The Institute for Public Administration's Leann Moore (MPA '14) was recently recognized as part of the 2019 DBT 40, the Delaware Business Times' list of 40 Delaware achievers and innovators under the age 40.
While Moore, 29, currently serves as an assistant policy scientist within IPA's Conflict Resolution Program, her role—and in turn, her impact—spans across many public service programs and projects, including The Democracy Project, the Spring Semester Washington, D.C. Program, and the Municipal Clerks Program.
We had a chance to catch up with Leann in between the meetings and facilitation projects that fill much of her schedule to learn more about her history with IPA, her motivation to contribute to the field of public service, and what being recognized as part of the DBT 40 means for her and her work.
Q: How did you join the IPA family?
A: “As a student, I wasn't with IPA. I did my MPA at the University of Delaware, but my assistantship was actually through Residence Life and Housing where I was the liaison between them, Career Services, BHLP, and the Center for Black Culture. I ended up becoming a fellow and hall director in my final semester, which was my first time working with IPA.
However, in Dr. Jerome Lewis' intro class, we have to do a policy brief paper and I chose to do mine on foster care and aging out of foster care, which is something I'm very passionate about and still work with today.
At the time, IPA's Julia O'Hanlon was working on the Extended Jurisdiction Bill and a statewide committee was put together to work on that legislation, so after reading my paper Dr. Lewis connected me with Julia and I ended up helping to volunteer on that project. While I wasn't working with IPA formerly, I did help out on that project and ended up becoming the first legislative fellow with the Division of Research. From there, I was hired by the House of Representatives as an aide. When a position opened up within IPA's Conflict Resolution Program, Dr. Lewis reached out to me and suggested that I apply, the rest is history, and I'm very happy that I'm here.”
Q: How has your role evolved and changed throughout the years?
A: “So, I've only been here for three years, but since then my role has changed a lot. I'm still very much a part of the Conflict Resolution Program, but I'm very tangentially working on and with the CRP big projects, which include special education mediation, IEP facilitation, our Basic Mediation Training, and then any facilitation meetings throughout the year. I still help with those, but not as a primary contact.
The majority of my work is in facilitation, but for more intact groups. As an example, I worked with the Downtown Newark Partnership when it was doing a strategic plan to sunset that entity and then launch the Newark Partnership, which is situated outside of the city. That's now a huge chunk of my job. It seems like I'm the go-to person when it comes to facilitating pretty high-level meetings with the potential for conflict. I also MC the Newark Futures Workshop, which is meant as a way to hear out the Newark public's view on a variety of things, including university-city relations, public education, non-profit sector and services.
The projects that I'm most passionate about aren't necessarily around a specific policy area, which may be how some IPA staff members occasionally categorize themselves. We have specific areas dedicated to planning and education, but in a sense I'm dealing with all of it. Whether it be helping with a lit review and facilitation for education meetings or leading our Municipal Clerks Training Program, my role in all of that and what I'm passionate about is making sure that it all connects. It's kind of de-siloing not just the public vs. the private vs. the non-profit sector, but even within the university and within IPA no matter what policy area you're working on it always has an implication in another one. I'm kind of seeing myself with a connector, both with my outside contracts like the Newark Partnership, but also within IPA to make sure that where we're going is something that we're all excited about and that we're all using the same language to talk about what our vision and mission is.”