Anna Breece

School: College of Liberal Arts
Degree: BA, political science, 2018
Hometown: Canadensis, Pennsylvania

For a time, Anna Breece, CLA 18, was caught between the worlds of science and politics. But then she realized, why not do both? Now Breece brings an analytical mindset to Philadelphia’s City Hall each day as she runs numbers and dissects legislation to ensure the city's economic development initiatives are being met. 

For some, the term political science is a bit of an oxymoron: Many who pursue the discipline prefer the world of words, not mathematical formulas or Bunsen burners. But for Breece, the phrase fits perfectly.

By the numbers 

Growing up in a heavily rural corner of the Pocono Mountains, Breece excelled in all subjects in school. But the sciences caught her eye the most, and when it came time for college, studying neuroscience seemed like a good path. She enrolled at Temple primarily due to its affordability and moved into a big city for the first time. 

While she found urban life suited her, life in a lab coat turned out to be ill-fitting. 

“I very quickly realized I didn’t want to work in a lab,” Breece recalled. “I engaged my friends and my professors and asked, ‘What do you think I would be good at?’ They all said, ‘Anna, you could be president.’” 

Breece laughed off that possibility, saying she never wants to run for office. But the advice prompted her to change majors and find a way to successfully combine her passions.

Strategic maneuvers 

Breece switched to political science, bringing along her aptitude for numbers and analysis. She performed some work on political campaigns and in the research space but learned that economics suited her best. That led her to an internship as a finance associate with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and as an analyst with The Fox School of Business’ Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, a program that assists early-stage companies in securing angel investment. 

During her junior year, she also spent eight months working with the U.S. Commercial Service, helping domestic businesses and federal legislators navigate the world of international trade.

By the time she graduated, Breece had obtained certificates in political economy and social entrepreneurship, completed more than half a dozen internships, and served as a Liberal Arts Undergraduate Research Assistant (LAURA) scholar, helping Professor of Political Science Alexandra Guisinger research international trade dynamics in eight countries spanning the globe. 

Anna Breece poses for a photo outside of city hall.
Anna Breece poses for a photo inside city hall.

“Sometimes I say I immediately fell in love with Philly. That’s not really true. Freshman year we were dating, sophomore year we got serious.”

–Anna Breece
Director, policy and strategic initiatives

Turning pro 

After studying international topics at Temple, Breece could have gone just about anywhere in the world. But there was something about Philadelphia.

“Sometimes I say I immediately fell in love with Philly. That’s not really true. Freshman year we were dating, sophomore year we got serious,” Breece said, laughing.

The summer after she graduated, Breece took a role with AmeriCorps VISTA, a federal program in which participants spend one year working to alleviate poverty in U.S. communities. Breece’s role kept her in Philadelphia, where she worked with the city’s Department of Commerce in support of a citywide workforce strategy to get more Philadelphians into life-sustaining careers.

Today she works there full time as director of policy and strategic initiatives. In the position, Breece serves as a resource for City Hall, policymakers and Philadelphia businesses.

For her next steps, she’s eyeing grad school, but remains committed to helping her adopted city of Philadelphia.

“I would love to stay in the policy and strategy realm,” Breece said. “I’m really excited to see what this next iteration of economic development for the city looks like.”