Robert Harper is a 2nd Year Masters of Public Policy Student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. In 2016, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a Minor in Criminal Justice and became the first member of his family to graduate from a 4-year college/university. As a Supplier Diversity Manager at the University of Minnesota, he has spent the past two years combating disparities in public contracts. As a Page Scholar over the past 6 years, Robert has volunteered as a mentor to minority youth with a number of Twin Cities Non-Profits. He has a strong value for mentorship, especially in the African American community.
Throughout high school and college, I worked to defy stereotypes by being involved in a variety of activities including Football, Track & Field, Drama/Theater, Choir, College Possible, TRIO, Students for Racial Justice, and more. These experiences equipped me with an ability to work with and understand people from a diversity of backgrounds.
I first became intrigued by Public Policy when I worked with O’Rourke Strategic Consulting as a Capitol Pathways Intern. This experience gave me the opportunity to go behind closed doors to see how policy is actually formed. With an obvious lack of racial representation in Minnesota elected office, I felt that Public Policy could be my vocation. My experiences growing up in and around poverty and crime motivate me to become a political expert who advocates for those diverse youth and families who are suffering from similarly unfortunate circumstances.