Josh Rosa, MPPA '08 (Public Policy & Administration)

Political analyst helps form alumni chapter

Joshua Rosa
It’s the eve of the primaries, or the Super Bowl as Josh Rosa affectionately calls it. He’s anxiously awaiting news to find out if his “candidates” have won, but more importantly, if his good friends who are running have won. As he sits back in his chair, he smiles and laughs out loud with his buddies as they cheer on the victories of their candidates who have beat out their opponents. This is the Super Bowl, something that Rosa waits—no lives for all year.

But all things aside, when Rosa isn’t taking in the primaries he is working on public policy, which might be an understatement. His work is complex in many ways; he is an advisor and knows that his recommendations have to be spot on. As a policy advisor with Nossaman LLP, he spends most of his days advising clients on how policy and laws will affect their doing business in California. Not an easy task and certainly not something that comes without doing much research, which is where Rosa’s career began.

Soon after he graduated with his undergrad in history from UC Davis he found himself at a different law firm doing just this . . . researching policy and how the original intent of the then bills were intended to be as law. Not exactly easy, especially for bills that dated back to the 1940s. Nonetheless, he enjoyed what he was doing. But soon he found himself in need of more education if he were going to be serious about this newly chosen profession of policy work. It was here he decided he would obtain his graduate degree from Sacramento State in public policy and administration. And so he did, further heading down what he says has been a winding road that has lead him to where he is now.

“Sacramento State was a powerful boost that took me to where I wanted to be,” Rosa said.

While working on his master’s degree he simultaneously worked on Governor Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign. His efforts paid off. On election night, Rosa celebrated victory with other campaign staffers and he immediately set his sights on a career that blended politics with serious public policy analysis. It was a double win as later he learned he would serve another four years with the governor as his policy analyst.

“I would advise the governor on whether to veto or pass bills that came through his office, Rosa said. The instruction I received in Sacramento State’s Public Policy and Administration program was an invaluable asset to my performance of my duties.”

But the real effect of Rosa’s work didn’t hit home until he set aside his duties by day and took on his volunteer role in the evening at the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commission. Here he would see directly the impacts his advisement on policy had and just how it affected the local community.

“By day, I would be working at the policy level—this 100,000 foot level it felt, and then by night I would be brought back to the ground and work as a board member right there at the ground level,” says Rosa. “It was great!”

Aside from his other community work and involvement, Rosa still found time to help with a new venture dear to him, the Hornets Policy & Politics chapter of the Sacramento State Alumni Association. For years it seemed to Rosa (and others) that there were a lot of chapters that were doing pretty much the same thing. So he and others collectively decided that they should get together and combine the Government and Public Policy and Administration chapters to make one. And they did.

“The chapter so far has been great! At our first event held downtown at 15L we had a robust turnout and I would say that out of every five people I talk with nowadays, two to three of them say they will be joining the chapter or get involved,” says Rosa.

Whether Rosa is affecting change, advising clients, or working through policy matters, one thing is for sure, he is well researched. As the elections approach this November, Rosa will have to wait patiently for his teams to finish. In the meantime, he will maintain his well-spoken demeanor, spend time with his wife, and find time to fit in the grocery shopping and gym here and there.

This article was originally published in the June 2012 edition of Sac State Connection.