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Water and Sanitation Specialist
World Bank, Water and Sanitation Program (WSP)
Washington, D.C., USA
When I was making the decision to join the MPA/ID Program, I was more than a little concerned about balancing a challenging program, a young child and a wife with a demanding career. I particularly remember holding my newborn son in one hand and a textbook in the other while studying for an exam for the multivariable calculus prerequisite! Still, it's the sort of opportunity you can't pass up, and it's been an amazing experience. I'd been working in development for about eight years before coming back to school, and felt that I had hit a point in my career where I needed a better base of economics training to move up. The MPA/ID Program provides an unparalleled curriculum that gives the next generation of development practitioners the quantitative tools and leadership training they need to change the face of the field.
Our son, now a toddler, has grown up as an unofficial MPA/ID student and greatly enjoys the attention lavished on him whenever we bring him to MPA/ID events. He's also had a strong impact on my career path. I had worked in microfinance and agriculture before coming back to school, and had planned to continue in these sectors. However, I had the opportunity to intern with the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) in Indonesia and realized the impact I could have by focusing on water and sanitation. Poor sanitation kills nearly a million children annually—a statistic that is particularly powerful for me as a father. After finishing my internship, I decided to write my SYPA on my experience, and just accepted a full-time position with the World Bank WSP, based in Washington, DC. I'm looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge I developed during my two years at HKS to help address this critical challenge.
John holds a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and an MBA in finance from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Previously he worked for the World Council of Credit Unions, Grameen Foundation and Abt Associates in Washington, DC.
John Ikeda, MPA/ID 2013 (USA)