Lando intends to use her MPP to make the pivot from consulting to international development to help eradicate poverty through women’s empowerment.
Headshot of Josephine Lando
Josephine Lando

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Josephine Lando came to the US for college when she was 19 and now works as a Senior Associate in the Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). However, Lando's ultimate goal is to help eradicate poverty by empowering women to start and manage their own businesses.

“I care about empowering women because my dad passed away when I was very young and I was raised by a single mom. She had a small bread-making business that she was running out of our kitchen with practically no resources, tools, or training. As I learned more about businesses, I thought what more could she have done if someone had invested in her? Anytime I doubt myself, I remember what she was able to do.

“Beyond my own family, I am inspired by the stories of so many women globally. They do so much for their families; they invest in their children’s education, healthcare in their communities, and building the next generation. I am happy knowing that I can play a role in helping women find the extra support they need to thrive.”

Lando majored in accounting with a minor in gender and diversity studies at Xavier University, where she was heavily involved in the women’s center. During that time, she returned to Kenya to intern with the 5by20 program at Coca Cola—a global initiative to empower 5 million female entrepreneurs to become part of the Coca Cola supply chain by 2020 (a goal which they surpassed). “It was so rewarding to return to my home country to work with women in the community, using the skills I had gained throughout my college career to write a handbook of resources for them as they joined the initiative. That was the first time I saw that I could get paid to do work I’m passionate about as a full-time job.”

Lando remained at Xavier to pursue her MBA, which led her to secure her role at PwC. “My last 4 years in consulting has challenged me to look at root causes and think outside the box when finding solutions. These skills will come in handy as I help women start their own businesses.” 

The many challenges of the lockdown this past year gave her time to reflect. She had known she wanted to pivot to international development for a long time. “After years of work, I felt ready to take that step.”

While exploring graduate schools, she was introduced to Rebecca Wolfe, an Assistant Instructional Professor and associate at The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at Harris whose research focuses on political violence, conflict, and violent extremism. “Hearing about her background motivated me to apply.”

When Lando attended her Admitted Student Week, she said the many sessions with faculty, current students, alumni, and administrators "made me excited about the community at Harris. After that week, I fully committed to Harris. I’m excited to work with people who are passionate about making a difference in the world, and experts who are working on solutions to global problems.” 

Lando looks forward to joining the Harris Student Organizations Minorities in Public Policy Studies and Women in Public Policy. “I’m excited to be part of the Harris community with people from all around the world, learning their cultures, and sharing my own.”