Fischer will be using the skills he gained at Harris—and furthering his housing policy goals—as a Development Associate at Related Companies, one of the largest affordable housing developers in the United States.
​ Headshot of Noah Fischer
Noah Fischer

“My family taught me the importance of self-sacrifice,” said Noah Fischer, MPP’23. “My mother taught in the New Jersey public school system in a district that is still highly underfunded, and she sometimes would buy books or clothes for her students who could not afford them. And she did this without seeking recognition or financial compensation. She just saw it as something she was in a position to do, so she did it. Witnessing that alone inspired me to work toward bettering people’s lives in a constructive, concrete way.”
Fischer’s mission began to take shape while an undergraduate at Boston University (BU), where he pursued a double major in political science and Chinese. A career in public policy, he felt, seemed like a natural extension of the values he’d learned growing up.
After his first year at BU, Fischer spent the summer interning for the East Providence Community Development Division in Rhode Island. There, he primarily worked on housing issues, including Department of Housing and Urban Development grants. He also wrote a housing rehabilitation policy memo for East Providence, formalizing previously spoken-only rules already in existence.
The next summer, Fischer worked as a Research Assistant for the Initiative on Cities at BU. “I analyzed housing policy in the United States in response to COVID-19, tracking if and when certain cities enacted mortgage or rent relief programs and aggregated data to compile results. The final result was a report published by the Initiative on Cities, headed by several professors at Boston University.”
Fischer subsequently realized he needed greater quantitative, data-based policymaking skills to move forward professionally. “To do the type of work I want to do—conducting policy analysis related to housing issues, urban revitalization, or education—I realized I needed stronger quantitative skills.”

He discussed his next academic steps with his professors, and UChicago Harris came up a few times. “One professor described the school’s environment as ‘rigorous without toxic competitiveness,’ and another said, ‘If you’re passionate about something, Harris is the place to go—it will push you to be the best you want to be by the end of your degree.’”

After being admitted to the UChicago Harris Master of Public Policy program, Fischer said his initial impression was reinforced by the faculty. “At one student webinar, [Senior Lecturer] John Burrows gave a mock lesson on negotiations, and he structured it as if we were in a dialogue with him, rather than attendees just passively absorbing the concepts. That ended up holding true when I took his Management Matters course in my last quarter. Harris’ environment throughout the program has been equally inviting and challenging. I’m not sure you could find this type of atmosphere anywhere else.”

Although Fischer initially wanted to bolster his data analysis skills, he found himself gravitating towards courses more focused on finance. “I ended up taking courses on municipal bonds, financial analysis, and real estate investments. I felt if I didn’t understand the financials, it’d be nearly impossible to get things done.”
After graduation, Fischer will continue a job he secured earlier in 2023: Development Associate for Related Companies, a multinational real estate developer. “I’ll be working on affordable housing development in southern California. I came to Harris thinking I needed to work in the public sector to make an impact. But once I learned about Related, I realized the private sector can make a marked difference on people’s lives. They are one of the largest affordable housing developers in the country, and I’m excited to be working to give people an affordable, safe place they can call home.”