Michael Nelson ’16
Social impact is the life work for Michael Nelson ’16, who is fresh from a summer working in the Biden-Harris Administration to implement the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“It’s unfair how accurately your childhood ZIP code predicts your future education, income, and health, and how factors like race and gender further separate opportunity,” Nelson says. “I was glad to support the White House to develop guidance that expands equitable access to funding for marginalized communities, as well as to increase transparency and efficiency for the thousands of BIL projects.”

Day-to-day, this meant collaborating with the U.S. Chief Financial Officers Council and other government leaders to resolve challenges they faced in implementing the BIL.

Nelson’s social consciousness stems from his education at Hamilton, where the economics major explored a variety of innovation and experiential learning opportunities. “Outside of class, you could either find me in the Levitt Center studying or the Glen House planning Adirondack trips. The Levitt Center’s programs on entrepreneurship and policy helped me realize I could merge my interest in economics with social impact projects,” he says.

After Hamilton, Nelson moved to Washington, D.C., where he spent four years as a government innovation consultant at Deloitte. “My team helped agencies adopt cutting-edge technologies like AI, blockchain, and robotics to better serve the country,” he says. “We covered a variety of issues from preventing financial fraud to battling the opioid epidemic and COVID-19.”

Nelson is currently wrapping up graduate school, pursuing a dual MBA/MPA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Harvard University with a focus on economic mobility and youth empowerment. He continues to support equity and opportunity projects on the side by partnering with changemakers to improve their programming and expand their organizations.

Because Hamiltonians

Read about other alumni who are making an impact in their professions and communities around the world.

Balancing graduate school and professional projects has meant bouncing between Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and DC — a fun adventure for the Centennial, Colo., native.

“I plan to continue working with government agencies and nonprofits. I look forward to using the skills and insights I acquired in school to better support communities in need,” he says.

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