Jessica Legnos Kearney

MPA, 2012

Second Vice President, The Travelers Institute


Jessica Kearney is a 2012 graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Master of Public Administration program. She currently serves as Second Vice President of the Travelers Institute; the public policy division of Travelers. The Travelers Institute was established as a means of participating in the public policy dialogue on matters of interest to the property casualty insurance sector, as well as the financial services industry more broadly. The Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management and the technical expertise of its risk professionals and other experts to provide information, analysis and recommendations to public policymakers and regulators.

In this role, Kearney has led a number of public policy initiatives, including those addressing distracted driving, automated vehicles, disaster preparedness, cybersecurity, small business challenges, the national debt and insurance education. She works regularly with universities, nonprofit organizations, the media and government agencies at the federal, state and local levels to advance public policy dialogue on these issues.

Kearney entered the MPA program in 2010 after nearly five years in New York City working for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); a nonpartisan foreign policy think tank, membership organization, and publisher. She held several positions there including special assistant to the president and assistant director for foundation relations. Before joining CFR, she held several internships as an undergraduate student at Northeastern University including at Harvard University’s Women and Public Policy Program and as an editorial assistant and freelance writer for the Boston Globe.

Describing her decision to go back to school, Kearney said, “I had some great professional experience, but knew that I needed to strengthen my quantitative and analytic skill sets to perform at a higher level.” The skills she learned in the program enabled her to more easily interpret data and research that she uses in her career today.

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