Claire Perkins graduated from Pomona in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Analysis, with a concentration in Anthropology. While at Pomona, Claire became very interested in global health and HIV/AIDS research and outreach. She spent the summer after her sophomore year interning at the AIDS Coordinator's Office for the City of Los Angeles. At the AIDS office, Claire organized and implemented community HIV/AIDS awareness and educational events. The following summer Claire continued her study of HIV/AIDS prevention as an intern at Artists for a New South Africa, also based in LA. These two summer experiences placed Claire in a great position to begin her senior PPA internship at the East Valley Community Health Center in Pomona. While at East Valley, Claire taught HIV and STD education and prevention classes at testing and outreach sites and helped facilitate focus groups and other outreach programs. Claire particularly enjoyed the teaching aspect of her internship and commented that she learned a lot about HIV and AIDS policies simply by talking to her co-workers. Claire's internship and volunteering experiences were also related to her senior thesis topic, titled “The Need for Needles: A Policy Proposal To Establish a Syringe Exchange Site in SPA 3 of LA County.” In recognition of her thesis work and for her achievement in Public Policy, Claire was awarded The Russell M. Story Prize at graduation.
After graduation, Claire interned at the UCSF AIDS Health Project in San Francisco, where she assisted in the development and delivery of HIV-related trainings to service providers in California. In addition, Claire wrote quarterly publications for the organization and volunteered as an HIV-Test Counselor at various testing sites. After a year at the AIDS Project in San Francisco, Claire was awarded a Global Health Corps fellowship, as a Health Literacy Consultant, at New Jersey (UMDNJ)'s University Hospital. While in Newark, Claire provided strategic guidance on how to improve health literacy systems, patient advocacy, and patient/provider communication at the hospital.
In May of 2014 Claire completed a Masters of Science in Health Policy and Management, with a concentration in Public Health Leadership, at the Harvard School of Public Health. She was the only graduating student from the School of Public Health to be awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship and is in the first year of a two- year fellowship at the US Department of Health and Human Services.