Texas Public Policy Foundation
Fall 2012 Site Review
Position: Policy Intern
Student: Government Senior
Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is a free-market oriented public policy think tank based here in Austin, Texas. Its office suite is located just on the other side of the Capitol, at the intersection of 9th and Congress Ave. It can be easily accessed through Capital Metro. TPPF specializes in state policy issues, covering areas in fiscal policies, health care, criminal justice, energy, education, higher education, and states’ rights. The firm has about thirty people. It is headed by CEO & President, Brooke Rollins. However, Arlene Wolhgemuth, Executive Director and Director of Center for Health Care Policy leads the day-to-day operation. In 2011, TPPF started a cooperative relationship with the Laffer Center on Supply-Side Economics, led by the Reagan economic advisor, the renowned “Father of Supply Side Economics,” Arthur Laffer himself. TPPF periodically commissions the Laffer Center to conduct economic studies on economic policy scenarios. TPPF also sponsors the Right on Crime and Texas Budget Source policy projects. The firm will break ground on its new building at the beginning of next year. It expects to move into its new, five-story office suite by 2014, just across the street.
Internships at TPPF can be either part-time (15-20 hours) or full-time (40 hours). Unlike most government internships, this is actually a paid internship. Interns do receive a stipend of $500 (part-time) or $1000 (full-time). It is not too much, but the job does come with a monetary compensation. I was a policy intern in the Center for Fiscal Policy. I was also assigned to the Communications Department to assist with outreach. Most interns, however, only have one assignment with one center or department. Interns are placed within the firm depending on their policy interests and experience. All interns are assigned a supervisor, often the department or center leader, to whom he or she reports to every day at work. The supervisor assigns tasks for interns to do throughout the day. All interns are required to submit a Weekly Report at the end of each week to top executives, including Brooke and Arlene.