Stanford alum named a 2014-15 Luce Scholar

Joshua Freedman
Joshua Freedman

JOSHUA “JOSH” FREEDMAN, who earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy at Stanford in 2011, was recently named a 2014-15 Luce Scholar.

Freedman, 24, was one of 18 Americans recently chosen for the program, which places individuals in internships in Asian countries. Designed as a cultural experience for students with limited knowledge of Asia, the Luce Scholars Program provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement.

Under the program, Luce Scholars can be placed in professional positions in Asian institutions or agencies in one of 15 countries. Each scholar spends July and August studying the language of the placement country. The work assignments will last about 10 months – from September 2014 to July 2015.

Freedman said he hopes to work at a newspaper, magazine or public policy institute, but doesn’t know which country he will be placed in yet.

He said he has long wanted to live and work abroad.

“The Luce scholarship is the best way I could possibly imagine to do this, as it combines both intellectual and cultural exploration,” Freedman said.

Currently, Freedman is working as a policy analyst in the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. In this role, he researches and writes about economic and social policy in the United States.

His writing has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including The Atlantic, Reuters, Quartz and He also is a contributing writer for Forbes magazine online, covering the political economics of higher education. He is interested in the philosophical foundations of public policy decisions and institutions, the intersection of the government and the economy, and the design of social insurance programs.

“The writing and research I’ve been doing in D.C. has piqued my interest in exploring similar topics of economic and social policy – and the philosophy that underlies them – in the context of Asia,” Freedman said.

At Stanford, Freedman received the Ann C. Seminara Award for Outstanding Senior in Public Policy and the Outstanding Senior Practicum award for a project on high school graduation standards in California.

He interned at the National Journal magazine while enrolled in the Bing Stanford in Washington Program, conducted research on political corruption connected to the nonprofit sector, and worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Public Policy Program. He also served as editor-in-chief of The Unofficial Stanford Blog, the independent student blog, and wrote, acted and produced comedy as part of the Robber Barons, a Stanford sketch comedy troupe.