The Alumni Council fosters mutually beneficial relationships among and between Harris Public Policy, alumni, and current students. Each year, the Alumni Council seeks nominations for new members who are invested in securing a strong future for Harris. The Council's main mission and purpose is 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

Alumni Council Members

Ana Aguilera
Washington, DC

Ana is an Urban Economist at the World Bank Group. Her area of expertise is on improving city management with an emphasis on urban economics and spatial development. Her work also comprises of survey management and design to measure living standards and socioeconomic indicators in countries such as Tanzania, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Jordan and the Kurdistan region. Ana is the co-chair of both the Alumni Relations and Regional Growth Committees.

Melissa Baker (Secretary)
Chicago, IL

Melissa is a team leader at the Office of Evaluation and Inspections with the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her areas of expertise include prescription drugs, Medicare Part D, and conflicts of interest within health care. Melissa is the Chair of the Alumni Awards & Recognition Committee and is also a member of the Nominations and Members Committee.

Nicole Brown
Kingston, Jamaica

Nicole is a Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Jamaica Public Service Company. Her areas of expertise include regulatory compliance, tariff review and setting, government relations, energy and health policy analysis, strategic planning and research, business analysis, institutional assessment and reorganization, survey design and administration, grant-writing and management, and photography. Nicole is a member of the Alumni Awards & Recognition Committee and Alumni Relations Committees.

Sherri Farris
Chicago, IL

Sherri is the Project Team Leader for the Center for Operational Excellence at the City Colleges of Chicago. She works to improve outcomes for students who are academically underprepared for college. Her area of expertise is public policy in Chicago as it pertains to families, youth, and education. Sherri is a member of the Careers & Networks Committees and Regional Growth.

Tangela Feemster
Chicago, 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. Tangela is the Chair of the Admissions & Recruitment Committee.

Michael Ford
Washington, DC

Michael is an economist at Bureau of Land Management, where he analyzes the economic impact on oil and gas site security measurement rules for operators. He previously worked in U.S. Department of Energy, Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Michael is a member of the Careers & Networks Committees and Regional Growth.

Ashlee Gabrysch
AB'07, MPP'13
Chicago, IL

Ashlee serves as a Financial Research Analyst for the Chief Financial Officer of Cook County. In this role, she provides financial, legal, statistical, and strategic analysis for county departments and develops policies and standard operating procedures for processes that fall under the authority of the CFO. She graduated with Honors from the College with a degree in Interdisciplinary Slavic Studies. In 2011, she returned to the University to pursue an MPP at the Harris School of Public Policy, where she concentrated in public finance and social welfare policy. Ashlee is a member of the Alumni Awards & Recognition and Alumni Relations Committee.

Alfredo Gomez
Washington, DC

Alfredo is a senior executive with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). He is a Director in the Natural Resources and Environment Team and leads GAO's oversight work at the US Environmental Protection Agency and related cross-cutting environmental issues such as climate change. He also serves as the agency's spokesperson to the media on GAO's environmental-related work. Alfredo is the Chair of the Careers & Networks Committee and a member of the Development Committee.

Kyle Gracey (Vice President)
Evanston, IL

Kyle is a Project Architect at PreScouter where he helps companies incorporate new technologies and research in their products, focusing on science to improve sustainability. He is also pursuing a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and serves in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Kyle is the Chair of the Development Committee and a member of the Nominations & Members Committee.

Emilio Granados
Mexico City, Mexico

Emilio is the General Director of Cooperation and Bilateral Economic Relationships at Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) in Mexico. Prior to this Emilio worked as the Deputy General Director of Economic Analysis at the Ministry of Finance in Mexico. Emilio is a member of the Admissions & Recruitment and Regional Growth Committees.

Zainab Imam
Washington, DC

Zainab is a Program Officer for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). She currently manages an exchange program that runs study tours bringing Pakistani journalists to the United States and vice versa. She is also helping to develop the Center for Excellence in Journalism in Karachi that conducts intensive trainings for professional Pakistani journalists. Zainab is a member of the Admissions & Recruitment and Alumni Awards & Recognitions Committees.

Stephen Karam
AM'90 (Public Policy), AM'91 (Social Sciences)
Washington, DC

Stephen is an Urban Economist Consultant with the World Bank following a 20-year career with the World Bank, most recently based in Ankara, Turkey as Lead Urban Economist and Sustainable Development Program Leader. He has worked in over 26 developing countries, most recently in Europe and Central Asia, and led the preparation of the Bank's corporate Urban Development Strategy issued in 2010. He has received over 27 professional achievement and award citations and worked on over 52 analytical studies and infrastructure finance projects focused on local economic development, land market development, urban economics, and municipal development. Stephen is a member of the Alumni Awards & Recognitions and Development Committees, and also serves on the Board of the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) Agency in Washington, DC.

John Karner
Denver, CO

John is a Financial Specialist for the City and County of Denver’s Department of Finance, focusing on public financing and economic development projects that support smart, sustainable economic growth across Denver. Previously he served as senior advisor to the Chief Financial Officers’ Council in Washington D.C. His areas of expertise include policy analysis, government, and project management. John is the Co-Chair of both the Alumni Relations and Regional Growth Committees.

George Letavish (Ex-officio)
Chicago, IL

George is the Senior Policy Analyst at Get IN Chicago, an affiliate of the Chicago Community Trust that focuses on funding, measurement, and thought leadership for programs serving at-risk youth and their families in Chicago. He previously worked as a policy analyst in the Office of Governor Pat Quinn, where he performed research and analysis, program evaluation, and project management. George is a member of the Admissions & Recruitment and Careers & Networks Committees.

Nandu Machiraju
Washington, DC

Nandu is an attorney at The Federal Trade Commission specializing in antitrust issues in the health-care and information-technology sectors. He previously worked for the D.C. and Brussels offices of Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP. Nandu is a member of the Careers & Networks and Regional Growth Committees.

Emily Metz
Chicago, IL

Emily works at University of Chicago Urban Labs as Research Manager. Prior to this Emily work as Authorization Manager at Chicago Public Schools and Research Associate at American Institute for Research. Emily is a member of the Alumni Awards & Recognitions and Alumni Relations Committees.

Charlie Parekh
Chicago, IL

Charlie is a Director at Duff & Phelps specializing in the application of economic and statistical analysis to damages, finance, and public policy issues. He has over fifteen years of experience working in dispute consulting and litigation support. Charlie is a member of the Alumni Relations and the Careers and Networks Committees.

Libby Pearson (President)
AB'05, MPP'10
Washington, DC

Libby is a manager in the federal practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP, delivering financial management projects for civilian and security sector agencies. She previously worked as an admissions counselor for the College at the University of Chicago. Libby is the Chair of the Nominations & Members Committee and a member of the Alumni Awards & Recognition Committee.

Christy Serrano
Chicago, IL

Christy is a Program Officer in the Education Program at the McCormick Foundation. She’s held previous roles at the Ounce of Prevention Fund and at the Marriott Foundation Bridges from School to Work Program, which provided pre-employment training, job placement, and job retention skills. Christy is a member if the Nominations & Members and Regional Growth Committees.

Braulio Torres
Mexico City, Mexico

Braulio is the Partner and Director of the Evaluations Division at Fundación IDEA /C230 Consultores where he oversees extensive surveys including impact evaluation on employability and social mobility and evaluation frameworks for economic development programs. Prior to this role he served as Mexico Country Director for Innovations for Poverty Action. Braulio is a member of both the Alumni Awards & Recognition and the Admissions & Recruitment Committees.

Natalya Wallin
Washington, DC

Natalya is the Director of the Center of Expertise at the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, a public-private partnership that seeks to catalyze and coordinate a coherent, global strategy to make modern slavery economically unprofitable. Natalya is a member of the Careers & Networks and Regional Growth Committees. 

Chen Wen
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. Chen is a member of the Alumni Awards & Recognition and Development Committees.