Maggie Reeves has always looked for opportunities where she can add value in the public sector, and now as the Associate Director for the Center for State and Local Finance, the 29-year-old has embarked on a new challenge.
Reeves, who has a master’s degree in public administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, is responsible for implementing the strategic plan of the newly created center. Its mission: to develop the people and ideas for next generation public finance.
“I love being part of new initiatives, and this center is brand new,” she said. “In this job, there’s a lot of learning, but there’s also the real potential for doing great work that impacts the entire community.”
The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies is ranked No. 4 in the nation in public finance and budgeting by U.S. News & World Report. The center advances that with innovative policy research and executive education, which Reeves sees as critical.
Center staff talked with chief financial officers at the state and local level across Georgia, and they all emphasized the need for executive education for those moving into leadership roles in public finance. The center’s premier executive education program for chief financial officers is that answer, Reeves said.
“The program is filling a void in the public sector, and I think that’s such a great initiative,” Reeves said. I’m excited to help grow that.”
Additionally, Reeves is charged with building a stronger bridge between the nationally ranked faculty of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and the public finance community at the State and local level.
This is a new direction for the Indianapolis native, who moved to metro Atlanta in 2004 to attend Emory University. There she focused on women’s studies, and then accepted a full-time position at the Georgia Commission on Family Violence upon graduating.
She led media campaigns, analyzed policies, and performed research functions that helped change the statewide conversation surrounding domestic violence. Still, Reeves wanted to do more.
“I’m excited to get up in the morning when I know I have projects that seem like puzzles to solve,” she added.
In 2011, she enrolled in the graduate program at the Andrew Young School, where she boosted her skills in budgeting, finance and policy analysis. That education was vital in her next role at the Judicial Council of Georgia/Administrative Office of the Courts, where she spearheaded innovative projects.
One of her main tasks was creating the Georgia Courts Registrar, a cloud-based licensing system used by more than 5,000 judicial employees. She worked on everything from testing the technology to procurement, contract management, staff training and budgeting.
“She’s one of our star M.P.A. students,” said Carolyn Bourdeaux, director of the Center for State and Local Finance. “She brings a strong dedication to the public sector, and she has great instincts.”
Ultimately, Reeves said her goal is to help push the center toward success and provide the structure and processes that allow big ideas to flourish.
“Having the energy to look at how to do things better, more efficiently, and provide more value to the folks who are getting those services,” she said, “That, I think, is a huge piece of public service.”