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

Class of 2021 First-Year Fellow: Caterina Hyneman

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First-Year Fellow, Caterina Hyneman ’21 interned at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) under the mentorship of Danielle Downing ’99.

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Caterina Hyneman '21 and her other fellow POGO interns “Provoke Accountability” in front of the White House.

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As a First-Year Fellow, Caterina Hyneman ’21 interned at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) under the mentorship of Danielle Downing ’99. The following is an excerpt from her final report.

This summer, I interned at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). POGO is an independent, nonpartisan watchdog organization that champions government reforms to combat waste, fraud, and abuse. It not only conducts investigations into the federal government, but partners with government officials through projects such as the Congressional Oversight Training to help them perform oversight themselves. In addition, POGO publishes policy recommendations to suggest solutions and urge the government to act in bipartisan ways and in the best interest of the people they represent.

POGO interns aid investigators and policy analysts on their projects. Although I was technically an investigative intern, I decided to work with both the investigative and public policy teams and focused on writing articles. I aided in rolling out a months-long investigation with the investigation team, sorting through and annotating hundreds of documents, and writing articles on my findings. Eventually I wrote an article with the Director of Investigations that will be published later. I conducted research policy research on rules governing Congressional committees and presented an analysis of my findings and my policy recommendations for Congress moving forward. The final report will be sent to Congress as a whole but was specifically requested by Senator Elizabeth Warren’s staff and implemented in her new Ethics Bill. Finally, I researched and educated myself on the world of federal contracting and misconduct, updating the company’s database and publishing my own article.

Prior to POGO I knew my strengths academically and professionally but struggled to imagine a job that allowed me to use them to my advantage. This internship gave me focus and peaked my interest in public policy and law; it has made me want to take advantage of the Rockefeller’s Center public policy classes and co-curricular programs. It also gave me a taste of what law school is like and how a law degree can be extremely helpful even if I do not practice it. I am excited for all the new opportunities that this internship has opened, nurturing all the relationships I created in DC, and what this can mean for my career going forward.

I would like to thank the Rockefeller Center and everyone who made this internship possible for allowing me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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