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
  • 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. Applications for new members will open in early winter 2023.

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 Immediate Past President Nikki Wegner at nmwegner@gmail.com.


Alumni Council Members

On this page:

 


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Faraz Ahmed

Faraz Ahmed, SM'18

New York, NY

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 (Vice President), MPP/MBA'17

Hayward, CA

Aidan currently leads state policy and government affairs in the western US for Waymo, and Alphabet company, ensuring regulatory and legislative environments encourage the growth of autonomous vehicle technologies. Aidan has worked in the AV space since graduation from Harris, previously serving as the head of state policy at Nuro, and as a Manager of Future Mobility at General Motors in both Dubai, U.A.E and Detroit, Michigan. Prior to Harris, Aidan spent 5 years working for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs as a Political Officer at multiple Canadian Missions throughout the US. 

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Kai Andersen-Guterman, MPP/AM'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 (Secretary), MPP'17

Chicago, IL

Barbara serves as a full-time Commissioner with the State of Illinois Human Rights Commission. Prior to her appointment, she was an Associate at Sidley Austin LLP and a Senior Staff Attorney at Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. In addition to her Board service, Barbara is a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations and a 2021 Emerging Leader with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Barbara is a graduate of Harvard College and Vanderbilt Law School.

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Tyler Barron, MPP'18

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Tyler Barron

Chicago, IL

Tyler Barron is a policy advocate at ELPC, working on Midwest climate change and clean energy solutions, and Great Lakes and natural resources protection advocacy issues. Tyler served as a Udall Foundation native congressional fellow in the office of Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) before joining ELPC. He currently serves as co-chair of the Harris School's Alumni Chapter of Chicago and helps advise current Harris School and University of Notre Dame students on how to make an impact in the world of sustainability. Tyler enjoys lacrosse, Notre Dame football, and the Chicago food scene!

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Hannah Bent, SM'17

Chicago, IL

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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Dipak Bishwokarma, AM'20

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Dipak Bishwokarma

Waterloo, Ontario 

Dipak is an experienced researcher and development partitioner. His research focuses on climate change and disaster risk reduction in the South Asian context. Specific areas of interest include vulnerability, adaptation, community resilience, and community-based natural resources management  

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Cindy Castañeda, MPP'95

Albuquerque, NM

Cindy is a retired higher education professional.  Her career included work in community colleges, universities, and the federal government.  She worked in multiple roles including professor, assistant, and executive dean in both the instructional and student services areas.  She also put her education policy background to work as an elected school board member in Garland, Texas, as an appointed Trustee for The Thacher School in Ojai, California, and for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund as a member of an Advisory Council.   

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Michael Crowley, MPP'14

Chicago, IL

Michael has worked in nonprofit leadership and youth advocacy for more than a decade, now as Chief of Staff at Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and previously with After School Matters. He was Communications Director for Mayor Lightfoot and a member of her Senior Staff from 2019-2021. He serves on the Chicago History Museum's LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and the Harris School's Alumni Council. Michael also advocates through Center on Halsted and Equality Illinois and was named one of Chicago's 'Notable LGBTQ Executives' by Crain's in their inaugural listing. He lives in the Edgewater community.

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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 public policy, government affairs, real estate, infrastructure and economic development professional. Nicholas is the founder and a Principal at FlatIron Investments. He delivers urban and economic development, infrastructure and commercial real estate, as well as government affairs and public policy solutions for private sector firms and state and local governments on developments and investments. Nicholas possesses expertise on site selection, land use, design, zoning and entitlements, housing policy and regulations, as well as as public private partnerships. 

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Chantal Forster, AM'19

Chicago, IL

Chantal E. Forster is the executive director of the Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG). For over 20 years, Chantal has worked at the nexus of people, data, and technology, leading organizations toward greater collaboration, innovation, and impact. Her career spans the private, public, and social sectors where Chantal has developed a unique ability to build cross-sector technology initiatives that serve the common good. 

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Thomas Gary, AM'21 

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Thomas Gary

Oak Park, IL

Thomas works in the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer as Director of ePay & The Illinois Funds, where he currently manages $20 billion in treasury management services for local governments. He also serves in the US Naval Reserves and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (II and III). Thomas has B.Phil. from Northwestern University and conducted additional graduate coursework at the Naval War College.  

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Heather Ann George, AM'19 

Chicago, IL

20+ year industry veteran in ultra high net worth wealth management services. Family advisory and philanthropy expert working with multigenerational families. 

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Headshot of Luis Gonzales-Carrasco
Luis Gonzales-Carrasco

Luis Gonzales-Carrasco, MPP'19

Chicago, IL

Luis held a Master of Public Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy with a concentration in Energy, Environment, and Economics at University of Chicago and a master degree in Applied Macroeconomics from the Pontificia Universidad Catalica de Chile (PUC). He obtained my bachelor degree in economics at the Universidad Catalica Boliviana (UCB). He worked in the government of Bolivia in the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE) (2005-2008), then he was an advisor, consultant and Head of Studies Department to the Ministry of Finance of Chile (2012-2014 and 2018-2019)

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Headshot of Christine Kolb
Christine Kolb

Christine Kolb, MPP'09

Chicago, IL

Christine Kolb is a senior director of development for Greystar, and responsible for the sourcing, acquisition, and development of both industrial and residential properties including conventional, active adult, and student-oriented multifamily throughout the Midwest region. Over her career Christine has developed over 1625 units and managed projects over $563MM. Christine's career in real estate began at the Urban Land Institute, where she shaped land use policy, managed philanthropic housing initiatives, and led technical assistance programming.

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Kim Langenhahn, MPP/MBA'11

Washington, D.C. 

Armed with fifteen years of strategy, consulting, and operational experience, Kim has dedicated her career to the healthcare, nonprofit, and social enterprise sectors. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Terrapin Pharmacy, overseeing the development and rollout of a smart medication management device. Kim holds an MSQM ('22) from the Fuqua School of Business; an MBA/MPP ('11) from the University of Chicago; and a BA from Duke University ('03). Kim resides in Washington, DC with her husband where she serves on the Board for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. 

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Roberto Lopez, AM'20

Chicago, IL 

Roberto has over ten years in both the private and public sector managing teams, innovating, implementing, and building relationships with diverse communities. Currently, he is an Outreach Specialist with Argonne National Laboratory, helping grow STEM in underserved communities. 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 in the finance and energy space. 

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Walter Mair, AM'14

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

Jacqueline is a dedicated instructional leader with eight years of principal experience leading Chicago's schools and six years of teaching experience
 across a variety of instructional models such as: neighborhood, magnet, gifted, and International Baccalaureate (both the elementary and high school levels). Jacqueline holds an EdD in urban educational leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She participated in the Civic Leadership Academy Fellowship for University of Chicago's Center for Effective Government, & completed the Cahn fellowship as an ally at Columbia University, NY.

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Enrique Mezo, MPP'17 

Mexico City, MX

Enrique Mezo is co-founder and Head of Growth in Plant Squad. Mezo has both experience in the private and public sector, where he conducted disruptive and innovative strategies aimed at generating value with a social and environmental focus.

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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.  

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Molly Murray, AM'10 

Chicago, IL

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Molly Murray

Molly Murray serves as President and CEO of the Autoimmune Association where she leads efforts to improve the lives of those living with autoimmune disease by advancing the organization's four pillars: Advocacy, Awareness, Education and Research. She is a career nonprofit and trade association professional that has worked for organizations like the American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association. She received her Master of Arts in Public Policy through the Harris evening masters program in December of 2020.

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Cliff Peng, MPP'14

Chicago, IL

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.

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Stephen Sellick, AM'93 

San Francisco, CA

Steve is the Founder and Chairman 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 (President), MPP'98

Northbrook, IL

Surge has dedicated his career in government service serving in various leadership roles in federal financial regulatory agencies such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He currently serves as Vice President of Consumer Compliance & Supervisory Operations, where he oversees consumer compliance and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) risk specialists as well as resource allocation, review, vetting, and other support functions for supervision of financial institutions in the Seventh Federal Reserve District (serving Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin).

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Dan Tollefson, MPP'19

Chicago, IL

Dan is the special assistant to the president and CEO at The Chicago Community Trust. He joined the Trust after seven years of teaching middle and high school English in Chicago. He began at the Trust as a University of Chicago Applied Data & Governance Fellow before stepping into the President's Office.

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Steven Walker, MPP'18 

Manila, Philippines

Steven is a Manager at IDinsight, a monitoring and evaluation advisory organization focused on solving key global development challenges. He is currently based in their Southeast Asia regional office located in Manila, Philippines. Prior to joining IDinsight, Steven worked in India for three years on gender equality and education policy initiatives in partnership with the Indian government. Before India, he served with the Peace Corps in Cambodia, and later returned with UNICEF as a graduate intern in their Social Policy unit while at Harris.

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Nikki Wegner (Immediate Past President), MPP'13

Chicago, IL

Nikki is the Director of Strategy, Public Policy, & Business Development for Children's Home & Aid, a children and family services non-profit in Illinois. She was formerly a Manager in the Government & Public Services practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP where she focused on delivering Health and Human Service projects for governments. She previously worked in political communications consulting 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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