Anna Lipton Galbraith, MPAff is CFRP's Program Services Director and oversees the operations of CFRP including grant management, finances, human resources, and other organizational needs. She also continues to have a leadership role on the child welfare research team.
Anna holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from the College of Social Sciences at Wesleyan University.
Pictured: Anna and her husband, Parker, and son Caleb.
Where and when did you grow up?
I grew up in Washington, D.C. It was a great place to grow up and I am so appreciative of the diverse community I have from my time living there. After completing my undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, I moved back to D.C. and spent two and half years working in international development. When I decided to go back to school to get a Master’s degree, I knew I wanted to move to state capitol somewhere warm. The LBJ School and Austin were a perfect fit!
What or who influenced you to choose your career path?
There have been a lot of people and experiences along the way that have shaped my career path, but by far the most influential two people are my parents. My father is an economist and my mother is a social worker and I think I ended up somewhere in the middle. There are countless ways they have shaped the way I think about my work. Both of my parents are driven to help people and make the world a better place. I am very lucky to have them as role models.
Tell us about some of the challenges or surprises from your previous international work.
One of the most fun projects I worked on was helping the Liberian Legislature build a library and develop their legislative research service. I spent about a month in Liberia to help get the project off the ground in 2010. There was a substantial UN Peacekeeping mission on the ground at the time and the Legislature was run on generator power that turned off around 4:00 pm. Sometimes we would be in meetings in the Leg when the power went off and everyone would just open the windows and keep working until their laptops went dead. The internet wasn’t quite good enough to send attachments, so we would deliver files by flash drive. It was a good lesson in flexibility and gave me a deep appreciation for the amenities I had at home.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing policymakers today?
I worry a lot about the lack of civility in government today and how we are going to get back to a place where our leaders make decisions through meaningful dialogue and compromise. I hope to be part of the solution through my work at CFRP and by engaging with my Austin and broader Texas community. Living in Texas has taught me a lot about communicating with people who don’t share my background or point of view.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
I love being outside with my family and friends. My ideal weekend involves multiple outdoor activities back-to-back: a run in the morning, a bike ride with my husband and son, meeting friends at the pool or a park, eating dinner on our deck. I love getting out of the city and deep into the woods, which can be hard to do in Austin. Every year I try to take at least one trip to a national park or wilderness area to get into the mountains. It is my happy place.
What’s your favorite taco in Austin?
It is a little boring, but the potato, egg, and cheese taco at Wheatsville has become a real staple for me over the last two years. I discovered it when I was pregnant and was having a hard time making it from my house to work without being overcome by ravenous hunger. Now I am hooked. The salsa is what makes it great.