Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, August 8, 2016

Scott Williams (MPA '10)

Scott Williams (MPA '10)

Energy Analysis and Policy

Job title
Research and Education Coordinator

Wisconsin Energy Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Undergraduate degree
Bachelor of arts in journalism and history, UW-Madison, 2005

How have your La Follette School courses and/or experiences contributed to meeting your career goals?
During my time at La Follette, I was able to specialize in a particular topic area (energy policy) that I had great interest in. Obtaining that content knowledge along with the practical skills from the La Follette core courses allowed me to explore career options in energy policy and helped me land a graduate assistantship at the Wisconsin Energy Institute and Wisconsin Public Utility Institute at UW-Madison, which led to a full-time position there after I graduated.

Most challenging experience at the La Follette School
The most challenging experience was most likely the Cost-Benefit Analysis course, as it challenged my teammates and I to understand all the possible impacts of a particular policy that can be monetized and figure out the most appropriate way to measure those impacts. Needless to say, it is not a straightforward process.

Most rewarding experience at the La Follette School
The most rewarding experience was the La Follette capstone course. Given the amount of time our team spent in researching and putting together our report, it was rewarding to have both a satisfied client as well as something tangible I can point to as a demonstration of my graduate school experience.

Why would you recommend the La Follette School to a prospective student?
The La Follette School provides a lot of practical skills and knowledge to understand how policies are developed and evaluated as well as how to serve in a public management role. The quantitative skills are especially valuable as the world becomes increasingly data-driven.

Why an MPA?
I had always been interested in politics, but my undergraduate major was in journalism and history, and I originally had envisioned myself as a journalist. During my time as a media intern in London, I picked up on a greater awareness of environmental issues in Europe, which I took back with me to the United States. And during my time as a TV news producer, energy and climate change became such salient issues that I felt an urgency to not just report on these issues but to do something about them. Pursuing an MPA would allow me to understand energy and environmental policy better and enable me to contribute to positive change.

Why the La Follette School?
Having received my bachelor’s degree at UW-Madison and worked a couple of years in Madison, I knew I wanted to stay in the city (especially while being engaged to someone at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine). La Follette’s MPA curriculum seemed to have the right mix of practical coursework and flexibility to pursue my topical interests.

Anything else?
The other major career I enjoy is being a father. My wife, Kristin, and I have a 2-year old girl named Eleanor (nicknamed “Nora”) who is full of energy and smiles. She brings a lot of joy to our lives and keeps us busy just trying to keep up with her.

Volunteer activities
I volunteer a little bit of time at church, helping with the audio setup during church services.