MPA Alumni Spotlight: Fernando Garcia '18

July 23, 2020
Fernando Garcia '18

Fernando Garcia is an alumnus from the School of Government and Public Policy where he received a Master of Public Administration in May of 2018. He first started the MPA program in 2014 where he worked for the Pima County Superior Court as part of the Office of Court Appointed Counsel (OCAC). After his first year in the program, he commissioned into the United States Marine Corps and did training for two years. He is currently a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserves and drills out of Miramar, California.


After training, Fernando re-enrolled in the program in 2017 and joined the Public Affairs Student Association (PASA), as the Alumni Chair. In his first semester back, Fernando became interested in Economic Development through the course, Tools for the 21st Century in Public Management and Economic Development, taught by Adjunct Faculty Mike Letcher and Heath Vescovi-Chiordi. In this course, Fernando had the opportunity to meet two Economic Development practitioners, Victor Gonzalez and Michael Jansen, from the Town of Sahuarita, where he later interned. Fernando is grateful for the knowledge, guidance and support into the Economic Development field provided by the faculty and practitioners mentioned.


While interning for the Town of Sahuarita, Fernando performed research and market demographic data for economic development in support of the implementation of the Town’s Strategic Plan, Growth and Prosperity Plan, and the Town’s Branding Program, Marketing and Communication Plan. After his internship, along with his MPA Capstone classmates, Katie Burns-Davis and Jack Fitchett, Fernando presented a project focusing on “Developing Indicators to Measure Success in Economic Development” for the Town.


Post-graduation, Fernando gained employment with the City of Casa Grande as an Economic Development Specialist where he is also an active member of the Arizona Association for Economic Development and was recently awarded the “Ben Warren Memorial Scholarship.” Fernando is grateful for the opportunities and friendships made throughout the MPA program and is excited to keep pursuing a life of public service.