Public Policy in Federal Grant-making

I’ve been working with a man named Tom Keane in the enforcement division of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration within the DOT, who is in charge of making sure FMCSA policy is enacted tangibly. My project with him is analyzing grants given to state commercial vehicle departments, and seeing how many vehicle inspections states can generate from the amount of grant money given. This data analysis will give an approximation of how effectively states are using their grant money, and can indicate if they are using that grant money to finance other projects that the grant is not designed to support financially.


I plan to apply to the Ford School for Public Policy next year, and Tom Keane has been a great mentor in understanding the financial and data analysis portion of public policy. He taught me that a lot of federal policies need to be supported by grants in order to be effective. Reviewing whether a certain policy’s effects line up with how much funding supports seems to be key in the process of creating better public policy. I definitely think that the data analysis and Excel skills he has taught me will be helpful in future projects in analyzing and enacting public policy.

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