Sophia Rogers, MPA ’19

Photo of Sophia RogersContact Sophia


Madison, WI

Undergraduate education

Bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics & mathematics, Barnard College of Columbia University


Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Job title

Assistant General Counsel

Start date

August 2021

Primary job responsibilities

I am responsible for ensuring the Commissioners know their legal alternatives and, in contested cases, that there is substantial evidence in the record sufficient to support their decision.

Describe a project that best illustrates your job.

A public utility will request approval for new construction (say, a power plant). My job is to ensure that the general public and any interested parties are aware of the construction application, that all parties have an opportunity to request additional information and offer evidence, that Commission staff has offered a defensible recommendation to the Commission, and that the Commissioners know their options. I work with Commission staff, the administrative law judge, and the other parties’ counsel throughout the proceeding. I might provide additional legal advice to the Commissioners. Then when the Commission makes its decision, I draft the order.

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

La Follette gave me a solid grasp of how the policy machine works and what tools are available to decision-makers.

Which experiences and skills helped you get your job?

I was able to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills and show my commitment to public service and the energy sector through my MPA and energy analysis and policy certificate.

Why the La Follette School?

Before graduate school, I served on the City of Madison Sustainability Committee, which commissioned a capstone project from a group of La Follette students. Don Moynihan was the group’s advisor. I was extremely impressed and noted that my fellow committee members knew and respected the school. That showed me that La Follette had a real presence in the community and helped make my decision to do the dual degree program. I did not consider any other program because I knew I wanted to be in Madison.

Project assistantships while at the La Follette School

I worked with Greg Nemet on a meta-analysis of net emissions technology research. Greg continues to study innovation and recently published a new study. My work with him gave me a glimpse into academic research and all the influence that that career offers. While I didn’t go down that path, I can appreciate it more deeply because of working with Greg.

Why would you recommend the La Follette School to a prospective student?

I would absolutely recommend the La Follette School. Because I was a dual degree student it took me two extra years to get through the program and I got to stick around and get to know more cohorts of students. La Follette has prepared and empowered all of us to do amazing things.

Volunteer activities

I’m on the board of my condo building, which I like to think of as a miniature government. I volunteer as a voter protection attorney with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Favorite book, podcast, app, Madison restaurant

I’ve been obsessed with Duolingo lately. If you haven’t spoken a foreign language since high school, try the app! You will be amazed by how quickly you remember.