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Jeremy Friedman

Jeremy Friedman headshot

Affiliation: Alumnus
Program: MS, Educational Policy
Education: BA (Economics), University of Rochester

Jeremy Friedman spends most workdays researching proposals, writing reports, and looking at data files in the Washington, D.C. office of WestEd, a national non-partisan, nonprofit agency that works to improve education.

“It’s all for the purpose of making our educational system better, but sometimes sitting at a desk in some non-descript office, you can lose sight of that,” says Friedman, who graduated in ’11 with a master’s degree in educational policy. That’s why he treasures the part of his job that allows him to travel to monitor how schools are using government grants. “I love watching schools in action, to see the passion of the teachers and administrators, and the students in the classroom. It’s exciting to start out a professional career this way.”

Being immersed in innovative approaches to education, such as using data literacy to better inform classroom instruction, is another perk. WestEd was recently awarded a grant to run the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center (MACC), which supports state education agencies in data-driven decision making and six other priority areas outlined by the Department of Education. “This is just starting up and will soon be taking up a lot of my time, especially as we grow the staff to where it will ultimately be for the project,” he says. “The MACC is as cutting-edge as it gets.”

Also wanting to help impact the 80 percent of time that students are out of school, Friedman volunteers with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which he benefitted from while growing up. Eventually, he’d like to be on the executive staff of that community-based organization or a similar one.

For now, as a researcher, he works on monitoring and evaluating charter school, magnet school and school improvement grants, technical assistance, quantitative analysis, and other projects—a variety he feels confident in juggling because of the broad range of topics he studied at Warner. While a student, he tackled statistics and school finance; discussed class size, teacher quality, and other contemporary issues in education policy; and completed an internship that emphasized practical experience in writing policy briefs and lobbying.

As a result, Friedman approached WestEd as a highly competitive applicant.

“When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”