Baker Scholar Wants to Pursue Her Passion as a Future Public Policy Reformer

Miranda Gottlieb grew up watching her parents work in policy advocacy, but it wasn’t until she got to UT that she realized her own passion for public policy.

That passion now fuels her work as an activist.

Miranda_GottliebGottlieb will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences on Saturday with a degree in political science and Hispanic studies.

When Gottlieb, who is from New Mexico, arrived at UT, she became involved with the Student Government Association, where she first began working on policy issues. She has been hooked ever since.

As a Baker Scholar in the Howard H. Baker Center Jr. for Public Policy, Gottlieb has had the opportunity to interact with scholars and policy experts. Her activities at the Baker Center introduced her to a variety of areas, from nuclear energy to space exploration policy to health care reform. However, her primary interest and area of research is drug policy reform.

Her experience as an intern at the New Mexico Department of Health and the Drug Policy Alliance prompted Gottlieb to begin working on local advocacy projects and form a campus chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, an international grassroots network of students who are concerned with the impact drug abuse has on communities.

Gottlieb furthered her interest in drug policy with two study abroad trips. Through her experience in Costa Rica, she made various contacts with Latin American policy reformers. In Argentina, she began to coalesce her thinking about the environment, health care, the role of government, and drug policy.

In February, Gottlieb made a presentation at TEDxUTK 2016 titled “Consumer Protections and…Drugs?” TEDx is a program designed to inform and inspire new conversations.

“My talk discussed the epidemic of opiate overdose and calls for an end of the prohibition of drugs in an attempt to remediate the harm,” Gottlieb said.

After graduation, Gottlieb plans to move to Washington, DC, where she will intern for US Representative Steve Cohen. After taking some time to travel the world and putting her skills in policy and her passion for advocacy to work, she plans to pursue her doctorate in public health.

“My dream future fluctuates on a daily basis, but I am always inclined to be an entrepreneur while simultaneously drawn to working on Latin American policy areas,” she said.

CONTACT:

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)