Belfer IGA Student Fellows – Academic Year 2012-2013
The Belfer International and Global Affairs Student Fellowship Program prepares a community of high-achieving Harvard Kennedy School students to cultivate 21st century, global ideas. Belfer IGA creates an environment that fosters innovation in the modern international and affairs arena. The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs provides BIGA Fellows with strong analytical leadership skills necessary to excel in the global arena. With the completion of the program, the Belfer Center will impart to students the importance of community, service and leadership. Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School’s International and Global Affairs (IGA) concentration.
Azum Ali is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. He spent his initial years in the aerospace industry, developing radar and computer systems for air and missile defense applications. He then joined Booz Allen Hamilton, where he consulted for public-sector organizations on aviation technology, social entrepreneurship, and defense policy. Most recently, he acted as a policy coordinator in the US Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs. He spent Summer 2012 at the World Institute for Nuclear Security in Vienna Austria, where he researched financial incentives to improve innovation in nuclear and cyber security. At the Kennedy School, he is Chairman of the International Security Professional Interest Council. He is interested in global commons security through technology use, particularly in space. Azum holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and is a Massachusetts native.
Jieun Baek is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. Since concentrating in Government at Harvard College, Baek has been studying the human rights and refugee crises in North Korea, American presidential leadership, and the importance of diplomacy in statecraft. Between 2010-present day, Baek has been working in Sales at the Google Headquarters office in Mountain View and also has been serving as Google’s North Korea Lead to manage projects related to bringing Google resources to North Korean defectors. On her free time, she has been writing articles about her experiences speaking and engaging with North Korean defectors to engage her readers about the various difficulties that North Koreans experience. After taking a year away from her studies in college to intern for the U.S State Department in Austria and Germany, she has committed to pursuing diplomacy as her career.
Jessica Brandt is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, focused on the study of diplomacy, negotiations and statecraft in international politics. Before coming to Harvard, Jessica coordinated the Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative at the Council on Foreign Relations. She conducted a year of research in Israel and the Palestinian Territories on potential future border arrangements in the Jerusalem envelope, and most recently served as Director of Foreign Relations for the Geneva Accord in Tel Aviv. At the Kennedy School, Jessica has provided research assistance to the Project on Managing the Atom and project assistance to the Middle East Initiative. This summer, Jessica is working in the Office of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, designing strategies for effective diplomacy to leverage resources towards post-conflict recovery.
Vivek Chilukuri is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in International Studies and a minor in Arabic. At UNC, Vivek also earned ‘Highest Honors’ for his senior thesis and served as a Robertson Scholar. Having focused on US foreign policy in the Middle East while in college, Vivek sought to learn more about this complex region by living overseas. After graduation, he spent a summer in Cairo studying Arabic and then taught for two years at a Quaker school in Ramallah. Back in the US, he interned for the House Foreign Affairs Committee supporting an initiative to partner Congress with young democracies around the world. Vivek’s current focus is exploring how US foreign policy should adapt to the recent political upheaval sweeping the Middle East. Recently, he returned to Cairo to co-author a report for the UNDP’s Regional Center for the Arab States on the obstacles to governance reforms in Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. Vivek also currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Middle East Politics and Policy.
Mark Dlugash is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. Previously, he studied Refugees and Forced Migration and Criminology and Criminal Justice at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He has worked at Human Rights Watch, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, the U.S. Public Service Academy, and the District Office of Congresswoman Nita Lowey. Before coming to the Kennedy School, he was the recipient of a Social Innovator Award from Americans for Informed Democracy for his work with internally displaced people in Uganda. He has written extensively on the dissemination of academic research, the global refugee regime, and prison reform vis-à-vis nudges in prison architecture. He graduated from Swarthmore College with highest honors.
Lauren Harrison graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale in 2009, with a BA in Political Science and International Studies. While at Yale, Lauren focused on politics and development in Africa and spent her summers conducting field work about identity and voting behavior in Mali and South Africa. The APSR published the results of her research in Mali. Upon graduation, Lauren spent two years at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which she left in 2012 in order to conduct an impact evaluation of India’s unique identification program. At HKS, she focuses on development, diplomacy, and the interplay between the two. She is currently spending her summer in Monrovia as an intern at the Liberian government’s Ministry of Gender and Development.
Matthew Joyce is a 2004 graduate of John Carroll University, with a major in history and a concentration in East Asian studies. He served as an active duty US Army infantry officer from 2004 to 2009, during which time he led two infantry platoons, and served as the Executive Officer of an Iraqi army combat adviser team. He was deployed to Iraq from 2007 to 2009. Upon leaving the Army, Matthew received a Fulbright Fellowship for research in the People's Republic of China, where he studied modern Chinese military history. At the Kennedy School, he is concentrating in international affairs, and is most interested in international security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
Jonathan Hillman is a Master in Public Policy candidate and Presidential Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School. A former research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations, he has written on U.S. foreign policy and national security issues for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the National Interest. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, where he received the Garrison Prize for best thesis in International Relations.
Hae Won Kim is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. Hae Won graduated from Seoul National University in 2001 with a B.A. in business administration. Upon graduation, she joined a financial institution in Korea to work in database marketing projects. Hae Won joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea in 2008 and worked on G20/OECD/ASEAN related issues until coming to the Kennedy School. Hae Won is interested in Asian-US relations, trade law, global governance and science and public policy, and looks forward to exploring related courses and research projects her second year. She will go back to the Foreign Ministry after graduating from the Kennedy School. Born and raised in South Korea, Hae Won has lived in Stockholm and Tokyo for one year each as a student.
Tiffany Ma is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. Her research interests include Asia security issues, U.S.-China and cross-Strait relations and the Arctic. Prior to HKS, she was a research associate at the Project 2049 Institute, an Asia policy think tank in the Washington D.C. area. She has also worked at the International Crisis Group in Beijing, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C., and the Refugee Council of Australia in Sydney. She holds a BA/BS in international relations and psychology from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and has studied at Georgetown University. She speaks Mandarin.
Farzin Mirshahi is a Master in Public Policy Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. Half-Iranian and Half-Indian, but born and educated in the UK, his ultimate goal is to contribute to the reconciliation process between the Middle East and West. He received Triple First-Class Honours at Cambridge University, where he studied Classics to gain the building blocks of logic and argument. At Cambridge, Farzin became the youngest ever president of the Cambridge University United Nations Association (CUUNA), a 1350-strong society dedicated to international affairs, with especial focus on the UN and the Middle East. Having learnt Russian and worked for the AKDN in Tajikistan, Farzin worked two successive summers in the Russia & Central Asia section of the British Foreign Office while at University. Farzin then worked as a global cross-asset sales-trader for Goldman Sachs, experiencing the market and regulatory dynamics of two successive economic crises, with particular focus on the Emerging Markets and BRICs. Outside of work, Farzin has worked extensively for the Aga Khan Foundation and its institutions, and has also run a number of inter-faith outreach programs UK-wide. Farzin has been the recipient of the Sir Ian McFarlane Award of Excellence at Christ’s College Cambridge, the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award, a Jelf Medal from King’s College University, and a Rank Foundation Fellowship. He has also been awarded with a Dubin Emerging Leaders Fellowship from the HKS Centre of Public Leadership.
Fuadi Pitsuwan is a second-year Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to enrolling at HKS, Fuadi was an associate at The Cohen Group, a DC-based strategic advisory firm, where he analyzed US and international defense markets and assisted clients in engaging U.S. and foreign governments. He received a Rising Star award from US-ASEAN Business Council for his contribution to business relations between the two regions. He is currently working as a grant writer and a summer program manager for an education foundation serving underprivileged Muslim minority children in Southern Thailand where he is from. He was involved in the relief and reconstruction efforts after the Tsunami, which devastated Thailand in 2004, and the Cyclone Nargis, which hit Burma in 2008. Fuadi is a Public Service Fellow at HKS, and a WSD-Handa Fellow at CSIS Pacific Forum, a security think tank in Hawaii. He received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University where he was awarded best thesis in Asian Studies.
Paulina Ponce de León Baridó is a joint MBA-MPP student. Prior to joining HKS, Paulina worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). While at WCS, among others, she helped develop a proactive conservation-focused engagement strategy towards natural resource extraction companies, and supported WCS's climate mitigation work, particularly the Makira REDD+ project in Madagascar. Paulina was seconded to WCS from the Boston Consulting Group, where she had worked for 2.5 years on multiple strategy projects with both private companies and non-profits. She has a M.Sc. from MIT's Technology and Policy Program, where she conducted research on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. She has a B.A. in Physics and International Relations from Wellesley College, and is a former Watson Fellow, whose research project focused on the use of appropriate energy technologies for off-grid-communities. She is especially interested in strategic cross-sector partnerships and market-based solutions that deliver environmental and human development outcomes and that promote sustainable development.
Pamela Sud is in her final year of the Harvard Business School MBA / Harvard Kennedy School MPP joint degree program. Prior to Harvard, she worked at the World Bank as a Junior Professional Associate in the Latin America & Caribbean region’s energy group. Her project work included preparing a nationwide energy efficiency program in Mexico, assessing hydropower and geothermal development potential in Central America, and analyzing low-carbon growth strategies for Brazil. During her time at Harvard, she has actively sought diverse experiences around market-based approaches to development. She spent a summer in Central America working for Root Capital, an impact investment firm, evaluating investment opportunities for Root Capital’s agricultural cooperative clients. This past summer, she spent a month in Southeast Asia doing market research and deal sourcing on financial inclusion startups for Accion Venture Lab, a new seed-stage investment fund. She then interned at Monitor Group in New York, working on both a commercial project allocation and an economic development-focused project. She holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University.