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Ph.D. Connections Conference: Career Panel—Government and Federal Agencies

April 7, 2021, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EDT

Panelists from the Government Accountability Office (the audit function supporting Congress); the State Department (responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy and international relations); and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will discuss their agencies, opportunities and challenges they face, and insights into launching a governmental career.


Alicia Puente Cackley

Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Alicia Puente Cackley is a director in the financial markets and community investment team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She oversees policy research and program evaluation on a broad range of consumer protection, insurance, housing, and finance issues. Cackley received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan, and has been with GAO since 1990.

Lou Fintor

Diplomat in Residence, North Central Region, U.S. Department of State

Lou Fintor is a career foreign service officer representing the U.S. Department of State as diplomat-in residence for Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. His assignments have included Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen, Kosovo, and NATO. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and graduate degrees from the American University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Layne Scherer

Study Director, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Layne Scherer (she/hers) is a study director and senior program officer at the National Academies of Sciences with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce. Her policy portfolio includes undergraduate and graduate education; mental health and wellness in higher education; and diversity, equity, and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and medicine. Her previous work experiences also include federal service, grants management, and the non-profit sector. She earned her B.A. in English and history of art and her master of public policy from the University of Michigan.

Registration is required at

We want to ensure full and equitable participation in our events. If an accommodation would promote your full participation in this event, please follow the registration link to indicate your accommodation requirements. Please let us know as soon as possible in order to have adequate time (one week preferred) to arrange for your requested accommodation(s) or an effective alternative.

The Ph.D. Connections Conference is co-sponsored by the University Career Center, Rackham Graduate School, and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Michigan Medical School. For more information about the conference visit the website.


April 7, 2021
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EDT
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Livestream / Virtual