Interested in government? Come learn from UChicago's best and brightest serving in local, state, and federal government. The government panel and roundtables feature a select few of the many people employed in both local and federal governments, from those who staff America's diplomatic missions overseas, to those who assist in regulating the American stock market, to those who craft the policies that guide everyday life. Hear from successful College alumni working in government and policymaking organizations alike to find out more about building a career in service of your fellow citizens.
John Castaneda, AB'84, JD'90 (UMichigan)
Assistant State's Attorney, Cook County State's Attorney's Office
Mr. Castaneda received his AB in economics in 1984. He then worked as a paralegal for a few years before receiving his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. After working for a few years for a plaintiff's employment discrimination firm, he spent most of the 1990s in the solo practice of law, concentrating in juvenile issues and real estate. In 2002, he became an assistant state's attorney for the Cook County State's Attorneys' Office. He has since been assigned to the Child Protection Division, prosecuting civil abuse and neglect cases as well as performing on-the-job mentoring for undergraduate law interns and law clerks gaining a preview of what a legal career in the public service arena entails.
Hannah Cook, AB'11, JD'16
Judicial Law Clerk
Ms. Cook is a double UChicago alum, having graduated with an AB in political science in 2011 and a JD in 2016. In the College, she was involved in Hillel, University Theatre, the Neighborhood Schools Program, and the Telefund. After college, she taught middle school science and worked as a data analyst. She is currently a law clerk to the Honorable John Tharp, Jr., on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She helps write opinions, does research, and assists with trials in a huge variety of federal cases (criminal and civil). Next year, she will serve as a clerk to a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She loves theater, eating out, and trying out new baking recipes.
Matthew Dolbow, AB'98, MPA 2013 (Harvard Kennedy School)
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
As Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the UN, Matthew oversees U.S. negotiations to achieve sustainable social and economic development. He joined USUN following a ten-year China "tour." From 2013 to 2016, he led Embassy Beijing's Economic Strategy and Investment Unit, advising U.S. policymakers on the impact of China's overseas aid and investment on U.S. foreign policy objectives. He helped negotiate China's first agreement to cooperate with another country as an aid donor, rather than as a recipient, a pact the two countries announced during President Xi's 2015 U.S. state visit. From 2009 to 2012, as Spokesman for the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, Matthew created social media platforms that attracted 300,000 subscribers. In 2013, Matthew completed an MPA at Harvard's Kennedy School. He received a AB in Anthropology from UChicago in 1998 and speaks Mandarin and Korean.
Colleen Duke, AB'91, MBA, Northwestern'02
Public Affairs Officer, Consulate General of Canada in Chicago
Ms. Duke graduated from the College in 1991 with a degree in art history and economics. She also has an MBA from Northwestern University. She currently serves as Public Affairs Officer in the Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Services section at the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago. Her sectors include environment and climate change, academic relations, education marketing, social/new media, and special projects. She joined Global Affairs Canada in 2003, having previously worked in museums including the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Academy of Sciences (now known as the Peggy Notebart Museum), the Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Smithsonian Institution.
David Glockner, AB'82, JD'85 (Stanford)
Regional Director, US Securities and Exchange Commission
Mr. Glockner graduated from the College in 1982 with an AB in politics, economics, rhetoric, and law, and was a Maroon editor and runner. After attending Stanford Law School, he joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago in 1987, where he specialized in financial crime. He served as chief of the office's criminal division from 2000-2012, working on prosecutions of two successive Illinois governors and the chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States. From 2012-2013 he led the Chicago office of a global digital risk management and investigations firm. He joined the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2013 as Director of its Chicago Regional Office, and oversees the SEC's enforcement and examination activities in nine Midwestern states. He teaches a class on cybersecurity and the legal system at the University of Illinois College of Law.
C.C. Huang, AB'11, JD'15 University of Texas School of Law
Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Ms. Huang graduated from the College in 2011 with a degree in law, letters, and society. While in college, she served on the Council on University Programming and was a Program Coordinator (Resident Master's Assistant) for Broadview Hall. After college, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA for an administrative office of Boston Public Schools. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2015 and joined the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Office of General Counsel through its Legal Honors Program. She works on affordable housing and development transactions and regulatory compliance in the Chicago Regional Office. Ms. Huang volunteers with the Alumni Schools Committee as an alumni interviewer and occasional college fair representative. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the views of the Office of General Counsel, the Department of Housing & Urban Development, or the United States government.
Lisa Noller, JD'95, BA'92 (Boston College)
partner, Foley & Lardner
Ms. Noller is the Chair of Foley & Lardner's Government Enforcement, Compliance and White Collar Criminal Defense litigation practice. Prior to joining a law firm, Ms. Noller was an assistant US attorney in Chicago for 10 years. Her practice focuses on fraud defense and False Claims Act litigation. Ms. Noller has successfully tried more than thirty cases to verdict in federal court and successfully litigated numerous appeals before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She has taught federal criminal practice at the University of Chicago Law School, and currently teaches the Prosecution and Defense Clinic at U of C. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1995. She received her BA in political science and international studies from Boston College in 1992.
Adam Rod, AB'92
Planning Administrator, Chicago Department of Aviation
Mr. Rod graduated from the College in 1992 with a degree in geography, an affirmation of his lifelong passion for studying and shaping cities. His first career experience in planning and government was at the Chamber of Commerce in Evanston, Illinois. From there, he jumped to the private sector in 1995 as a property manager with Urban Retail Properties. In 1998, he could not resist an opportunity to join the City of Chicago as an assistant commissioner of downtown development and then as an aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley. In 2000, he switched posts to his current dream job: managing planning and development efforts for O'Hare and Midway Airports at the Chicago Department of Aviation, where he has gained an international reputation as leading aviation expert.
Carina Sanchez, AB'01, AB'01
Deputy City Clerk, Office of the Chicago City Clerk
Ms. Sanchez graduated from the College in 2001 with a degree in political science and latin american studies. She currently serves as the Deputy City Clerk for Chicago. She manages all aspects of the 98 employee office which has an operating budget of $10 million and generates $130 million for Chicago. She oversees day-to-day operations which include Human Resources, Communications, IT, Council Division, General Licensing and Legislative Affairs. Ms. Sanchez is committed to efficiency and transparency and directly oversaw the historic transition of 1.3 million Chicago City Stickers from seasonal to Year-Round Sales. Her work in the public sector expands over 15 years. She has worked for Cook County President Preckwinkle, former-State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the Office of the Governor and Illinois House Speaker Madigan.
Erin Sweeney, AB'05, MPP/UP'07 (Kennedy School); MA'15 (Rutgers University - Newark)
Nonprofit Exec. Dir. & Former Foreign Service Off.
Ms. Sweeney is a nonprofit leader in Newark, NJ, where she has spent several years working in urban/Newark policy, education, and youth development at various organizations. Previously, she was a Foreign Service Officer and Pickering Fellow, serving tours in Nigeria, Bolivia, and NYC, and temporary assignments in DC, Tanzania, and Germany. She received multiple Department awards, including the Secretary's Award for Overseas Volunteerism from Secretary Clinton for her community work in Africa. She graduated from UChicago in 2005 with a bachelor's in public policy, from Harvard Kennedy School in 2007 with a master's in public policy/urban planning, and recently completed a master's in American Studies from Rutgers University - Newark, focusing on immigration/migration and Newark. In her free time, she volunteers for a bunch of organizations (including as a UChicago alumni interviewer!) sits on several nonprofit boards, and still loves to travel.
Brandon Thorne, AM'08
Senior Program Officer, WC Stone Foundation
Mr. Thorne is senior program officer with the WC Stone Foundation where he supports the organization's national grant making in early childhood development, youth development, education and scholarships. Prior to joining the WC Stone Foundation, he served as program officer at The Chicago Community Trust and also as Chief of Staff for State Senator Kwame Raoul. Throughout his career, he has worked to improve practices and programs affecting underserved populations. Most notably, his work has focused on addressing housing issues, such as development of affordable rental housing, addressing the foreclosure crisis, increasing services for the homeless, implementing equitable education practices, workforce development and youth violence prevention. After receiving a BA in English from the University of Iowa, he spent 3 years with the US Peace Corps in Bangladesh, returning to the US to earn a Masters in Social Service Administration from UChicago.
Eric Wessan, AB'14
Student, University of Chicago Law School
Mr. Wessan graduated from the College in 2014 with a degree in political science. While in the College he was President of the Model UN Team, served on the student board of the IOP, and participated in Jewish Life on Campus. He also co-founded the University of Chicago Political Union and the Chicago Gate magazine. After graduating, he worked for political tech startup Crowdpac, before serving as Vice Consul of Policy & Communication for the U.K. in Chicago. Now he has returned to campus to attend The University of Chicago Law School.