University of Minnesota
myU OneStop

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

"My office acts as the nerve center for all public diplomacy practitioners round the world. These practitioners include people reaching out to foreign publics by communicating on the internet and doing press work in order to tell America’s story and to U.S. foreign policy priorities."

Graham Lampa

Strategic Planning Officer for Public Diplomacy,
U.S. State Department

Degree: MPP, 2006
Location: Washington, D.C.

Coming from a family that relied on state and federal support, Lampa now gives back by working in the public sector, He says that his time at the Humphrey School helped him gain valuable experience and foster lasting networks.

What do you do in your job?
I am a strategic planner for the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. My office is the nerve center for public diplomacy practitioners around the world. The mission of public diplomacy is to engage foreign publics through educational, cultural, and information programs to advance U.S. foreign policy and our nation's strategic interests abroad. I administer the Fund for Innovation in Public Diplomacy, which has disbursed over $8 million in program funding to our embassies and consulates around the world to pilot creative outreach projects. I also coordinate social media communications across the State Department and advise senior leadership on the application of emerging technologies in the conduct of diplomacy.   

What made your Humphrey School experience unique?
At the Humphrey School, you’re entering into a community where people truly care about one another. As a student, I received valuable assistance on projects and encouragement to carry on through difficult times (e.g. when attempting to complete mind-bending assignments in regression analysis courses).  Humphrey faculty, staff, students, and alumni supported me in my academic career, which greatly helped to prepare me for a meaningful life and career as a public servant.

What motivated you to pursue a career in public affairs?
What inspired me to get into public policy was the realization that, while growing up, the federal and state governments helped my family to get by. I consequently felt duty-bound to work in public service in order give back for the great opportunities I had that helped make me who I am today.

What is your experience with the Humphrey network?
The alumni association keeps us all connected with one another, wherever we are in the world. It is great to catch up with classmates and help current students (and newly-minted graduates) find opportunities in Washington, either in the nonprofit or public sector. The network the Humphrey School fosters is a great benefit, not only to alumni but to current students as well.

March 28, 2012