As Harris continues to grow, the Alumni Council serves as the bridge between Harris Public Policy, our global community of alumni and current students. With members spanning the globe and working across a broad array of sectors, the Alumni Council connects our global alumni base to the Keller Center, and current Harris students to the world.

The Council strives to:

  • Provide resources for alumni networking, professional development, and career advancement
  • Assist current students in career placement
  • Facilitate communication between alumni and Harris
  • Extend the resources of Harris Public Policy by engaging alumni
  • Promote the common interests of alumni and Harris

In addition to working through the full Council, members contribute through our Committees and Task Forces:

  • Alumni Awards Committee solicits nominations and applications, reviews and selects recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Rising Star Award, and Alumni Service Award
  • Alumni Relations Committee plans events, volunteering, webinars, mentorships, regional chapters and other ways for alumni to connect with each other, the school, and current students
  • Careers and Networks Committee supports career and professional development activities for students and alumni
  • Development Committee expands alumni financial support for Harris, such as through the Alumni Fellowship Fund, Class Gifts, Harris Society and Irving Harris Fund
  • Diversity & Inclusion Task Force implements the alumni-specific recommendations of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board
  • Nominations and Membership Committee maintains the pipeline of Alumni Council members and administers yearly elections for officers

Join the Council

The Alumni Council seeks applications from potential new members who are invested in securing a strong future for Harris.

Complete the Alumni Council application form.

Please Note: The deadline for submitting an application to begin a three-year term in July 2021 will be in February 2021.

Contact the Council

The Alumni Council is here to serve you.

We encourage alumni to contact the Council with ideas or questions by emailing [email protected].

Alumni Council Members

Faraz Ahmed
Aidan Ali-Sullivan
Samina Asghar
Barbara Barreno-Paschall
Hannah Bent
Maggie Bove-LaMonica
Cindy Castañeda
Alice Cho
Jamie Citron
Robert Conlisk
Michael Crowley
Nimit Dhir
Tangela Feemster
Chantal Forster
Luis Gonzales-Carrasco
Kyle Gracey
Christine Kolb
Walter Mair
Mary Davis-Michaud
Olga Namen
Libby Pearson
Cliff Peng
Luvia Quinones
Surya (Surge) Sen
Ivy Sun
Dan Tollefson
Nikki Wegner
Chen Wen
Laura Williams


Headshot of Faraz Ahmed
Faraz Ahmed

Faraz Ahmed

Faraz Ahmed is a Data Scientist at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, where he works with local government agencies to help improve their operations using analytics and data (sometimes, open data!). Some of his prior work on data-driven initiatives includes improving response time for ambulances in Punjab (Pakistan), predicting the chances of recidivism for prisoners in Illinois, and analyzing citizens’ reactions towards open data policies in the U.S. In his free time, he loves to run, and check out the local art gallery scene.

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Aiden Ali-Sullivan

Aidan Ali-Sullivan, MPP'17, MBA'17

Hayward, CA

Aidan currently leads state and local government relations and public policy for Nuro Inc., a leading robotics and autonomous vehicle startup based in San Francisco. Prior to joining Nuro, Aidan held roles with General Motors in both Detroit, Michigan and Dubai, U.A.E. Aidan previously worked in a variety of state, federal and international government roles, including serving five years with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. He is a former Google Policy Fellow, NLC- Detroit Fellow, and California Capitol Fellows program Senate Fellow.

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Samina Asghar, MPP'07

Houston, TX

Samina Asghar is an Assistant Vice President - FedLine Solutions Product & Pricing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In this role, Samina develops multi-year FedLine Solutions product/pricing strategies in support of Bank mission and overall strategy. She provides strategic oversight to the product development process and oversees the planning, development, approval and implementation of new products or enhancements to existing products. Samina completed her MBA in 2000 and MPP in 2007. She’s particularly interested in public private partnerships that serve for the betterment of communities and economies. Every year, Samina volunteers her time to mentor current Harris School students and professionals at the Bank.

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Barbara Barreno-Paschall

Barbara Barreno-Paschall, MPP’17

Chicago, IL

Barbara is a Commissioner with the State of Illinois Human Rights Commission following her appointment by Governor JB Pritzker in 2019. Prior to her appointment, Barbara was a Senior Staff Attorney with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and an Associate at Sidley Austin LLP. At Harris, Barbara co-founded Students for Criminal Justice Reform and served on the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board (DIAB) as a Student Representative. She later served on the DIAB as an Alumni Representative. Barbara currently volunteers with the Harris Mentor Program and serves on the boards of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and Harvard Alumni for Global Women’s Empowerment. Barbara was elected in 2018 as a Community Representative on the Kenwood Academy Local School Council.

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Hannah Bent, MSESP'17

Madison, WI

Hannah Bent is a Senior Associate at Tetra Tech, where she specializes in program evaluation and data analysis for clients in the energy and transportation sectors. In addition to energy and transportation, Hannah is particularly interested in international environmental issues, including analyzing changes in land use and its implications for communities and environmental quality.

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Maggie Bove-LaMonica, MPP'08

Hermosa Beach, CA

Maggie works to build equitable systems of education by helping elect teachers to public office around the country through her work at Leadership for Educational Equity.  She is an elected member of the Hermosa Beach City School District and an elected delegate to the California Democratic Delegate Assembly for the 66th district.  

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Cindy Castañeda, MPP '05

Albuquerque, NM

Cindy is a professor of government at the Eastfield Campus of Dallas College.  She has worked in higher education in both the community college and university sectors in administrative roles.   She also put her education policy background to work as an elected school board member in Garland, Texas as well as an appointed Trustee for The Thacher School, a boarding school in Ojai, California.  

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Alice Cho, AM'91

Piedmont, CA

Alice is an Advisor to a fintech company, Varo Money. Alice previously served as Managing Director and the Head of the San Francisco Office of Promontory Financial Group, an IBM Company. In that role, Alice was responsible for leading Promontory’s engagements and for advising directors and senior management of financial institutions on issues relating to compliance, corporate governance, enterprise risk management, and regulatory enforcement orders. 

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Jamie Citron, EMP'19

Chicago, IL

Jamie Citron began working for then-Senator Obama in early 2007. Over the last twelve years, Jamie has served in various positions including Special Assistant in the Office of Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the US Dept. of Health & Human Services and Director of the LGBT Vote & LGBT Finance Director for the President’s re-election effort - overseeing the campaigns integrated outreach strategy to LGBT and allied Americans. After a year in the White House, serving as the Deputy Director of the Visitors Office, Jamie returned home to Chicago to begin working for the Obama Foundation. Jamie also serves as a member of the Obama Foundation's Inclusion Council. Outside of work Jamie serves on the Boards of Director of Chicago's Green City Market and the Equality Illinois Institute.

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Robert Conlisk, MPP'15

Chicago, IL

Robert is currently a financial analyst in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer for Cook County, Illinois.  In this role, Robert works closely with the CFO and staff across the County on several County-wide strategic initiatives. Robert also provides robust modeling, reporting, and recommendations in order to inform and influence executive-level decision making.  He also leads multiple County-wide strategic projects to include cooperation from various separately elected officials in the region to help optimize the County’s financial systems and operations.

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Michael Crowley, MPP'14

Chicago, IL

Michael joined After School Matters in 2010. Now as chief of staff, he is responsible for developing and executing an organizational strategy to provide high quality enrichment opportunities to more than 18,000 teens annually. He oversees communications and marketing, research and evaluation, and board engagement; and he cultivates partnerships and funding geared toward long-term sustainability. He also directs government relations and advocacy work, helping to secure annual multi-million dollar grants from Illinois and Chicago.

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Nimit Dhir, MPP '05

Washington, D.C. 

Nimit is an attorney in the national security group of the D.C. office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.  He previously has worked in a range of foreign policy and national security positions, including as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in India, as counsel in Congress, and as an analyst for the federal government.  

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Tangela Feemster, MPP'15

Oak Park, IL

Tangela is the Senior Manager of State Government Affairs at Express Scripts. Previously, she was a policy fellow at Get Covered Illinois, where she researched complex federal regulatory concepts and assisted efforts to increase stakeholder engagement.

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Chantal Forster, EMP'20

Chicago, IL

Chantal is the Executive Director of the Technology Association of Grantmakers. Throughout her career in the private, public, and social sectors, Chantal has led community-driven technology initiatives and collaboration programs for data and knowledge sharing. She is passionate about civic engagement and equitable technology policy. Chantal holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and serves on several boards in Chicago including the Women in Entrepreneurship Institute at DePaul University.

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Headshot of Luis Gonzales-Carrasco
Luis Gonzales-Carrasco

Luis Gonzales-Carrasco, MPP'19

Chicago, IL

Luis is head of the Energy, Environment and Economics team at  the Latin American Center for Economic and Social Policies (CLAPES UC) at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, He was head of research division at the Ministry of Finance Government of Chile. Luis graduated with a Master's of Public Policy degree at the Harris School of Public Policy with certificates in Economics, Energy, and Environment and is co-director of The Inter-Policy School Summit holding a master's degree in Applied Macroeconomics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). Luis obtained his bachelor's degree in economics at the Universidad Católica Boliviana (UCB). He worked in the government of Bolivia in the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE) from 2005-2008 and later was an adviser to the Ministry of Finance of Chile from 2012-2014. His research topics are Macroeconomics, Economic Growth, Sustainable Development, and Energy. His web page is www.lugoca.net.

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Kyle Gracey (Immediate Past President), SM'10

Pittsburgh, PA

Kyle is the Development Director at Data for Progress, where he also leads a research project investigating the equity of green job creation. Separately, he provides digital and policy consulting services to progressive organizations. Kyle previously worked in sustainability consulting, Federal civil service, the White House, military, nonprofits and academia. He serves on five nonprofit boards of directors.

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Christine Kolb

Christine Kolb, MPP'09

Chicago, IL

Christine is a Senior Director of Development in the Central US Region for Greystar. Her work at Greystar focuses on sourcing development opportunities throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining Greystar, Christine's career spanned more than a decade in the real estate industry, with more than $350,000,000 of acquisitions and management experience in private sector real estate development and leadership in land use and housing policy.

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Walter Mair, MA'14

London, UK

Walter is an Investment Professional at Marlin Equity Partners in London. In his role he is responsible for private equity investments in software and technology companies across Europe. Prior to joining the firm in 2016, he spent two years as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in London.

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Mary Davis-Michaud, MPP'95

Madison, WI

Mary Davis Michaud is founder of Health & Social Impact Strategies, LLC, a consultancy for organizations ready to build the resilience necessary to approach complex 21st Century challenges. Combining two decades of leadership and consulting experience in the health sector with training in visual art and facilitation, Michaud combines rich process with evidence-based strategies to support change, growth, and innovation. She also teaches health systems courses for medical, law, and public health graduate students through the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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Olga Namen, PhD'17

Bogota, Colombia

Olga is a postdoctoral researcher at Universidad del Rosario in Colombia and Innovations for Poverty Action. Her research focuses on understanding the factors that impact students' educational attainment in developing contexts. In particular, the effects of peer composition in schools as well as grade promotion and retention policies. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a research fellow at the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

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Libby Pearson (Past President), AB'05, MPP'10

Washington, DC

Libby is a Senior Manager in the Government and Public Services practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP, delivering financial management projects for civilian agencies. She previously worked as an admissions counselor for the College at the University of Chicago.

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Cliff Peng, MPP

Cliff is currently serving as a Deputy Director at Illinois State Treasurer's Office. As part of Treasurer's Financial Products Team, he oversees the state facilitated retirement savings program - Illinois Secure Choice. Prior to joining the Treasurer’s Office, Cliff worked at Chicago Board of Education as a Project Manager for over 5 years. In addition to his experience in public policy, Cliff also worked for luxury fashion houses including Hermès, Prada, and Saint Laurent. 

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Luvia Quinones

Luvia Quinones, MPP'11

Chicago, IL

Luvia Quiñones serves as the Health Policy Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In this role, Luvia oversees the Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative and in collaboration with ICIRR's members develops ICIRR's health policy agenda with a special focus in access to health care and on health care reform.   Luvia has a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago and a BA in International Studies from DePaul University.  She is the daughter of Mexican Immigrants from Durango, Mexico and is an active community member in her parish, St. Sylvester. Currently, she serves as a board member of West Suburban Action Project (P.A.S.O.) and the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (IAFCC).

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Surya (Surge) Sen, MPP'98

Northbrook, IL

Surya “Surge” Sen is an Assistant Regional Director for the Chicago Regional Office of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  Surge oversees the Consumer Compliance, Fair Lending, and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination functions in three of the Region’s states, including Kentucky, Wisconsin, and much of the state of Illinois, which includes oversight of nearly 400 financial institutions ranging from small rural community banks to large multi-billion dollar regional institutions. Previously, Surge served in various leadership roles in areas such as: Supervisory Policy, CRA Operations, Financial Services, and Risk Coordination at the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. 

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Ivy Sun, MPP'16

Chicago, IL

Ivy is a Manager in the Strategy and Analytics Department at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Her work focuses on uncovering key trends in healthcare by analyzing the large amount of claim data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield system and providing insights into current healthcare issues. She previously worked as an analytics consultant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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Dan Tollefson, EMP'19

Chicago, IL

Dan taught middle and high school English in Humboldt Park and Belmont-Cragin from 2011-2018. He joined the inaugural Harris Evening Master’s Program in 2018 and has since left teaching to join the Chicago Community Trust in their Learning and Impact department. In his spare time, Dan enjoys watching the NBA and is building a non-profit startup with a couple of former colleagues.

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Nikki Wegner , MPP'13

Chicago, IL

Nikki is a Manager in the Government & Public Services practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP. She focuses on delivering Health & Human Service projects for state and local government departments and agencies. She previously worked in political communications consulting, political campaign fundraising, and issue advocacy. For fun, Nikki enjoys cooking gourmet meals for friends and family, running and biking on her Peloton, and traveling as much as she can.

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Chen Wen, AM'91

Washington, DC

Chen is a part of the Outreach Team of the Safer Choice Program at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Previously, Chen was National Program Manager of Partnership for Sustainable Healthcare at the EPA. Chen has also been in the residential real estate business for the last 25 years, and is currently the Managing Partner for Wendigo 16, LLC, a real estate investment partnership.

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Laura Williams (Secretary), MPP'09

Chicago, IL

Laura is the Director of Policy at the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. Prior to joining the office in April 2018, she spent four years at World Business Chicago, where she led the organization’s community economic development work under the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. Previously, Laura worked at the University of Chicago and at the Center for Housing Policy in Washington, DC. 

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