Muhammed Fofana, MPA ’22

Photo of Muhammed Fofana.Contact Muhammed


Banjul, The Gambia

Undergraduate education

Bachelor’s degree in public policy and administration, UW–Whitewater


Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Job title

Budget and Policy Analyst – Advanced

Start date

May 2022

Primary job responsibilities

I am the Department of Health Services’ point of contact for the federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan. I administer the ARPA COVID Recovery grant for all the local and tribal health departments in Wisconsin. I also assist with budget activities for the state’s vital records office at DHS.

How do you use what you learned at La Follette on the job?

I found all courses I took at La Follette very helpful in shaping what I do today.

Which experiences and skills helped you get your job?

Interview skills, courses I took at La Follette, and other prior work experiences.

Why a master’s degree in public affairs?

Societal issues, military experience, and travel all helped me shape my career transition into the world of public policy. I was an accounting major before I changed programs to study public policy. My experiences in the military helped shape this decision.

Why the La Follette School?

I applied to two schools only: UW–Madison and the University of Maryland–College Park. I received admission into both programs but chose La Follette because of their course combinations, faculty status, and the great things the City of Madison offers. A particular focus was on the graduate certificate programs that accompany the MPA/MIPA programs as an option for satisfying elective credits.

What impact did your client-based projects have on your education and/or career?

The client-based project was one of my favorite experiences at La Follette. We studied Health Facility Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa and the importance of electricity access for public health. I worked with a great team of faculty, client, and classmates who made the experience rewarding, which helped me to solidify what I intended to do when I graduated.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience

My interaction with faculty, staff, and students at La Follette. Everyone was accommodating.

Most challenging La Follette School experience

I found the introduction to statistical analysis course quite challenging. Still, I survived it with the help of my classmates, staff (Mo O’Connor, to be specific), and faculty. Mo was instrumental in supporting and guiding many students through these challenging times. There are always great team efforts at La Follette. No student is left behind.

Why would you recommend the La Follette School?

Excellent course options, fantastic staff and faculty, class size, and the school’s prestige in public policy.


Mo O’Connor, the school’s graduate program manager, was instrumental in my La Follette journey, from admission to graduation. Without her, I would not be in a position to be a participant in the alumni panel at Visit Day to share my experiences with admitted students. If you find yourself struggling or in any problematic situations, Mo’s door is always open to help.

Favorite book, podcast, app, Madison restaurant …

Favorite book: Jason Bourne

Favorite restaurant in Madison: Eno Vino (your Madison experience is not complete until you visit)

People would be surprised to know that…

If I divulge something surprising about myself, it would no longer be a surprise when we all meet!