MPA Candidate, University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy; BA in Psychology and Legal Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
Mara Burger is a Masters of Public Administration candidate and Dean's Merit Scholar in the 2018 cohort at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Mara's academic and professional areas of interest primarily focus on issues of public safety and security. Currently, Mara serves as a Research Fellow for the City of Los Angeles in Mayor Eric Garcetti's Office of Public Safety where she supports efforts to develop strategies against hate, bias, and violence caused by extremism. Previously, she has worked as a research intern for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission on matters concerning police training, implicit bias, and police-community relations.
Prior to pursuing her Masters, Mara served as the Assistant Director and Program Manager for the Leadership Academy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a foreign policy and national security think tank in Washington, DC. In her personal time, Mara serves as the Chief Operating Officer for I Am Your Protector (IAYP), a volunteer-run international non-profit organization that fights hate and xenophobia.
Ten years from now I hope to still be in the Great Los Angeles region, entering a
leadership role in local government, either in an emergency management office or in a role that works to respond to or prevent ideologically-motivated violence/terrorism.
Haley is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Non-Profit Sector Management at California State University, Northridge. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at the UCLA, where she took courses in public health, law, and public policy relating to global terrorism.
Recently, Haley completed a term of service as an AmeriCorps Member with the American Red Cross, where she was exposed to the field of emergency management and developed a passion for the humanitarian aspect of public safety and community resiliency. In this position, she delivered key emergency preparedness programs and responded to local disasters in Los Angeles, Inyo, and Mono Counties. Previously, she worked as a Development and Outreach Intern with Human Rights Watch.
Haley plans to attend law school upon the completion of her MPA.
Haley received her BS in Political Science, and Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from Arizona State University. She is currently a Master of Public Policy student at the University of Southern California (USC), entering her second year this coming fall. Haley is also working on a Certificate of Sustainable Policy and Planning during her time at USC.
Haley is originally from Chicago, IL, but grew up primarily in Phoenix, AZ. In the past, she has been an intern in Washington, D.C. for a local Congresswoman and spent six months living in Dublin, Ireland as an exchange student studying Irish law and politics. Her interests in homeland security and public safety emerged from growing technology and progress within the field, in combination with the ability it has to make significant, visible impacts on communities.
As a current policy student, Haley hopes to be making a difference within the policy field within the next 10 years. Her interests lie in homeland security and sustainability, and she hopes to be working on solutions and progress within these areas throughout her career.