Student ambassadors provide a first-hand perspective about what it's like to be a student at Harris Public Policy. Learn about their passion for public policy and Harris. Connect with one today.

Team Harris is a select group of student ambassadors who share their perspective and experiences at Harris Public Policy. They are representative of the Harris student body and passionate about their areas of study as well as their experience at Harris.

Country Ambassadors are Harris students who come from around the world. They are excited to help prospective students learn about Harris and can provide assistance as international students are considering transitioning their lives to the US and Chicago.

On this page:

Connect with a current student from Team Harris or the Country Ambassadors in person, on the phone, or online. Our Team Harris students and Country Ambassadors are also available for a coffee chat when you visit campus.  

Meet Team Harris

Leah Castleberry, MPP, Class of 2020

Leah Castleberry, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Tech Policy, Social Policy and Inequality

Prior to Harris I worked as a Cognitive Solutions Senior consultant with IBM's Global Business Services. I hope to use my time at Harris to continue to explore ways in which the intersections of business, policy, and innovative technologies can be used to create a more equitable future for marginalized communities.

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Terence Chau, PhD, Class of 2022

Terence Chau, Class of 2022, PhD

Policy interests include: Migration, Labor, History

I'm interested in researching topics at the intersection of migration, labor, and history. To do so, I plan to use road-proven casual inference tools in econometrics and new, exciting tools from fields such as machine learning and natural language processing. Before coming to Harris, I interned at the UNDP and UN-ECLAC, where I researched topics in labor economics and poverty.

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Justin Douglas
Justin Douglas, MPP Class of 2021

Justin Douglas, Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Cultural/Social Policy, Restorative Justice/Criminal Justice Reform

As a joint AM/MPP student at SSA and Harris, I am interested in better understanding how social policies at the federal, state, and local level impact the process of identity development for marginalized individuals and communities. I believe that we can be smarter about how we write and implement policies and do better in ensuring they both acknowledge these impacts and are more inclusive of diverse and intersectional experiences.

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Alejandro Gonzalez
Alejandro Gonzalez, MAIDP, Class of 2020

Alejandro D. Gonzalez, Class of 2020, MA in International Development and Policy

International Policy & Development, Leadership & Management, Public Management

I am at Harris because it offers the right kind of quantitative framework that complement my qualitative framework to problem solving. Being a part of the MA-IDP program is a unique opportunity to receive the mentorship, skills set and network that I need to take my professional career to the next level.

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Patrick Hanley, MPP/MBA, Class of 2020

Patrick Hanley, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration

Policy interests include: Municipal Finance, Industrial Organization, Institutions

I've spent my time at Harris learning at the intersection of economic policy and financial management. I believe in the nobility of public service, but respect the tools and practices developed in and around markets. I'm here to explore where and how markets work and what that means for public administration and public-private coordination. Harris has (literally) built the space and opened the doors I need to untangle and understand the fundamental challenges facing governments worldwide.

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Patrick Lavallee, MSCAPP, Class of 2020

Patrick Lavallee, Class of 2020, Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy

Policy interests include: Human Capital Development, Rural Economic Development

I look forward to a changemaking career in human capital development in Maine and other communities for which rurality is a challenge to progress. I’m dedicating my time at Harris to evidenced-based public policy enabled by technology and quantitative methods. My most rewarding work before Harris was connecting people with new ideas and opportunities.

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Yeieun Park, MPP, Class of 2020

Yeieun Park, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Immigration, Foreign Policy, International Security

I am interested in addressing social issues for those who are at a sort of disadvantage. I believe that those who may have had less opportunities than others deserve stability, and I’d like to help them secure that stability through mending policies. I came to Harris to gain the quantitative and analytical skills I need to address social inequality on an international level.

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Matt Shomo, MPP, Class of 2020

Matt Shomo, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Community Development, Economic Development

I'm originally from Akron, Ohio and graduated from Ohio State in 2015. Prior to coming to Harris, I managed a State Legislature campaign during the 2016 election cycle and spent a year and a half at a community development and housing nonprofit. Those experiences have translated well to academic life at Harris, where I am focusing my efforts on community development at the intersection of housing, education, and transportation, as well as organizational leadership.

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Meet the Country Ambassadors

Jinglin Fu, MPP, Class of 2020

Jinglin Fu, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Health Policy, Tech Policy, Entrepreneurship

I am interested in studying health policies in both China and the United States, especially how policy changes affect the accessibility, affordability, and quality of medical care. I am also interested in the business side of technology companies and believe that big data will profoundly change the future of business and the way we live. I chose Harris to hone my skills in quantitative analysis and, more importantly, to mingle with like-minded people who think beyond themselves.

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Victor Fuentes Campos, MPP, Class of 2021

Victor Fuentes Campos, Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Productivity and Competitiveness, Labor Markets, Institutions

I'm an economist raised in a small town in the Peruvian highlands. Prior to becoming a Harrista, I was Head Economist of the Peruvian Institute of Economy, a leading think tank focused on market-oriented policy reforms. I joined Harris because it offered me the unique opportunity to mix two of the fields I'm most passionate about: data analytics and public policy. This knowledge will help me use evidence-based policy instruments to break the vicious cycle of low productivity and weak institutions that affect most developing countries.

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Heryanto Handoko, MPP, Class of 2021

Heryanto Handoko, Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Economic Development, Social Policy and Inequality

I’m originally from Medan, Indonesia and graduated from University of Sumatera Utara in 2013. Prior to Harris, I worked as an economic analyst at the Central Bank of the Republic of Indonesia. I conducted analysis and research related to the regional economic development and provided recommendations to government and stakeholders. I came to Harris to equip myself with the knowledge and skillset to further contribute to economic development and address social problems and inequality.

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Sakshi P., MPP, Class of 2021

Sakshi P., Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Technology Trade, Finance, Institutional Policy

A central banker with domain expertise in the areas of trade and finance, I have also worked in insurance and IT consulting. The core courses at Harris and the range of flexible electives across the spectrum at University of Chicago provide me a wonderful opportunity to sharpen my policy design and implementation skills. I believe that together we can make a positive social impact.

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Camila Pérez, MPP, Class of 2021

Camila Pérez, Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Conflict Studies, International Development, Peace Building, Governance

I graduated from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, with a degree in political science and a minor in journalism. Before coming to Harris, I worked at the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), a Colombian NGO that fosters citizens’ political and civil rights. I managed the Political and Social Violence Observatory, analyzing how the presence of illegal armed groups and aggression towards political and social leaders affected democratic processes in Colombia. I also evaluated the institutional architecture and legal framework of the Peace Accords with the FARC guerrillas to advise the Colombian government on the implementation of democratic initiatives in fragile regions. I am currently a Fellow at the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, a research assistant for the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab, and participate in the Basketball Intramural Tournament at the University of Chicago. 

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Nikunj Singh, MPP, Class of 2021

Nikunj Singh, Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Environment and Energy Policy, International Policy

Prior to Harris, I was working at International Foundation for Sustainable Development in Kolkata, India. I plan to use the skillsets I gain at Harris to resolve environmental problems and fight climate change. I believe in order to successfully build a sustainable world, we need to resolve disputes between nations to make way for mutual cooperation and that is where my interest in International Policy comes about. Harris is helping me gain the quantitative and analytical skills to make the world a better place.

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Erika Tsuruyama, MPP, Class of 2020

Erika Tsuruyama, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Education, Development

I'm interested in education policies in developing countries, and I've been spending my time at Harris equipping myself with quantitative skills that can be used for data-driven policymaking. My current research highlights unveils the inefficiency of foreign aid to the education sector in developing countries and encourages stakeholders to improve the use of foreign aid.

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Angélica Valdiviezo Issa, MSCAPP, Class of 2020

Angélica Valdiviezo Issa, Class of 2020, Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy

Policy interests include: Urban Policy, Social Policy, Gender Issues

I have spent my time at Harris strengthening the technical skills needed to analyze issues around urban, social and gender policy. I am here to explore how cities around the world offer individualized experiences to people. Being in a program with such a diverse student body has allowed me to learn beyond the classroom and define my professional interests even further.

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Victor Vazquez, MPP, Class of 2020

Victor Vazquez, Class of 2020, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Municipal Finance

I am at Harris because it offers quantitative and qualitative tools to address multiple social and economic challenges. My goals are to explore new ways to foster broad-based economic growth and reduce poverty. I am learning which policies can be developed and how they can be applied at the perfect moment.

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Tianming Yang, MPP, Class of 2021

Tianming Yang, Class of 2021, Master of Public Policy

Policy interests include: Environment and Energy Policy, Urban Policy, Economic Development

Prior to Harris, I studied Environmental Science at Peking University in China. I am passionate about using policy instruments to tackle sustainability issues in urban settings. Harris is definitely the right place for me—not only because of its solid policy analysis methodology and academic rigor, but also because of its great commitment to the Chicago community and involvement in real-world policy issues. And with the impressive alumni network and support of the Career Development Office at Harris, I feel confident that I will reach my career goal of becoming a management consultant in the sustainability field.

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