UConn School of Public Policy (SPP) alum Kyle Livernoche currently serves as a Program Analyst with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). His journey to public service and a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) began at a young age when he wanted to be a firefighter like his father. Overtime his focus shifted to the health and human service field.
While at UConn for my undergraduate, I was fortunate to spend some time with Dr. Treadwell in the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Lab. While there, my interests refined even further, and I decided that I wanted to enter the world of child welfare. Given some of my prior experience and interests, I landed more specifically on the data, policy, and systems side rather than on the casework side. I think that desire, and my love of UConn are what really helped me to decide to purse an MPA degree in the SPP.
While pursuing his MPA, Kyle completed his Internship and Professional Practice (IPP) at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (CT DCF) as a Performance Management Intern. Kyle notes,
My internship at CT DCF really set up my success in two primary ways. First, SPP was able to match me to an internship that aligned to my interests and allowed me to begin building skills and experience. Second, and perhaps even more crucial, were the relationships I formed, particularly with my first supervisor, *Anne McIntyre-Lahner.
With Anne’s mentorship Kyle was able to learn about the child welfare system. She also taught him more generally about how to assess outcomes, strategic planning and performance management, which he utilizes in his current role. He says, “to this day, I still ‘channel my inner Anne’ when I’m faced with a particularly difficult situation at work. When I reflect back, I think my internship was really the launching point of my career.”
Kyle’s commitment to service alongside his CT DCF internship and MPA helped him standout when applying to jobs across New England. His first job after the MPA was serving as Programming Service Officer at the
I remember being asked ‘why child welfare?’ at one point, and my answer was so straightforward, I wasn’t sure if I answered it sufficiently: ‘I’m not interested in helping drive profits – I want to use my skills and energy to help some of the country’s most vulnerable population’ and that answer is still true and still something I go back to when I talk about my work.
In his next role at DCYF he served as Assistant Chief of Planning. His mission was to meet and development relationships with the Department’s frontline workers in order to better understand what their roles entailed alongside the challenges they faced. During this time he conducted case reviews and learned more about how policies, systems and decisions impacted lives. One of his primary responsibilities was the implementation and oversight of the Department’s Federal Program Improvement Plan (PIP), which consisted of improving child welfare outcomes through activities aimed at timely permanency, child well-being and stability in placements. For PIP, Kyle tracked activities and ensured leaders were meeting implementation deadlines. He was also responsible for reporting and representing DCYF during Federal progress updates.
Alongside caseworkers, supervisors and senior leadership, Kyle worked to embed data driven decision making into day-to-day work. He adds, “all our work centered around making the system run better so children and families had better outcomes.” Together they frequently reviewed data, sought to understand trends, and created a space to share and discuss best practices.
His journey to CMS began with a former DCYF manager who assisted in the formation of the Office of Strategy, Performance, & Results. While describing the transformational and impactful work at the Office, she also highlighted how Kyle’s skills and experiences would be invaluable. After connecting with the Office Director and completing a few interviews he was brought onboard. He emphasizes,
It was really challenging to say goodbye to Rhode Island and the child welfare world, especially to the dedicated social workers at all levels that I spend a lot of time with. But a federal opportunity in Health and Human Services is something nearly impossible to turn down. It was an opportunity to help transform and improve the lives on vulnerable populations across the Country.
Out of Office’s five capability areas, Kyle serves on the strategic agenda and data insight teams. This position allows him to work on unique and enterprise-wide projects that impact both the American Public and CMS employees. With the strategic agenda team he works to develop, implement and monitor the strategic vision of Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure’s administration. On the data insights team he helps to develop business tools that enable higher data utilization and measurement across the enterprise. Kyle currently leads a dashboard in partnership with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights that monitors and creates transparency around the agency’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion data.
Kyle’s role also involves co-chairing a working group under the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HSS) Future of Work Coordinating Committee. His group assesses mission delivery, productivity, and customer satisfaction across HHS, including the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Indian Health Services (IHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and others. He adds, “it’s a unique opportunity centered around sharing best practices and creating a space for dialog around how each agency measures its success.
Kyle frequently reflects on SPP coursework in “Project Management in the Public Sector”, “Applied Research Design”, “Race and Policy” and “Applied Quantitative Methods”. He notes that his projects draw upon project management, data analysis and social policy.
SPP is proud to call Kyle a MPA alum, and looks forward to seeing his continued impact on communities across the country!
*Anne McIntrye-Lahner is currently an adjunct faculty member with SPP!