BA public policy leadership ’13
How, when, and why did you decide to study public policy leadership?
Growing up, I always had an interest in the intersection of policy and politics. As I rising Senior, I had the opportunity to participate in the Trent Lott Leadership Institute for Rising Seniors. During this time, I took political science and speech classes and also visited Washington DC. After this incredible experience, I knew public policy leadership and the Lott Institute would be a great fit for me.
Please discuss highlights of your undergraduate experience?
Ole Miss is an incredible place that provided numerous highlights during my four years. One of the more rewarding highlights was working with the Lott Institute, Sigma Nu Fraternity, and Kappa Delta Sorority to create the Ole Miss Campus Food Bank. Additional highlights occurred off the Ole Miss campus when I studied abroad in Quite Ecuador, Seoul, South Korea, and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Please talk about your path since graduation and career path goals at this point?
Prior to joining the Squire Patton Boggs, Austin interned for the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, focusing on international trade, EU policy and international energy law. Drawing on his international experience, he developed a comprehensive analysis on the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) during his final year at the Clinton School of Public Service. During law school, Austin held various legal clerkships with an emphasis on energy, public utilities, local government and international matters. As a clerk for the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Association (AECC), Austin handled filing matters with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers to obtain permits for the electric cooperative. His knowledge of energy and utility matters strengthened as he served as a research fellow for the Clinton Climate Initiative to produce a report recommending a statewide Healthy Homes Initiative by examining housing and health data along with energy efficiency policies. While working for the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, Austin worked in the Public Protection Department with a focus on environmental, tobacco and healthcare regulatory matters. As an undergraduate student at the University of Mississippi, Austin studied public policy at the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. As a student, he gained various Associate international experiences through his studies in Quito, Ecuador; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and Seoul, South Korea. Drawing on his domestic policy knowledge, Austin worked as an intern in Washington DC, for US Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and US Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS).