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Alison is a first year MPP candidate at the Kennedy School studying urban policy. She is particularly interested in urban economic development, with an emphasis on technology and innovation. Before coming to Harvard, Alison worked as a Macroeconomics Research Associate at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. She has also worked on economic development projects for the City of Burlington, Vermont, where she helped conduct research for a book on community economic development. Alison graduated from Amherst College with a degree in economics and enjoys running, cooking, and traveling. Her favorite experience at the Kennedy School so far has been helping to run an entrepreneurship contest in Chile as part of a class that supports communities recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
Born to a father from Jalisco, Mexico and a Puerto-Rican American mother, Alicia grew up in a small rural farming town in the Central Valley of California. Her experiences in this poor and mostly Latino community have been the main driver of her pursuits in higher education and a career dedicated to serving marginalized communities.
After receiving her Bachelors of Arts in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010, she worked for an Oakland-based research and advocacy nonprofit Urban Strategies Council (USC). At USC, Alicia worked to reduce housing, criminal justice, health, employment and racial disparities in impoverished communities.
While at HKS her interests include business and government, public finance, and local and state government. She plans to return to California to work in the area of workforce and business development within low income communities and communities of color.
|Tara Grigg Garlinghouse
Tara is a concurrent JD/MPP candidate with the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School. Tara is originally from Houston, Texas and graduated from Rice University in 2008 with a BA in Sociology and Women's Studies. After graduation, Tara became a City Hall Fellow in Houston to better understand policy creation at the municipal level. She worked on improving the City of Houston Municipal Courts through implementing performance measurements and streamlining processes to create a more efficient court system. In 2010, Tara started law school at the University of Pennsylvania as a Toll Public Interest Scholar to pursue her passion for helping foster children. This passion comes from her experiences growing up: when she was ten her parents decided to become a foster family, and since that time she has had over eighty foster siblings. During the last two years she explored child welfare law from almost every single angle: direct representation, child welfare agency administration, judicial decision-making, state law reform, and federal policy creation. Tara came to Harvard to gain skills that will enable her to improve the representation and court processes for abused and neglected children.
Sylvia was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied public health as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. Through internships at the San Mateo County Health Department and California Department of Health Care Services, she learned about the diverse health needs of Californians at the local and state level. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she worked at the Department of Veteran Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System where she coordinated research projects on health information technology used to improve the quality of care for Veterans. At the Kennedy School, Sylvia aspires to learn how information technology can improve the quality of care for underserved communities in California. She has also been awarded the Public Policy and International Affairs and Cal-in-Sacramento Platinum Fellowship.
Juan has been working for the past five years in the public sector. He served in the Argentinean House of Representatives for two years and then he worked in the Ministry of Social Development of the City of Buenos Aires, and in the Ministry of Education of Buenos Aires. Before coming to the Kennedy School, Juan was leading the team that held negotiations with the seventeen teacher unions of Buenos Aires, representing the minister. In 2010, he started a youth political group called Generacion Argentina Politica that now consists of more than 150 students and professionals working in different government agencies and legislatures.
David is a first year MPP candidate at the Kennedy School studying urban policy. He spent the last two years in the New York City Department of Small Business Services as a senior policy advisor and deputy chief of staff. He began his career in municipal government as a New York City Urban Fellow. David graduated from Amherst College, where he studied political science and wrote an honors thesis on urban congestion pricing. He is passionate about transportation, economic development, land use and housing policy. David is an avid jazz pianist and enjoys playing basketball and tennis.
|Benjamin Weinryb Grohsgal
Benjamin is a joint MPP/MUP candidate at the Kennedy School and the Graduate School of Design, concentrating in urban policy and international planning. Most recently before returning to school he was a Fulbrighter in Bangladesh researching post-disaster housing and urbanization, following a year in Waianae, Hawaii as an Americorps VISTA with Habitat for Humanity Leeward Oahu. Benjamin graduated from Columbia University with a BA in architecture, concentrating in post-colonial urbanism, particularly in South Asia. As a student at the Kennedy and Design schools he hopes to continue his interests in the physical urban environment and integrated urban policy. He is currently a research assistant for the Mayoral Performance Analytics Initiative also at the Kennedy School.
Alex is a first year MPP candidate at the Kennedy School studying education policy. Her main interests are teacher quality, effectiveness, and evaluation. Alex received a BA with honors in Political Science-American Politics from Brown University in 2010, where her studies focused on women in American politics. Her senior thesis on female congressional candidates and their electoral success inspired her to work for EMILY's List upon graduation throughout the 2010 election season. As a member of the WOMEN VOTE! department, Alex conducted research and helped create and implement independent expenditure programs to support pro-choice, Democratic female candidates across the country. However, an underlying passion for education propelled her in a different direction. Until arriving at the Kennedy School, Alex worked in the central office of the District of Columbia Public Schools, a district that has been in the spotlight of the education reform movement for many years. She was a member of the IMPACT Operations team, which runs the performance-based evaluation system for all school-based educators in the district, and later worked directly with the chief of human capital and his chief of staff to execute key human capital initiatives around teacher and principal effectiveness, central office effectiveness, and recruitment and selection.
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