Department of Public Policy Leadership

University of Mississippi

Gus Maples

Gus Maples

BA public policy leadership ’14

Professional Staff Member, US Senate Committee on Appropriations

Public policy and politics have always interested me, and when I attended the Lott Leadership Institute’s summer program for high school students I saw a path to further that interest. I believe civic engagement is a vital component of our republic and important for a healthy society.

When I look back on my undergraduate studies, I cannot imagine a truly fulfilling education had I not been involved in the Lott Leadership Institute. Studying public policy leadership opened doors for me to study abroad in Ecuador and South Africa. Back in Oxford, class sizes are small enough to afford engaging discussions about policy ideas and the writings of political theorists. This all helped prepare me for an internship on Capitol Hill with Senator Thad Cochran. Now working full time in Washington, my professional network includes many former classmates.

During my internship I caught Potomac Fever, and moved to Washington after graduation to work at Student Veterans of America. There I helped veterans who serve our country navigate the transition back to civilian life as college students using their G.I. bill benefits. When Senator Cochran became Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, he hired me to work on the Transportation & Housing Appropriations Subcommittee. In my current role with Appropriations I advise Subcommittee Chairman Susan Collins on funding programs for highways and bridges, vehicle safety, and numerous housing programs.