Warren has been applying the skills he’s gained in the EMP to his role as Senior Communications Manager for the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics.
Headshot of Jonathan Warren
Jonathan Warren

Working in crisis communications for the dairy industry piqued Jonathan Warren’s interest in public policy. “I started working for the client with one idea of the dairy industry and finished with a very different picture—one that was inseparable from public policy. I quickly realized I could not communicate about sensitive issues to the industry and to the public without understanding the forces and policies at play.”

After graduating from Notre Dame with a degree in English, and motivated by his interest in reading, writing, and journalism, Warren joined the Chicago office of Weber Shandwick, a public relations agency. In his role coordinating crisis and issue responses for clients, Warren monitored media coverage and public conversations, and quickly crafted communication strategies. Through drafting materials like talking points, social media posts, editorial pieces, industry communications and press releases, Warren learned the complexity of the industry’s issues. “The range of topics we encountered each day was huge. It included agriculture, nutrition, climate science, animal welfare, trade, parenting and education, and racism, to name only a few.”

Warren said the role taught him the importance of understanding the full picture when doing public relations and research work. “In order to communicate well about difficult subjects, you have to know them inside and out. The process of getting to know a topic is just as important as your ability to communicate about it.”

After three years working in crisis communications, Warren transitioned to his current role as Senior Communications Manager at the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI), where he translates emerging research in economics into content that is accessible for broader audiences. During his orientation at BFI, Warren said he happened upon a brochure for the Evening Master’s Program (EMP) at Harris. “I was attracted to the program because I wanted to understand policy research in a primary way and not have to rely on summaries and secondary accounts. I would like to be able to take complicated, misrepresented, or misunderstood topics and find ways to communicate about them in simpler and more honest ways. I knew that in order to do that, I needed a background in research methods and policy analysis.”

Warren also said the program’s structure was appealing. “The EMP’s schedule allowed me to deepen my research toolkit while still working, which meant I would be able to apply what I was learning in class to my work at BFI in real time.”

Now in his final quarter in the program, Warren said perhaps his favorite class has been cost benefit analysis. “For our final paper, we were tasked with reviewing an impact analysis of a potential regulation, and I chose a package of regulations around underground storage tanks. I ended up being fascinated by it and critiqued the analysis in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to a year ago. While writing the review, I was able to see many different threads of the EMP coming together, and it was proof to me that I gained the skills I was looking to gain from this program.”