The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Daniel Shlien '18

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As a First-Year Fellow, I worked at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), an independent, non-partisan watchdog organization that oversees the federal government founded in 1981. POGO’s primary objective is to identify and investigate systemic corruption, undue influence, or other misconduct impacting the federal government. It also conducts research and works with whistleblowers and other insiders to investigate tips and document findings. POGO makes policy recommendations on issues related to oversight, works with government officials to implement those recommendations, and runs programs that educate congressional staffers, media members, and others about oversight.

Daniel Shlien '18 at his desk at POGO. 

Daniel Shlien '18 (far left) with the POGO office on Hawaiian shirt day.

The most rewarding part of the fellowship was attend and contribute to Senate committee hearings. In these hearings I was able to see POGO’s director testify on a variety of different matters, including one that I had investigated and helped edit the testimony for. In these hearings I also saw government officials testify, giving me new perspectives on the inner workings of investigator general offices and numerous departments and agencies. The best part of these hearings, though, was seeing how the reports were treated by committee members. Each issue was treated very seriously and most senators, regardless of party affiliation, dug deep into the issues at hand with probing questions. Coming out of hearings I felt a great deal of faith that our elected officials were being good members of government and were not simply at the beck and call of outside interests and personal allegiances.

-Written by Daniel Shlien '18
This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy. 

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