaged in issues of environmental conflict from all over the country. As she puts it, "Not only do I get to use my Maxwell education, but I also get to learn about the science of environmental protection. My job is diverse and engaging."
When asked how Maxwell has impacted her career, Anna says it's what got her the job: "In addition to my MPA, I also got a PARCC certificate. The combination of my public administration and conflict resolution skill set was the main reason I was hired at the EPA. The federal government is in need of more individuals who know how to administer responsibly and effectively. I hope that as my professional career progresses, I'll have an opportunity to put all I've learned to good use."
Though it might not be expected, Anna's favorite classes were all part of the required coursework! Managerial Economics for Public Administrators with Professor Wilcoxen, "was a fun and engaging class that opened up my understanding of how the world works," and lessons from Public Organization and Management with Professor Van Slyke, "have been amazingly applicable to my current position, where I advise on how to improve situations of environmental management nationwide."
Anna's advice for those considering coming to Maxwell? "Choose Maxwell, and once you're accepted find a contact from one of the former classes and pick their brains about which classes to take, what organizations to join, and what to do in Syracuse. A year goes by fast and having this helpful insight going in will allow you to make the most of it."