By Roadtrip Nation

Miles Sandler


My road in life has been direct.
In high school, I knew I wanted to work with kids and thought I would end up working in child psychology.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology and then got a job working for the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh—I started as a theater teacher and then worked my way up to program director.
In order to have more impact at a systems level, I wanted to go back to school for my master’s degree but didn’t see how I could afford it.
I applied and was accepted to the National Urban Fellow program, which combined a master’s program in public administration with a fellowship and covered the cost of the degree.
Through the program, I worked for the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative and then was able to transition to National League of Cities after finishing my degree.
I spent three years with National League of Cities working with urban centers across the U.S. on education initiatives, including after school programming, higher education, and workforce development.
I then got the opportunity to join the Kauffman Foundation to lead their education and public affairs work.
After four and a half years as the director of engagement for education, I moved into my current role as director of policy and engagement.
Keep following my journey


Director of Policy and Engagement

I manage the policy agenda for a private foundation.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

My day-to-day involves a lot of meetings and planning. I need to get our policy agenda out to the right audiences, which involves webinars, meetings, and conferences. I also do analytic work—figuring out what policies we see actually working in the real world. We do deep analysis on local and state level work to see what's actually changing conditions. I also spend time working internally to connect with our teams and make sure we're elevating what's most important in priority.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Know yourself. Take time to learn what drives you what you can't stand. The more you understand yourself, the more you'll find and draw opportunities. If you're specifically interested in policy work, experience is key. Volunteer for campaigns. Connect with local leaders—your mayor, council members, etc. I also recommend reading the news. Read multiple sources. Having a good understanding of what's happening in our country and the world helps sharpen your antenna for solutions and innovations.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


Challenges I Overcame

Imposter Syndrome