Kirsten Leikem graduated from URI in 2012 with degrees in Economics and Political Science. Kirsten added economics as a second major after taking Professor Mead’s introduction to macroeconomics course, where she learned about the forces of supply and demand.
She is currently a federal policy and management analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
Prior to joining GAO in 2016, Kirsten earned her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Kirsten chose public policy because it combines the quantitative and behavioral aspects of economics with the goals of government and the realities of politics.
As an analyst at GAO, Kirsten has worked on a variety of topics such as analyzing Federal data collection efforts on sexual violence, collecting data on and evaluating the management of U.S. Department of Homeland Security acquisitions less than $300 million, and reviewing the government-wide implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. Kirsten plans to continue her career in public service.
A fun fact about Kirsten is that while at URI, she and her twin sister, Tristany, both played on the women’s tennis team.