Student Leader Profile: David Lehman

February 7, 2019

David Lehman headshot

David Lehman

BATON ROUGE – David Lehman, president of the Public Administration Institute Student Association (PAISA), talks to us about the organization, opportunities for students, and his favorite LSU tradition.

David Lehman
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Program: Master of Public Administration, 1st Year
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Undergraduate Degree: BS in Economics with Upper Division Honors from LSU

How did you become involved with PAISA?

“After earning my undergraduate degree, I worked in NYC for half a year. While there, I networked with LSU alumni in the city. One of them, Mason Hess, was a graduate of the MPA program and a former President of PAISA. I had been toying with the idea of earning my MPA degree and he confirmed its value and prompted me to join PAISA."

How does your organization serve students? Why should students get involved?

“PAISA creates a professional development context where students network and interact with public officials. We provide mentorship and career guidance to students so, upon graduation, they can get hit the ground running. Also, during exams, we provide a relaxed study environment for students taking historically difficult courses. Once exams are over, we celebrate and socialize with an informal happy hour."

Do you have advice for incoming students?

“Network as much as possible. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to find people in positions you want to be in 5-10+ years from now and get to know them well. Learn their career path, how they earned their position, and gain from their career guidance. The value of networking and acquiring such mentors is invaluable.”

What are you looking forward to this year?

“LSU is hosting the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration this year. This conference has been held since 1969 and gathers academics and professionals within a 10-state region. I'm excited to attend and present a research paper I've been working on! I'm also looking forward to connecting with MPA alumni.”

Favorite spot on campus or favorite LSU tradition?

“I have two. I love studying on the third floor of the BEC. It's super quiet at night and has a spectacular view of Tiger Stadium. I also love the trees and grass on campus. The Parade Grounds is wonderful when Memorial Tower chimes at noon.”

How will this leadership opportunity shape your career?

“The MPA program and PAISA consist of a diverse group of individuals, each with experience in numerous public subsectors. Being President allows me to serve everyone and learn about their unique niches and how they collaborate to create a stronger public sector.”

About the Public Administration Institute

The Public Administration Institute (PAI) at the E. J. Ourso College of Business offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA), a 45-hour degree program which emphasizes management, financial, and public policy expertise for those leading public agencies, non-profits and healthcare organizations, federal, state, and local governments, and for-profit organizations that interact with ​​governmental agencies.

About the E. J. Ourso College of Business

Since its establishment in 1928, the E. J. Ourso College of Business has continuously improved and expanded its offerings for students and alumni. Additionally, the college has made it a priority to provide its faculty with the resources it needs to further research in every aspect of the business world and to produce industry leaders for a global work environment. For more news and information about the E. J. Ourso College, visit

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Wendy Marx
LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business