Alumni Spotlight: Kit Brauer
Alumni Spotlight: Kit Brauer, MPP ’08
USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development alumnus Kit Brauer’s breadth of professional experiences reflects a strong commitment to public service.
For two years, Brauer taught English at an underserved school in eastern North Carolina through the Teach for America program. It was this hands-on experience that Brauer credits with solidifying his interest in contributing to societal change — and ultimately drew him to SPPD.
“I came to USC to gain the skills of policy analysis and government administration,” he noted.
After graduating, Brauer searched for a position which would allow him to meld his interest in public service with his desire to administer policy.
He became a participant in the Management Development Program at MAXIMUS, a government operations and consulting group. The company helps public sector clients navigate through governmental policies and provides services to individuals and families in areas such as child services and education to employment and health literacy.
“MAXIMUS allowed me the capacity to influence many people’s lives,” he said.
The Management Development Program, which is open only to those with a master’s degree, offers participants a 15-month long exploration of the extensive variety of management positions available across the country and the host of issues with which the company deals.
Brauer was able to make significant improvements through his work. When MAXIMUS was commissioned to administer Medicaid in Texas, the company sent Brauer to help ensure this project’s success.
“I improved the efficiency of the Medicaid call center for the state,” Brauer shared of one of his most memorable experiences. “Now, Texans have a more streamlined process when they call in to get help enrolling for Medicaid.”
If the state’s residents have questions about Medicaid or want to change their healthcare plan, the call centers now ensure that they receive the necessary assistance. Brauer also helped establish an enrollment broking process that aims to register qualified residents in Medicaid and to make certain that Texans receive all the benefits for which they are eligible.
Brauer also traveled to Tennessee where he assisted with the company’s workforce service project there. By establishing centers to administer welfare and provide services ranging from resume writing assistance to job search training, Brauer made a vital impact on the workforce readiness of Tennessee’s unemployed.
For the past year, Brauer has served as the director of school operations for high-performing charter schools in New York City. He has worked for the Success Charter Network and Achievement First.
In this role, he is responsible for a wide array of important duties, which include: managing the back office team; overseeing the school budget; ensuring the school remains in compliance with all state law and health and safety protocols; managing the relationship with co-located schools; planning logistics for all school-wide events; procures all instructional and office supplies; and managing student data collection.
He attributes his creative problem solving and aptitude for innovation to his time at SPPD. “My MPP gave me an analytical tool kit,” Brauer said. “It helps me think about the choices I make.”
When asked about the counsel he would offer current and future SPPD students, Brauer remarked, “Begin with the end in mind. Figure out, to the best of your ability, where you would like to end up. Then figure out what skills you need to obtain that position. Then focus your coursework on getting those skills.”