Ryan LeCloux, MIPA ’18

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Sturgeon Bay, WI

Undergraduate education

Bachelor’s degree in political science with minors in history and international affairs, The George Washington University


Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

Job title

Legislative Analyst

Start date

July 2018

Primary job responsibilities

I conduct research and write memos and other written products to address questions posed by legislators, other government employees, and members of the public. I conduct research on a wide variety of policy issues, state laws and regulations, legislative history, federal law, and other states’ laws and policies.

Describe a project that best illustrates your job.

Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized sports betting, I co-wrote a publication on the issue of sports betting and how states were acting to regulate the industry. A common task of my job is researching current issues and new developments in policy issues and communicating that information to legislators and their staff.

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

At La Follette, I had to conduct extensive research, analyze that information, and write memos and papers on various topics. I am constantly using research, analysis, and writing skills in my job. Like grad school, I often do not get to choose the topics or questions I am researching, so I am constantly applying my research skills and learning about new issues.

Why the La Follette School?

I was drawn to La Follette for several reasons, the primary ones being the small program size, the international focus of the MIPA program, and the opportunities and academic expertise that UW–Madison offers.

Project assistantships while at the La Follette School

I had a project assistantship with Dr. Menzie Chinn, which involved compiling and analyzing economic data to develop metrics to measure state economies. The position required me to think critically and creatively to address a problem, which is something I am constantly doing in my current job. I often must compile and analyze data to develop trends and conclusions.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience

The funding available for internship opportunities allowed me to pursue an internship with a small education nonprofit in India during the summer between my first and second years in the program. Having the ability and support to pursue a professional opportunity that interested and challenged me was a very rewarding and pivotal experience.

Most challenging La Follette School experience

The final capstone project was probably the most challenging academic project I’ve ever had to do! We were given a monumental task and had to work as a team to conduct extensive research and analysis over a relatively short period of time. It required extensive planning, coordination, and time management skills to make it all come together.

Why would you recommend the La Follette School?

The small cohort size really allows you to get to know your classmates and interact with the faculty. Additionally, there are so many professional development opportunities available through La Follette and UW as a whole, such as project assistantships. I also think Madison is an excellent place to live, especially as a grad student!

Volunteer activities

I serve as a judge for the National History Day contest held by the Wisconsin Historical Society and serve on the board of the education nonprofit that I interned with during my time at La Follette.

Favorite book, podcast, app, Madison restaurant …

My husband and I love to go out to eat, with some of our favorite restaurants being Sardine (for brunch) and The Harvey House.

People would be surprised to know that…

I am an avid cook. I enjoy trying new recipes and the reward that comes with being able to taste what I’ve cooked.