Luis Navarrete, MPA

Portrait of Luis NavarreteContact Luis


Milwaukee, WI

Undergraduate education

Bachelor of arts in political science, Marquette University

Professional/research interests

Economic and community development

Expected graduation date

May 2026

Why an MPA?

I recently worked for the Office of Mayor Cavalier Johnson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I gained an understanding of the various functions of local and state government. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago and Milwaukee fostered a drive to break intergenerational barriers and create a better future for those in my community. I was inspired by numerous local leaders working for the City of Milwaukee who encouraged me to pursue an MPA.

Why the La Follette School?

I was drawn by the La Follette School’s reputation, quality of education, program flexibility, and location. I wanted to pursue my degree while continuing my work at the local and state levels to help Wisconsin be more effective, efficient, and equitable.

Career goals

While I have built a solid grounding in working with local nonprofits and service organizations, I look to expand upon this foundation by continuing my work in the public or private sector. I am interested in pursuing a career in politics, intergovernmental relations, or development and fundraising. I hope to utilize my communication skills and advocate for something or somewhere I am passionate about.


I am a graduate assistant Posse Mentor for the UW–Madison Posse Program that provides merit-based scholarships including full tuition to student leaders from four major U.S. cities: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. I mentor 11 freshmen from the Washington, D.C. area as they transition to life as full-time college students in a new campus environment. I was fascinated by their mission and goal to help scholars reach their full potential and prepare to become future leaders of the 21st century.

Last summer, I worked as a development intern for Genesys Works, a national nonprofit based out of D.C. that assists high school students in underserved communities with professional development through skill training, work experience, and networking opportunities.


I have had the opportunity to connect with many La Follette alumni, but the one who stood above the rest was Claire Zautke (MPA ’19), the policy director for the Office of Mayor Cavalier Johnson in Milwaukee, WI. We first met while working for the Mayor’s Office, and she encouraged me to think about my career path and educational aspirations. She became a friend within the workplace, a mentor, and one of the main reasons I decided to pursue an MPA at the La Follette School. I owe much of who I am today to our many conversations and her support.

La Follette School Student Association

I was elected the La Follette School Student Association Vice President.

Volunteer activities

I was also elected as the faculty liaison for the Wisconsin Student Planning Association and serve on the Wisconsin Union Budget Advisory Board. I am still involved with local organizations in Milwaukee as well. I am on the Scholarship Committee for the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and serve on the Marquette University Young Alumni Association board.

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