Zorrilla Ramos plans to strengthen her quantitative and evidence-based policy skills to return to Mexican foreign service and improve Mexico’s foreign policy.
Headshot of Natalia Zorrilla Ramos
Natalia Zorrilla Ramos

Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Natalia Zorrilla Ramos has learned the importance of perseverance and following your passions. Growing up with parents who were lawyers, she initially considered law for her career path. However, after spending a semester in Italy during high school, Zorrilla Ramos solidified her interest in international affairs and global conflict. 

“I firmly believe diplomacy can unite nations, so I sought to learn new skills, software, and strategies for measuring impact when it comes to things like human rights, security, and irregular migration.”  

Zorrilla Ramos attended Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international affairs with a minor in government and policy, where she was heavily engaged with her coursework and student body groups. During her time at university, Zorrilla Ramos worked for a semester as an intern for the Mission of Mexico to the World Trade Organization in Switzerland to represent Mexican national interests in a global setting. “That experience exposed me to one side of diplomacy, which included high-level work, big meetings, and international agreements and initiations made by high-ranking politicians. This was exciting and informative, but I knew I also wanted to see the day-to-day work being done.”

After graduating, Zorrilla Ramos began working for the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. “In the Protection and Legal Affairs Department, I work on migration issues like border patrol and immigration facilities. I engage with unaccompanied immigrant children and other Mexican nationals on diplomatic and consular cases to reunify families. I perform on-the-ground work—going to federal courts and meeting with other government agencies.”

Zorrilla Ramos’s experiences equipped her with many qualitative skills—like negotiations and public speaking—imperative to international affairs work. However, she realized that she wanted to pursue further education on the quantitative side. “I work in databases that project impacts of policies surrounding agriculture and migration. I want to develop the skills to make more of an impact in that realm.”

When Zorrilla Ramos learned about the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, she knew it was the right opportunity for her. “Harris will help me to achieve a strong quantitative background and strengthen my skills in data analysis, problem-solving, and leadership. I will develop these abilities by engaging with The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and taking courses that are directly applicable to work being done for the improvement of Mexico’s foreign policy.” 

Additionally, Zorrilla Ramos’s interactions with Harris faculty, staff, and students further confirmed this was the right opportunity for her. “I felt welcomed after engaging with the Admissions department. I attended one of Harris’ Diversity Days where I was able to stay on campus and meet current students and faculty. After this experience, I decided to apply.”

Ultimately, Zorrilla Ramos hopes to continue her work in Mexican foreign service, either directly through the government or as part of an international organization. “Harris will undoubtedly prepare me as a professional and public servant representing my country as a Mexican diplomat. I look forward to transforming my passions for international development, human rights, and global conflict into a concrete social impact.”