Story by Dwain Hebda
It might not have been preordained in the strictest sense that Todd Moore’s (’10) educational journey would lead him to the Clinton School of Public Service, but given his family background, it’s not outside the realm of possibility, either.
“There is definitely a sense of service in my family,” he said. “I come from four generations of military service. My great-grandfather was a buffalo soldier; my grandfather served in the 9th cavalry stationed at Camp Funston in Fort Riley; my father served in Vietnam; my grandparents and my mother were foster parents. Helping others is part of my family’s DNA.”
Moore channeled this family ethos throughout his own academic and professional life. A graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in African American studies, he worked in the nonprofit sector for a decade before finding his way to Little Rock for graduate school.
“I was the executive director of the Big Brothers and Sisters in Manhattan [Kansas] and was doing rural mentoring work with Big Brothers and Sisters of Topeka,” he said. “All that while I was trying to figure out what the next step was educationally. I really didn’t connect to a social work degree and a policy degree felt a little too wonky.
“A friend of mine was in the first class at the Clinton School and talked to me about that as an option. The Clinton School really fit my sensibility, having a degree that’s centered in the community but also has this policy and bigger picture perspective.”
Moore said the approach of the Clinton School felt in turn familiar and very progressive compared to what he’d experienced thus far. He said he was impressed by the length to which the school and its professors would go to allow him to incorporate his practical work experiences into discussions, while at the same time introducing concepts that helped him hone his approach to workplace challenges.
“Having done community-based evaluation or having led some of the things that our professors were talking about conceptually, I think it was helpful for me to be able to see it from a different perspective,” he said. “That helped clarify some things for me.
“When you’re doing things in a community, you’re applying principles and concepts you think will work. The Clinton School helped put together a really clear evaluation framework on how to measure whether something’s working or not. I always knew that, but it wasn’t something that I applied as consistently as the Clinton School teaches you to. That was really helpful.”
For his International Public Service Project, Moore traveled to Shanghai, China, where he worked for the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce examining how multinational organizations managed their corporate giving and community service.
“I wrote a paper on a comparison of all the different charitable giving arms,” he said. “I got to interview folks from corporate social responsibility, CSR, with 15 multinationals constructing a profile on their corporate social responsibility framework. I looked at similarities, looked at differences and then offered perspective on opportunities like, what are some gaps that can be filled.”
His Capstone led him back home to Kansas when he was hired to audit the Kansas AmeriCorps program, where he identified how the group distributed funds and identified grantees. This role foreshadowed the consulting work he landed after graduating from the Clinton School in 2010.
“Immediately after the Clinton School I did contract work. I did a bunch of consulting work with Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, ARCOP. I did some work with the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services,” he said. “Then the University of Medical Sciences, UAMS, called and said they wanted me to help with the community engagement component of their Translational Research Institute.”
Moore’s experience eventually brought him back to Kansas full-time, where for a decade he did similar work for the medical center at his alma mater. More recently, he’s worked as a project strategist in the Center for Diversity and Health Equity for the American Academy of Family Physicians in Kansas City, Kansas.
The father of two said he still values his Clinton School education for the skills it taught and the network it provided him.
“I don’t know if, at the time, we were as refined as they are now. We were still in the early stages of figuring out what the school was when I went there,” she said. “Today, they’ve got a really good grasp on relying on your cohort. This is a group of people that you can go to for support, ideas, direction, consultation. This is a group of people you can lean into.”
Todd Moore is a 2010 graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service. He has served as a Project Strategist for the American Academy of Family Physicians, a Project Director for the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Community Engagement Lay Program Manager for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.