State and Local Government Alumni Spotlight: Maggie Anderson MPP ‘18

In addition to the strong policy analysis skills Batten teaches, Batten also really helps you learn to ask the right questions

Maggie Anderson
Chief of Staff to Mayor Levar Stoney
Maggie Anderson

Numerous Batten graduates enter public service careers and do amazing work across a variety of government sectors. While many go to Washington D.C. to work on Capitol Hill, some choose a different path in state or local government, making huge differences all the same.

Margaret “Maggie” Anderson, one of Batten’s brightest grads working in local government, is the current Chief of Staff in the Office of Mayor Levar Stoney (Richmond, VA). Maggie is coming up on her five year anniversary working in the office. She began her journey as a Policy Analyst, but quickly rose to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff and then as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, Maggie is essentially the quarterback of the Mayor’s Office, helping communicate and implement the Mayor’s vision and goals for the City of Richmond. Maggie has assisted with the completion of numerous initiatives that have propelled Richmond forward. These include working with the Human Rights Campaign to raise the city’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) score to a perfect 100, managing the Mayor’s Task Force on Reimagining Public Safety, establishing the city’s first Equity Agenda, formalizing the city’s comprehensive Gun Violence Prevention and Intervention Framework, and shepherding the city’s $155 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds into a strategic spend plan–all initiatives that made Richmond safer, healthier, and more inclusive for its residents.

Maggie graduated from Batten’s Master of Public Policy program in 2018. “In addition to the strong policy analysis skills Batten teaches, Batten also really helps you learn to ask the right questions,” said Maggie while reflecting on her time at Batten. Maggie stressed the importance of being able to ask the tough questions to find the hard answers. She was able to learn crucial skills related to policy analysis, budgeting, and navigating different policy arenas. Maggie also appreciates the leadership skills she was able to learn and practice while at Batten, and credits parts of her career successes to that training. “Batten is very unique in that it emphasizes the importance of leadership in a public policy program.” While attending the School, she had the opportunity to meet with city leaders in Richmond as part of a class field trip in the “Virginia Policy & Politics” course with Professor Andrew Pennock. It was this hands-on, immersive trip that encouraged Maggie to begin looking into careers in local government.

Maggie is just one example of the many Batten grads who go on to do exceptional work serving local communities. Many current Batten students also gain state and local government experience in the form of internships, capstones, and applied policy projects. To learn more about how Batten can propel you to do this kind of work through one of our academic programs, schedule an appointment with the admissions office or stop by for drop-in office hours on Fridays 2pm-4pm!