Leanna Brown (AB ’10, MIP ’12) is grateful for the opportunities the School of Public and International Affairs offered during her time as a student. As a member of the Alumni Board, she wants to help develop more opportunities for today’s students.

During Leanna’s senior year, she spent her fall semester in Washington, DC as an intern for Senator Johnny Isakson. The following spring, she studied abroad in Verona, Italy. While immersed in the culture, Leanna gained insight about European politics, how geography shapes political systems over time, and a unique perspective about the ingrained differences among countries.

In 2018, Leanna became the Director of Government Affairs for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). Prior to joining MAC, she was the Government Relations Associate in the UGA Office of Government Relations.

Leanna joined the Alumni Board in 2020 and hopes to support SPIA students seeking experiential learning opportunities. Her senior year was spent away from Athens where she developed skills that served as a foundation for her career.

“I want to help create and support diverse opportunities for students to grow and build connections,” Leanna said.

Whether that be through an internship, study abroad experiences like her own, or another opportunity, Leanna understands the real-world application of coursework is what best prepares students for their careers.

“Spend time learning off campus and find some experiential learning opportunity that puts you outside of your comfort zone and apply your classroom knowledge,” Leanna emphasized. “College is a unique and special time. You don’t often get the same chances afterward.”

In between football games and Jittery Joe’s study sessions, Leanna was involved in organizations across campus where she discovered additional passions. Leanna hopes students engage with clubs and organizations that provide a space for interests beyond policy.

“Think outside the world of policy, everything has a policy component and angle – apply that lens to help find other passions,” Leanna said, encouraging students to diversify their college experience.

Want to help fund a student’s real-world experience? Give to the SPIA Experiential Learning Fund which supports students who are working unpaid internships.