Join the Rapid Response Policy Memo Challenge.

Step up to writing Strategic Policy Memos that make an impact. In just one hour a day, you'll be wowing your colleagues by next week.

Picture this:

You’ve been assigned an urgent policy issue, and the clock is ticking. You need to deliver a polished, impactful policy memo that digs into the problem and evaluates proposals to inform crucial decisions. The stakes are high, and delivering anything less than stellar won’t fly.

Feeling the heat of tight deadlines and the fear of falling short? Not you! You know exactly what to do. You open your PDF guide and policy memo template. In what seems like no time at all, you’re handing your boss a polished memo, confident in your recommendations.

As you return your boss’s smile, you can’t help but feel pleased knowing your small investment has paid off so well. Again! Now then, when does that social hour start?

Are You Ready for the Challenge?

The 7-day Rapid Response Policy Memo Challenge is designed to prepare you with you with the knowledge and skills you need to not just succeed, but to excel. In this video introduction, course instructor Dr. Dana Dolan, explains why she created the Strategic Policy Memo Challenge and what to expect during this 7-day mini-course.

Transform Your Skills... on a Deadline

Course Benefits

  • You’ll learn essential skills to frame problems and analyze proposals, and raise the bar by evaluating political receptivity to make truly strategic recommendations.
  • Create a high-quality policy brief that will get you noticed—all in less than a week!
  • You’ll Boost Your Confidence to Accelerate Your Career: Feel assured in your ability to deliver polished, impactful policy deliverables under tight deadlines.
  • Accelerate Your Career: Stand out from the crowd and impress your boss with high-quality, strategic insights.

What You’ll Get

  • Reusable PDF Workbook. A comprehensive guide to the entire process, ensuring you have a handy reference for future projects.
  • Daily Email Motivation & Support. Packed with encouragement and tips to keep you on track and inspired. Have a question? Hit Reply to get answers!
  • Summer 2024 BONUS! Weekly one-hour live session where you can “Ask Me Anything” to help you make progress. Schedule conflicts? Email your questions, then watch the replay for answers.

Your Path to Mastery

Day 1: Problems

Choose your issue and frame it as a problem requiring governmental intervention using indicators, events, and feedback.

Day 2: Proposals

Identify alternatives for resolving the problem and assess their viability as public policies.

Day 3: Politics

Evaluate policymakers' receptivity to taking authoritative action on the issue.

Day 4: Recommend

Consider s the evidence from Days 1 through 3, and your memo recipient's specific situation and priorities. What action(s) do you recommend they take?

Days 5-6: Draft & Revise

Draft your policy memo from start to finish. Then edit it for clarity, cohesion, and brevity. Ask a trusted colleague for feedback, and revise again.

Day 7: Polish

Polish your strategic policy memo, so it's ready to deliver. Now give yourself three cheers - you've done it! Each time you repeat this process it'll get faster and easier. BONUS DAY: Deliver and Reflect


The Rapid Response Policy Memo Challenge distills lessons from a 15-week course. Here’s what students have said about the full course. 

Most valuable for my learning? The professor’s organization, excellent slides, and space to participate in class, and develop critical thinking.

I have a better understanding about how public policy works, the factors to consider to have an alternative to be added to the policy agenda

The course was extremely well organized and Prof. Dolan took students’ questions very seriously and showed her passion for teaching.

Meet Your Instructor

Dr. Dana A. Dolan

Since 2017, I’ve been teaching public policy processes to a wide range of audiences. What I’ve found time and again is that student interest varies widely… until they put ideas into practice to make sense of something they care deeply about. That’s when the lessons come alive. Theoretical principles and research insights become are no longer dry ideas, but time-tested strategies to have an impact on crucial issues. 

For the Rapid Response Policy Memo Challenge, you’ll need to zero in on a topic quickly! You might know exactly which public problem you want to focus on, or you might have a broad area of interest that needs to be narrowed so you can get a handle on it. That’s normal! My advice is to learn the process of crafting a Strategic Policy Memo one bite at a time. Then repeat, because persistence pays off.

Since I know you’re wondering: You can’t craft a strategic policy memo by Googling it or by asking your favorite AI to write it for you. The best you’ll get is speedy mediocrity. If that’s your goal, have at it! But if you want your star to truly shine, I’m excited and honored to be your guide.

OJT: On the Job Training

The traditional approach is an apprenticeship model. You position yourself near an expert to observe and ask questions. They direct and guide you as time allows. You might fill in the gaps with quick fixes to get the basic job done.

$ Free

This approach can be challenging when core processes occur in your mentor’s mind, and they (like you) are overburdened. Remote work only adds to the challenge.

The Rapid Response Policy Memo Challenge

This 7-day online course is laser-focused on crafting a Strategic Policy Memo. Carve out one hour a day and in one week, you’ll complete a memo on a topic of your choice with the aid of a course workbook, daily motivational emails, and two live support calls (replays available).

Regularly $47.

Inaugural Price, Only $37.

Learn when you want, how you want: in small bites or one long binge. Ask questions and get answers on a reliable schedule. All at a cost that you doesn’t require asking permission.

Professional Seminars

Professional courses, often taught by former Congressional staffers, offer expert guidance on a range of topics. Typically the schedule is set to attract a cohort, and sessions are held offsite over several days.

$1,200 +

This approach works well for strengthening a broad set of skills, when you have time to get costs and work absences approved. Policy memo skills may be discussed briefly.

Satisfaction Guaranteed. I’m so confident that you’ll love what you’ll learn in this course that I back it with a 100% money back guarantee. Just ask within 10 days of the course start date. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain!

Any Questions? Here's what others have asked:

Definitely not. Students should have a basic familiarity with the legislative process at the US national level. Those who work in other democracies and other governance levels can also benefit, however they may have to translate concepts from the US context to their own.

No, because seasoned legislative experts already have a process for producing high quality policy memos. Nevertheless, these folks are welcomed to join, whether they hope to learn some new tips and skills, or they want to assess the course for their colleagues. Join in and share your feedback, please!

Yes, it is! The Strategic Policy Memo Template shows you how to format your memo, while this Strategic Policy Memo Challenge is basically a mini-course. It walks you through the process to customize the template for your selected policy topic.

I’m glad you asked! This challenge course gives you an overview of the process suitable for a fast-turn around assignment, even if you have limited knowledge of the topic at hand. Think of it as going from 0 to 25 MPH (~40 km/h). It’s fine for tooling around a small town, but when you’re ready to hit the highway, you’ll want a more powerful set of tools. That’s where the Strategic Policy Analysis and Research (SPARC) Course comes in. More details are coming in late 2024, for an early 2025 release.

Yes! The course challenges you to finish in a week, but you can take as long as you need. The core lessons are conveniently packaged in a PDF guidebook you can use and reuse as often and for as long as you like. Additional support arrives in your inbox each day of the challenge that you can save to refer to later. But do take notes during the live support calls, because replays will only remain available for a limited time.

While the course is designed to be completed in a total of 7 hours, your individual results may vary. Some may prefer to focus for 2 hours a day, while others may prefer to set aside extra hours on the weekend to polish and perfect their memo. You can speed your progress by getting clear up front on the policy issue you’ll write on. Beyond that, your level of familiarity with your issue along with its complexity can affect your timing. Consider starting with a simple, straightforward issue. That said, many students thrive by choosing an issue they care deeply about. The choice is yours (but I lean toward the later option).

If you’ve gone through the steps, and can show me you did the work, and yet don’t feel the challenge lived up to your expectations, I will fully refund your investment. You must request a refund within 10 days of the course start date.

I’m thrilled to learn the challenge helped you grow as a policy professional! Please DON’T share the workbook, but DO encourage your colleagues to sign up for the next challenge. They’ll benefit from the support and accountability, and you’ll support my efforts to serve passionate policy professionals like you. Remember to fill me in on all the details! You can email me ( or post on social media with the hashtag #PolicyMemoChallenge.

What are you waiting for? Join the Rapid Response Policy Memo Challenge today!

Step up to writing Strategic Policy Memos that make an impact, and you'll be *wowing* your colleagues by next week.

Inaugural Session #1 - Special Price!

Monday to Monday, July 15 - 22, 2024


Inaugural Session #2 - Special Price!

Monday to Monday. August 19 - 26, 2024


Future Sessions - Regular Price

Add your name to the waitlist to be notified when future sessions are scheduled.


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