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 works with Harris administration to implement the alumni-specific recommendations of Harris' D&I Roadmap 
  • 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 is February 20, 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 Alumni Council Member Kyle Gracey at gracey@uchicago.edu.

Alumni Council Members

On this page:


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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

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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Kai Andersen-Guterman, MPP/MA'10 (joint degree with the Crown Family School of Social Work) 

Seattle, WA

Kai Guterman is the Senior Manager of Knowledge Management at the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the US Children’s Bureau. He is a social worker with 18 years of experience in human services, ranging from the frontlines, through conducting research and consulting to improve policy and practice in public sector programs. His current work in knowledge management seeks to leverage the collective expertise, data, and insights of groups in order to solve systemic problems and rapidly spread ideas and innovation.

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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 serves on the boards of Thresholds, Harvard Alumni for Global Women’s Empowerment, and the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Barbara previously served as an elected 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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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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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 most recently served as Communications Director for the Office of Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot where he led comprehensive, integrated communications and messaging strategies through an enormously challenging period for the city, and coordinated implementation and reporting across 20-plus departments and agencies. Prior to that, he served as Chief of Staff for youth services organization After School Matters, where he developed and executed organizational strategies to build sustainability and provide high quality enrichment opportunities for more than 18,000 Chicago teens annually.

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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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Nicholas Epstein, MPP'13 

Highland Park, IL

Nicholas Epstein is a U.S.-based public policy, government affairs, commercial real estate and economic development professional. Nick advises real estate development, investment and private equity firms on complex development and transaction assignments. He possesses significant expertise on zoning and entitlement issues. He also works extensively with state and local governments on public policy and economic development initiatives and structuring public/private partnerships. Currently, Nicholas works as a Government Partnerships Manager for Chicago-based Civis Analytics. Nicholas also co-founded and serves as a Principal for his firm Flatiron, a real estate development and investment firm. Nicholas is passionate about good policy, economics and effective government and writes about the latest research on these subjects.

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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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Heather Ann George, EMP'19 

Chicago, IL

Heather A. George is a Senior Vice President and National Director of Family Engagement Services, at Bernstein, a global wealth management firm. She works closely with high-net-worth families, family offices, foundations and endowments, and their professional advisors on family engagement, education and governance, and a variety of complex investment planning issues, including pre-transaction planning, multigenerational wealth transfer, philanthropy and diversification planning for holders of concentrated portfolios. As a Harris Alumni Council member, Heather hopes to act as a bridge between the public, nonprofit and private sectors, the latter in which she has spent the last 20 years, and educate other mid-senior level professionals about the transformative power of the program. 

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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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Kim (Ensor) Langenhahn, MPP/MBA'11

Washington, D.C. 

Kim is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Quantitative Management at the Fuqua School of Business.  Prior to returning to school, she served as the Vice President of Terrapin Pharmacy, managing the development and rollout of a smart medication management device.  In this role, Kim leveraged the nearly fifteen years of consulting, strategy, and operational experience she has gained throughout her career working for startups, small companies, and multinational firms based in San Francisco, Boston, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Kim currently serves as Secretary of the Board for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in Washington, D.C., where she resides with her husband.

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Roberto Lopez, MA'20

Chicago, IL 

Roberto has over eight years in both the private and public sector managing teams, innovating, implementing, and building relationships with diverse communities. Currently, he is a Senior Associate, Technical Projects and Diversity Education with Elevate, a nonprofit helping underserved communities with clean energy. Prior to his work in the nonprofit space, he worked as an  Alternative Investment Analyst for Northern Trust Bank and Commercial Territory manager for Liberty Mutual business space. Furthermore, Roberto is highly passionate about equity particularly in underserved communities via finance vehicles and energy.

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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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Jacqueline Menoni, CLA'18 

Chicago, IL

Jackie Menoni is a principal at Jose de Diego Community Academy, a PK-8th grade school in Chicago Public Schools.  She is beginning her 15th year with the district.  She has previously taught primary and middle school grades before her leadership role where teachers are pioneering Personalized Learning in partnership with LEAP Innovations.  Diego also became an authorized International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program school under her tenure.  Jackie is also an adjunct professor at DePaul and University of Illinois at Chicago, where she teaches courses within the doctoral program.  She was recognized this past school year as a Golden Apple Leadership Award Finalist.  Jackie was a 2019 Civic Leadership Academy Fellow, graduated with her doctorate in Urban Leadership in 2017, and holds an Illinois Superintendent Endorsement.

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Enrique Mezo, MPP'17 

Mexico City, MX

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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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Chris Morton, MPP'98 

Washington, DC

Chris Morton leads the American Land Title Association’s policy development, political engagement, and lobbying strategy and is a member of the organization’s Executive Team. Working closely with senior leaders across the association and industry who engage in coalitions, campaigns, and strategic communications, his goal is to promote and enhance the title industry’s role in protecting consumers in the efficient and secure transfer of real estate. He has over 25 years of experience in financial services, including at the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Finance Board,a national association of 700 housing and community development finance organizations throughout the United States, the United States Department of Commerce, and for former Illinois Congresswoman Cardiss Collins and former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. 

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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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Headshot of Luvia Quinones
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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Stephen Sellick, AM'93 

Cloverdale, CA

Steve was the Founder and CEO of Gnarus Advisors, a consulting firm providing advisory and expert testimony services to businesses, government agencies and law firms facing complex challenges.  Steve is a recognized thought leader in complex quantitative analysis in corporate litigation and public policy, entrusted by C-suite clients to provide counsel, analysis, and expert testimony on a wide variety of high-stakes matters.  Steve is also active with his Sonoma County, CA farm and volunteering with organizations working in sustainable agriculture and food safety and security.

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Surya (Surge) Sen (Vice President), 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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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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Steven Walker, MPP'18 

New Delhi 

Steven works as a project manager and researcher for a gender equality research and policy organization in India. Typically based in Delhi, he partners with the Indian government on projects aimed at improving women’s economic empowerment and making better use of gender-disaggregated data to inform policy decisions. Prior to that, he worked in India on other education and gender equality initiatives, and previously served with the Peace Corps in Cambodia before coming to Harris.

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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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