Our students 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.

Harris Ambassadors and Graduate Assistants are a group of students who are available to 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. Whether you have questions about the classroom experience, moving to Chicago, or their policy interests, our students are here to help! Connect with a current student on the phone or online.

Meet the Harris Ambassadors

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Deqa Aden, MPP Class of 2023

Deqa Aden, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Hargeisa, Somalia

Interests include: Financial Policy, Markets and Regulation

I graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, and Psychology from Grinnell College. I have a passion for international development and research-driven investment projects. Over the past three years, I worked at the World Bank and Harhub, as a Research Analyst and Manager, respectively. At the moment, I am transitioning to consulting and look forward to honing my analytical and quantitative skills at Harris. In particular, I am excited about the Pearson Fellowship where I have the opportunity to work with top-notch economists as a Research Assistant.

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Terence Chau, PhD student

Terence Chau, PhD Student

Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

Interests include: Economic History, Modernization, Labor and Migration

I'm an economist and Harris PhD student interested in topics in economic history, modernization, and migration. I'm also interested in statistical issues arising from the use of machine learning tools on historical data. I did my undergraduate studies in economics at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Before joining the Ph.D., I interned at the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and was an MACRM student at Harris.

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Connor Christensen, MPP/MA Class of 2024

Connor Christensen, MPP/Middle Eastern Studies Class of 2024

Hometown: Foreston, MN

Interests include: Global Conflict Resolution, International Development

I was raised in a small town in central Minnesota. After high school I served in the Navy for five years, working primarily in Spain. After falling in love with that amazing country, I got my undergraduate degree at Saint Louis University's Madrid campus. Through those years I solidified my love for international relations while gaining a new understanding of history, languages, and how connected our world truly is. I went on to study Turkish through a summer scholarship program and worked in Turkey for six months as an English instructor. I look forward to my time at the University of Chicago, both at Harris and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, as I pursue the next phase of my career and find my place in a complex, globalized world.

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Tylor Collier, MPP Class of 2023

Tylor Collier, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

Interests include: Social Policy and Inequality, Gender and Racial Equity

I graduated with a B.A. in Social Relations and Policy, and a B.A. in Arts and Humanities from Michigan State University. Throughout my studies, I have worked to better understand how policy can improve the wellbeing of communities and how to center people in that pursuit. I am excited to continue my studies at Harris and learn how to apply my learnings to implement more equitable policy.

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Carrie Collins, MPP Class of 2024

Carrie Collins, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Princeton, NJ

Interests include: Technology Policy, Racial and Gender Equity, Data Analytics, Policy Analysis

I graduated with a BA in English and Psychology from Providence College. Following my undergraduate career, I took a position at Princeton University. My role there encompassed user experience (UX), racial equity, customer relationship management, and digital accessibility. My work in these areas sparked my interest in technology policy and its intersection with equity. Prior to my admission to Harris, I completed a certificate in Public Policy at Rutgers University. At Harris, I look forward to further expanding my analytical and quantitative skillsets in the pursuit of comprehensive and equitable technology policy.

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Mateo Cruz, MPP Class of 2024

Mateo Cruz, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia

Interests include: Consulting, Fiscal Policy, Macroeconomics, and Entrepreneurship

I was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, where I earned my BA in Business Administration from Universidad de Los Andes. During the last 6 years, I have been working in the banking and business consulting industry. I also founded an NPO consulting firm (Impact Consultoria Social). I chose Harris because I want to focus on financial politics and macroeconomics, so in the future, I can help to ease access to financial services in developing countries.

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Jonathan Dacosta, MPP Class of 2024

Jonathan DaCosta, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Interests include: Urban Development and Education Policy

After finishing my Bachelors degree in International Relations from Boston University, I chose to come to Harris in order to ground my policy interests in quantitative research. I wanted to uncover the root cause of major policy issues affecting local and at-large communities and equip myself with the tools necessary to tackle those issues head on. Having the ability to combine my real world experience in municipal, state, and federal government entities with the quantitative foundation that Harris provides, will allow me to make the jump into any career field and make a positive impact

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Joshua Davis, MPP Class of 2023

Joshua Davis, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Interests include: Data Analytics, Policy Analysis, Finance

Born and raised in Oklahoma City and a first-generation college graduate, I came to Harris because I wanted to focus specifically on developing my quantitative research skills. As an undergraduate I majored in political science and philosophy with a minor in economics and worked in different aspects of the policy process. I plan to pursue the certificates in Data Analytics and Policy Analysis and hope to transition into a research-oriented career that helps create better and more sustainable policy decisions.

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Preethika Devraj, MPP Class of 2023

Preethika Devraj, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Trichy, India

Interests include:law, policy, technology, education

I am a transactional lawyer from India with 5+ years of experience in mergers & acquisitions, PE investments, and healthcare/pharmaceutical laws. I had been passionate about building inclusive communities and dispelling the inequity in access to resources for marginalized communities since law school. However, it was the pandemic and the consequent glaring inequalities that motivated me to recalibrate towards the development sector. The quantitative skills I gain at Harris will complement my legal skills and help me understand and design evidence-based policies. 

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Yifu Hou, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Yifu Hou, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Jiaozuo, China

Interests include: Technology, Racial and Gender Equity, International Development

I was born and raised in a small industrial city in northern China, and I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism and communication. My undergraduate experience allowed me to review the impact of technology and media, especially how they have provided opportunities for my generation to explore and build their identities. After graduating with my BA, I decided to keep developing my skills in analysis and my interest in public policy through the rigorous and quantitative program at Harris. I had experience in advertising and media consulting, where I’m interested in studying the intersection of technology and policy.

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Emileigh Harrison, PhD Class of 2023

Emileigh Harrison, PhD Class of 2023

Hometown: Manitowoc, WI

Policy interests include: Education Policy, Social Policy

As a PhD student at Harris, my doctoral studies are focused on education and inequality. Specifically, my research interests include non-traditional education paths such as community college and homeschooling. Before being admitted to the PhD program, I was a MACRM student at Harris.

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Victor Hinardi, MPP Class of 2023

Victor Hinardi, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Interests include: Economic Policy and Healthcare

I am originally from Jakarta, Indonesia. I took my undergraduate in the United States at University of Wisconsin Madison, where I majored in Food Science and Economics. I am passionate about solving public sector problems using the application of economics. My policy interests are economic and health care policies. I came to Harris to gain quantitative skills necessary to create impact in my home country, Indonesia.

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Lindsay Hiser, MPP Class of 2023

Lindsay Hiser, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Wixom, MI

Interests include: Economic Policy, Methods of Policy Analysis, and Technology Policy

I came to Harris to strengthen my quantitative skills, gain research experience, and expand my knowledge of various policy areas. Prior to Harris, I worked at NPR in the Development division to secure funding for national news programming and operations. I’m passionate about building programs and processes that thoughtfully address challenges facing organizations and communities, especially when those challenges arise at the intersection of policy areas.

Headshot of Erika Ishizuka
Erika Ishizuka, MPP Class of 2023

Erika Ishizuka, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Vienna, VA

Interests include: International Development, Finance, and Data Science

As a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, I chose Harris to deepen my understanding of economics and develop quantitative skills that are heavily used in my policy interests. I foresee being able to evaluate and strengthen the sustainability and success of development projects as well as analyze the feasibility and areas of improvement. I chose Harris to grow and learn in and out of the classroom. With immense diversity around me, I am connected with remarkable individuals that share the same passion: to make tangible change in the world.

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Jade Jiang, MPP Class of 2024

Jade Jiang, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Changsha, Hunan, China

Interests include: Health & Education policy, International Development, and Labor Markets

I come from an economics background with an emphasis on community and global health, and have researched lending justice and equity. After I completed my BA, I worked in financial services and talent acquisition. The opportunity to learn and collaborate with our diverse and outstanding cohort, professors, and community at Harris is invaluable to me. I'm looking forward to developing an analytical toolkit to facilitate well-founded policy analysis and decisions towards positive social impact.

Headshot of Daisuke Kageyama
Daisuke Kageyama, MPP Class of 2023

Daisuke Kageyama, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Fuji, Japan

Interests include: Risk Management

I earned my bachelor's degree in Forest Science from Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, where I specialized in erosion control engineering. After six years of working as a civil servant at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, I am now studying at Harris to strengthen my analytical skills for developing evidence-based policies to save lives from natural disasters.

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Sanam Kazi, EMP Class of 2023

Sanam Kazi, EMP Class of 2023

Hometown: Madison, WI

Interests include: Social Policy and Inequality, Gender and Racial Equity

I am a student in the Evening Master's Program which allows me to further my education while working in the Career Development Office at Harris. I have the pleasure of strategically supporting student-candidates as they seek out internship and career opportunities.  I have most recently worked in the area of police reform for the city of Chicago and I began my career in the credit union industry.  I earned my bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago where I double majored in Sociology and English with a concentration in American literature. 

Headshot of Navya Koppusetty
Navya Koppusetty, MPP Class of 2024

Navya Koppusetty, MPP Class of 2024, Persuasive Writing Credential 2022

Hometown: Mason, Ohio

Interests include: Environmental and Tech Policy

I graduated from University of Cincinnati with my BA in International Affairs and Political Science and minored in Asian Studies with certificates in Middle Eastern and Legal Studies. After graduation, I participated in Americorps VISTA for the state of Colorado and Ohio. I am interested in both environmental policy and tech policy as it relates to the safety of children using the internet. I am currently applying for the JD program at University of Chicago. I can't wait to see what the future holds for me here at Harris.

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Levi Latoz, MPP Class of 2024

Levi Latoz, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Georgetown, IL

Interests include: International Development, Global Conflict, Education Policy

Though I am originally from a small town in Central Illinois, Taiwan has been my home for most of the past two years. During that time, I served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at two middle schools in Yunlin County.

Prior to my Fulbright Grant, I earned my bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy and Asian Studies from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At Harris, I hope to strengthen my quantitative background and grasp new ways to support positive change in communities.

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Sarah Lueling, MPP Class of 2023

Sarah Lueling, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland

Interests include: Education Policy, Health Policy, Social Policy and Inequality, Child and Family Policy

I’m originally from Switzerland and earned my Bachelor's degree in Economics and Management. Prior to Harris, I worked in an education policy think tank dedicated to the improvement of education worldwide. I joined Harris in the hopes of gaining the quantitative and analytical skills needed to create evidence based policies in education.

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Lauren Murray, EMP Class of 2022

Lauren Murray, EMP Class of 2022

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Policy interests: Education Policy, Transit Policy, Disability Access

I came to Harris with a background in public affairs and government relations. I’m passionate about creating policy that promotes justice and expands access for systemically marginalized people. 

I graduated from Loyola Chicago with a bachelor's in public relations and have been working in an education nonprofit for the past seven years. My roles have included community engagement, lobbying, and policy, and the skills I’m learning through the EMP are building on my experience from each role. The EMP makes it possible to apply data-driven solutions to work as it happens, and I’ve become a better leader because of it.

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Pavan Prathuru, MSCAPP Class of 2024

Pavan Prathuru, MSCAPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Bengaluru, India

Policy interests: Technology, Energy and TVs, Data in Public Policy

I am a Management Consultant with extensive experience in Government policy advisory, technology, MIS, M&E, and analytics supporting clients in areas of technology enablement, program management, process re-engineering, etc.

Throughout my career, I have witnessed how technology drives governments and businesses. Through the MSCAPP, I intend to increase my technical competencies to position myself as a leader in data-driven public policy advisory and systems management.

As a part of the program, I pursued internships at the Data Science Institute (DSI) at UChicago and with the World Bank Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) team. I am associated as a Research Assistant at the Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Ezra Serrins, MPP Class of 2023

Ezra Serrins, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Austin, TX

Interests include: Healthcare, Urban Policy, and Transportation Policy

I have long been interested in public policy and wanted to strengthen my understanding with an emphasis on evidence-based learning. As an undergraduate student at Michigan State, my career focused on theory-based and qualitative methods approaches, which was helpful in developing my lens. I chose to attend the Harris School because I felt Harris' emphasis on evidence-based and data-driven public policy would complement and expand my existing lens

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Jeongmin Shin, MPP Class of 2023

Jeongmin Shin, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Incheon, South Korea

Interests include: Education Policy, Human Rights, and Environmental Policy

After earning Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Korea University, I worked for an airline company for four years. Through my volunteering experiences, I got interested in educational policies for children and women in marginalized communities. I joined Harris to learn and polish quantitative skills in order to be a policy analyst creating positive social impacts.

Headshot of Camille Snyder, EMP Class of 2023
Camille Snyder, EMP Class of 2023

Camille Snyder, EMP Class of 2023

Hometown: Chicago, IL suburbs

Interests include: Health Policy, Health Economics, Labor Policy, Social Policy and Inequality

I graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and currently work in health and benefits consulting. In this role, I advise clients on insurance and benefits/HR strategy, which includes policy analysis on federal and state labor and healthcare legislation. Prior to this role, I worked in a variety of fields adjacent to healthcare. The Evening Master’s Program at Harris developed my quantitative and qualitative research abilities; I amplified my skills and professional pathways in data analysis and health economics.

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Sanya Srivastava, MPP Class of 2024

Sanya Srivastava, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Interests include: Health and International Development, Social Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation

I chose Harris to strengthen my quantitative toolkit and to learn how to bridge the gap in research, policy, and practice. Prior to this I was working in development consulting and impact evaluation in India for about 4 years and earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and Mathematics from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. I am passionate about strengthening social service delivery in developing countries through strategic decision-making tools like robust data structures and monitoring and evaluation systems. With the skills and global exposure I will get at Harris, I would like to grow into a leader who enables social change amongst disenfranchised communities.

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Allison Swimmer, MPP Class of 2023

Allison Swimmer, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Glencoe, IL

Interests include: Education Policy and Municipal Finance

Prior to Harris, I taught high school English in New York City, which exposed me to the lack of equity in our country's public school system and the myriad shortcomings of several other public services. At Harris, I hope to strengthen my quantitative skills that I can use in tandem with the insight I gained from my prior work experience. Collaborating with professors and peers who are equally mission-driven has allowed me to expand my understanding of policy sectors and professional network in a very meaningful way!

Karla Tamez
Karla Tamez, MPP Class of 2023

Karla Tamez, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

Interests include: Data Analytics and International Devleopment

I graduated from Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico, with a degree in International Studies. For five years, I worked in Cómo Vamos Nuevo León, a non-profit that advocates for government accountability and evaluates public affairs programs through data and indicators. I am sure the MPP will enhance my analytical and quantitative skills in order to formulate evidence-based policies for the most pressing issues.

Vignesh Venkatachalam
Vignesh Venkatachalam, MSCAPP Class of 2024

Vignesh Venkatachalam, MSCAPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Interests include: Data Science, Civic Technology, Policy Analysis, AI in Public Policy

I hail from Mumbai—though over the years I’ve had the chance to live in multiple different cities throughout India. Prior to Harris, I spent 4 years in data science consulting before pivoting towards using my technical skills for social good. I’ve since been involved in state and national projects around innovation in governance, Smart Cities, and pro-bono data consulting for local NGOs. Since the start of my master's program at Harris, I’ve continued working with local social impact organizations—helping them build data and technical capacity and measure the impact of their community programs. My policy interest lies in public interest technology and capacity building for governments through responsible use of data.

Chloe Wong
Chloe Wong, EMP Class of 2023

Chloe Wong, EMP Class of 2023

Hometown: New York, NY

Interests include: Health Policy, Social Policy and Inequality, Racial and Gender Equity

Born and raised in New York City, I grew up in a working class household and experienced many of the inequities that I'm invested in learning about - health, social, and urban policy. I have a B.A. in Anthropology, Global Health, and Asian American Studies with interdisciplinary honors from Northwestern University.

I currently work in operations management in the supply chain industry, but came to Harris with previous experience in public health research and community organizing in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. While at Harris, I hope to solidify my quantitative skills and eventually learn to formulate sustainable evidence-based programs for immigrant communities. As a member of the EMP, I’m excited to learn with fellow professionals and collectively work towards becoming impactful leaders.

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Sol Yoo, MPP Class of 2024

Sol Yoo, MPP Class of 2024

Hometown: Yongin, Korea

Interests include: Data Analytics, Social Inequality, Economic Policy

I graduated from Kyung Hee University in Korea with a Bachelor's degree in International Studies.  I have four years of career experience (including US internships) in Human Resource Management. As a first-generation college graduate, I came to Harris to make social impacts with data-driven decisions. I am sure the academic support in the MPP program will strengthen my analytical and quantitative skills to be a policy analyst.

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Meiru Zhu, MPP Class of 2023

Meiru Zhu, MPP Class of 2023

Hometown: Xinjiang, China

Interests include: International Development, Youth Empowerment, Education

I earned  my undergraduate in the University of International Business and Economics, where I majored in economics and law. Born and raised in a developing and multi-ethnical region, I identify my career interests as economic development and youth empowerment. Before coming to Harris, I worked at Save the Children to support local deprived youth employment and micro-enterprises development. During my time at Harris, I look forward to strengthening my qualitative and quantitative skills to translate massive data into practicable and sustainable program designs.