Fellowship Cohort 2012


Juliet Asante, MC/MPA 2012
Office of MP Mathew Prempeh, Ghana

As an important part of Juliet Asante’s journey into the political arena, she is using the summer to observe, study and interact with the political system in which she intends to run for office. Dr. Mathew Prempeh is the head of elections of the largest opposition party in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He is also the parliamentarian for the Manshia area in the Asante region of Ghana. She will be spending her time as an intern with his office to understudy the electoral process and its dynamics; the demands and world of a parliamentary candidate in a terrain like Ghana. She will also use the time to help collect data that will be used by the NPP to support their strategy for the elections at the end of the year. Finally, with a rich knowledge gathered from the Program with the WPPP and other courses like ‘ the making of a politician’ by Steve Jading, Juliet intends to offer her advice on strategy for the upcoming elections to the office of Dr. Prempeh. (Oval Office internship)


Abigail Bellows, MPP 2013
US State Department, Washington, D.C.

Abigail will explore how to integrate gender into diplomacy through her internship at the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor this summer. Stationed in the Office of International Religious Freedom, Abigail will learn about and contribute to mainstreaming gender issues in other human rights work, such as ensuring the perspectives of female religious leaders are represented in stakeholder forums. The internship will hone Abigail’s skills in advancing human rights in an institution like the State Department, with a broad range of competing priorities.

Lucero Burga, MPA/ID 2013
National Investment Commission, Liberia

Lucero will focus on improving the business climate and regulatory investment framework to create new economic opportunities for SMEs at the National Investment Commission in the government of Liberia this summer. These reforms will benefit mostly female-headed informal enterprises where the monetary and time costs of doing business are higher. As part of her tasks, she will also be engaged in providing technical assistance to domestic entrepreneurs (most of whom are women) to meet the demands of foreign-invested businesses. In addition, she will be working to support the NIC’s management of concessions and will carry out additional tasks in support of the NIC’s current reorganization effort. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Aditi Chokshi, MPA/ID 2013
Pratham, India

Aditi will spend the summer in rural Bihar, the poorest state in India, with Pratham, one of the country’s largest education service delivery organizations. Aditi will work alongside Pratham staff in Bihar on two initiatives, the piloting of Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in three village blocks and the expansion of an innovative program focused on teaching basic literacy skills to mother’s through classes and at-home activities. Having previously spent a year working in a slum in Ahmedabad, she is looking forward to again serving in India at a grassroots level and deepening her understanding gender, adolescent development, and participatory community mobilization in settings of poverty.

Anjali Fleury, MPP 2013
International Organization for Migration, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Anjali will create and implement an economic empowerment program for Cambodian female migrants and their households with the guidance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). She will use a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to strengthen the capacity of both Cambodia’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the local financial sector to better respond to female migrants. Anjali will work with IOM to assess the availability and accessibility of financial services for women. Then, she will assist in the design, implementation, and evaluation of a program providing necessary financial services for women, including remittance management and investment. The program will increase financial literacy and economic empowerment for migratory women and their households, and will serve as a replicable microfinance model for implementation in other Cambodian communities. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Rana El Hattab, MPP 2013
Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Liberia

Rana will work this summer in Minister Miata Beysolow’s office at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Monrovia, Liberia. She will develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework to optimize how the Ministry assesses its projects, departments and divisions. Rana will also monitor the progress of the Ministry towards achieving the goals set at its January 2012 Strategic Planning Retreat. Furthermore, Rana will help finalize the private sector development section of the Liberian Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Throughout these activities, she will organize trainings for Ministry staff to help build the Ministry’s capacity as well as strengthen its statistical program. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Lauren Harrison, MPP 2013
Ministry of Gender and Development, Liberia

This summer, Lauren will travel to Monrovia, Liberia to work with Liberia's Ministry of Gender and Development (MoGD). Specifically, Lauren will help the MoGD to redefine its five-year strategic plan, which will include creating new goals, objectives, and developing a process for achieving these goals. As a part of her work, Lauren will conduct consultative meetings with key stakeholders to identify current gaps in the MoGD's programs and policies. She will collaborate with employees of the MoGD's main divisions, including Gender Based Violence (GBV); Women Empowerment; Policy, Research and Training; Children Protection and Development; and Human Rights. The output of her internship will be a comprehensive strategic plan for the MoGD, including a costing schedule, objectives, activities, and a monitoring and evaluation plan. The ultimate aim of this strategic plan--and of Lauren's work this summer--is to improve the status of women in Liberia. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Asma Jaber, MPP 2013
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Palestine

This summer Asma Jaber will be interning with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Palestine. There she will be researching ways that movement restrictions impact education access in general, with emphasis on female access to education and female employment as school teachers and administrators. Specifically, she will be focusing on a case study in the Israeli occupied Old City of Hebron, where Palestinian movement is severely restricted. Asma will conduct similar research on Palestinian women living in Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley. Also, Asma will be working with the Welfare Association, a Palestinian nongovernmental development organization, to institutionalize internship programs in Palestinian universities that work on increasing job training opportunities for women. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Catherine Leland, MPP 2013
Mada al-Carmel, Haifa, Israel

Catherine will conduct an independent research project studying trends in Palestinian women's political participation over the past two decades in Israel (Arab Israeli citizens). While studies exist that analyze Palestinian political participation in Israel, there are very few documents that show specific trends among Palestinian women. As a basis for this research, Catherine will collaborate with social science researchers in Israel and collect data through government sources, surveys, and interviews. Ultimately, she will use this research to explore ways to better engage this important political group in Palestine. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Anya Malkov, MPP 2013
International IDEA, Peru

Anya will work to advance women’s political participation in Peru and the region for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance this summer. She will support existing programmatic efforts to help women parliamentarians improve their political performance and to educate decision makers about gender inequalities. She will also help produce a comparative national diagnosis on parties and gender and share the findings of forums, research and lobbying efforts with other parity advocates through the iKNOW Politics website. Through this experience, Anya will gain a comparative perspective on challenges to women’s political participation and strategies that women can employ as a group striving to achieve political parity. This cross-cultural learning will inform Anya’s future work on gender equity in politics in the United States. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Sujoyini Mandal, MPP 2013
Ministry of Gender and Development, Liberia

Sujoyini will support the Ministry of Gender and Development (MoDG) in Liberia to define the next 5-year strategic plan that will be incorporated into the country's development and poverty reduction agenda. She will analyze current programs gender empowerment programs in place that include micro and small enterprise growth projects, women and girls' literacy training and capacity building. This includes defining project timelines to implement the different projects and ensuring a sustainable capacity will be in place to manage such projects, with the ultimate aim of promoting gender development as a tool for development and poverty alleviation. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Effie-Michelle Metallidis, MPP 2013
Interbalkan Institute for Educational and Economic Development/Thessaloniki Mayor's Office, Greece

Effie-Michelle is based in Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, to study the role of women in business during Greece's financial crisis. She is working with the IIEED, which supports and trains local business owners on topics ranging from financial management to the ethics of leadership. Effie-Michelle hopes to use her research as a basis for her Policy Analysis Exercise, which will examine Greece's failed governmental policies through a socio-cultural framework that highlights civic trust, mutual collaboration, and accountability as core fundamentals of Greece's future growth. She is currently compiling case studies of innovative businesses and government departments in which women play a significant role.

Caitlin Pratt, JD/MPP 2014
National Women’s Law Center, Washington, D.C.

Caitlin will work for Deborah Carsten on employment and education issues at the National Women’s Law Center this summer. The exact substance of her work will depend on the legislative agenda and politics at the time, examples of specific issues she might work on include: affirmative action for women, equal pay, women in the military, pregnancy & parenting, sexual harassment & bullying, single sex education, and Title IX. She will write articles and fact sheets, comment on proposed federal agency regulations, prepare Congressional testimony, research legislative history, write briefs, draft complaints, and attend court, Executive Branch and Congressional proceedings. Caitlin will increase her knowledge on advocating for women’s rights at the intersection of law and policy. (Deborah Carstens’ Intern)


Nayeema Raza, MPA/MBA 2014
Independent Research, Southeast Asia

Nayeema will be researching the potential for market-based solutions to improve female livelihoods in Asian economies this summer. Market-based solutions are defined as financially-viable, scalable enterprises that engage low-income populations as producers or consumers in the economy. These solutions tend to have a disproportionate impact on females because of their potential to incorporate women in the informal economy and agrarian sectors. Nayeema's research will focus on two questions. At the macro-level, she will look at the viability of market-based solutions in Asia's transition and state-centric economies where liberalization of critical economic sectors has been nascent or slow. At the micro-level, she will examine particular micro-enterprises that are targeted at female consumers and producers. The majority of her research will be conducted in Vietnam, and Nayeema hopes to disseminate the findings both broadly through social media and strategically as a policy paper to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Dharana Rijal, MPP 2013
Myanmar Sustainable Investments Initiative, Myanmar and Cambodia

This summer, Dharana will work in Yangon with the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT), a multi-donor fund that aims to improve livelihoods and food security for the poor and vulnerable in Myanmar. Dharana will develop strategies to engage public and non-profit stakeholders on the findings of the fund’s baseline survey. She will conduct quantitative analysis of the survey, synthesize information collected from focus group discussions, and prepare memos and fact-sheets on regions where LIFT is operating. Dharana's work will help various stakeholders, including LIFT's partner organizations-- many of which promote women's participation and leadership in community groups-- make data-driven policy decisions and target their programs better. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)

Melissa Sandgren, MPP 2013
U.N. Women, New York

Melissa will be writing the Secretary General's report on the Improvement in the Status of Women across the UN System -- a project geared towards someone with a penchant for female representation and gender equality. This project will analyze data from all 32 UN entities on the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in addition to qualitative data from a survey which aims to understand progress and challenges in the advancement of women. (Roy Family Intern)

Anitha Sivasankaran, PhD Candidate in Economics
Independent research, Tamil Nadu, India

Anitha will conduct an independent research project that studies the impact of commitment labor contracts available to young women in rural Tamil Nadu. Her study will analyze the availability of some types of wage contracts and employment opportunities for young unmarried women and its role in improving women’s ability to bargain within the household. For this research, she will spend the summer in Tamil Nadu where she will work with firms that offer wage employment to young women and pilot and set up a large survey of female workers in such firms. In particular, she will collect data on marriage outcomes, empowerment and decision-making by women within the household, and long-term labor market decisions and outcomes. (Adrienne Hall Fellow)


Emily Seen, MPP 2013
Office of U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Austin, Texas

Emily will work in the Austin district office of U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D – TX25), a nine-term congressman representing the Central Texas area. Following up on her work in Rep. Doggett’s federal office in Washington, D.C., from 2009-2011, she will serve as a community liaison, focusing on constituent services and outreach and helping identify and respond to local needs and issues of concern. In this role, Emily will help communicate Representative Doggett’s progressive agenda for health care, education, environmental issues, and economic policy and ensure that constituent priorities and voices from the district continue to be reflected in Rep. Doggett’s work in Washington. (Oval Office internship)


Cynthia Thaler, MPP 2013
New York City Council

Cynthia will intern in the Office of New York City Council Member Leroy Comrie, who represents several neighborhoods in Southeast Queens. The Councilman is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Council, President of the Queens Delegation, Chair of the Land Use Committee, and a member of several other committees. As such, Councilman Comrie has demonstrated strong leadership on the Council, and Cynthia looks forward to learning from his wisdom and experience. She will work primarily in the Councilman’s Legislative Office. Cynthia will learn about the legislative process in New York City by attending committee hearings and relevant meetings and events. She will also have the opportunity to play a prominent role in creating the Councilman’s legislative plan of action for the coming year. In addition, the Director of Legislative and Budget Affairs has asked Cynthia to serve as the lead on at least one of the policy reports the office will publish during the summer. This specific report will detail the “state of southeast Queens” along several different parameters including housing, economic development, and transportation. Cynthia will also have an opportunity to spend approximately one day each week in the Councilman’s District Office. At the local office, she will have the opportunity to participate in constituent work, including case intake and liaising with city and state agencies. She looks forward to gaining a holistic understanding of the work of a Council Member. (Oval Office internship)

Courtney Walsh, MPP 2013
Catalyst, New York City, New York

Courtney will be conducting and participating in a range of research projects related to corporate governance at Catalyst this summer. Catalyst’s corporate governance research centers studies the underrepresentation of women on boards and executive teams of companies and organizations, including the underrepresentation of minority women. Specifically, Courtney will be involved in the writing of research reports, conduction of literature reviews, and designing of various research methodologies related to women’s representation on boards and as officers of companies in the U.S. and globally. Discrepancies in female representation on corporate boards and in executive positions not only affect the status of women currently, but also set the stage for the next generation of women who aspire to be leaders. Thus, it is essential for research centered on women and leadership to be generated, disseminated, and acted upon so that closure of the national and global gender gap can occur.

James Walsh, MPP 2013
National Planning Commission (GNHC), Bhutan

James will be working this summer as a short-term consultant for the National Planning Commission (GNHC) of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The GNHC is the central coordinating body of the government that engages in mid to long-term planning. It also controls budget allocations and approves priorities for all ministries and agencies in the government. James will focus on the political empowerment of women in rural communities, concentrating on building the capacity and deliberative processes of local governance institutions. Bhutan is in the very early stages of democracy and the way in which it forms its initial institutions during these years will have lasting implications for the popularity of democracy for long into the future. If women are not fairly included in the political process at this early stage of development, then the job will only be more difficult in the future. (Cultural Bridge Fellow)


Michelle Wu, JD 2012
Dewey Square Group, supporting DSG’s work with their client the Elizabeth Warren Campaign

Michelle will be working with DSG to support their work on the U.S. Senate campaign of Wu’s former professor and current Dewey Square Group client, Elizabeth Warren. As a member of the Field Organizing team for DSG, Michelle will be organizing voters in Boston, using the traditional tools of phone banking, voter identification, house parties, and strong GOTV efforts, as well as conducting effective outreach—and where necessary, voter education and voter registration—with considerations around translation for non-English language speakers, message tailoring, and reaching local/ethnic media outlets. Michelle looks forward to engaging Boston communities to increase voter turnout in key wards and precincts to elect Elizabeth Warren as the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, and also to help these communities participate and develop relationships with the existing political structures that will carry on even beyond the Senate campaign. (Oval Office internship)

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