headshot of Isabel Jurado wearing a pink suit with a quote about her HKS experience
Isabel Jurado MPP 2025 has enjoyed the opportunity to connect with individuals from diverse and fascinating backgrounds, all sharing a commitment to public service. Read more about Isabel’s HKS experience and advice for prospective students below.

Isabel Jurado, a former Peruvian public official and advocate for financial inclusion and social equality, has played a pivotal role in shaping policies for consumer protection and financial inclusion within Peru’s Financial Authority. She also actively promotes gender equality and nurtures future leaders through Impacta, an NGO aimed at encouraging young professionals in Peru to enter public service. Isabel’s passion for the arts, notably poetry, complements her multifaceted career.

What inspired you to choose Harvard Kennedy School?

The wealth of extracurricular opportunities that complimented my professional ambitions was what inspired me to choose Harvard Kennedy School. I was captivated by the chance to engage with the many global leaders who visit the school as fellows, researchers, or speakers—a feature that distinguishes HKS. Moreover, being awarded the John F. Kennedy Scholarship was a decisive factor in my decision to embrace the HKS experience. 

What are your favorite things about your experience at HKS?

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to connect with individuals from diverse and fascinating backgrounds, all united by a common trait: a commitment to public service. Engaging with and learning from people who have achieved extraordinary things in their fields and in their countries is an invaluable opportunity.

There are an array of opportunities outside the classroom for participation and connection, which helps form a rich and dynamic community experience.

Additionally, being part of one of the world’s top universities provides access to invaluable resources that foster both academic and professional growth. HKS must be one of the few schools in the world where you have to decide between attending a conference with a world-class leader or a working group with a prime minister!

In what ways do you engage with the Harvard Kennedy School community outside of the classroom?

Building a strong community outside of the classroom has been a top priority for me, and the variety of opportunities available has far exceeded my expectations.

In my first year, I was honored to be elected as a class representative for the Kennedy School Student Government (KSSG), a role that has strengthened my leadership skills and allowed me to interact with students from all HKS programs. Additionally, I was selected to participate in From Harvard Square to the Oval Office, a political training program designed to prepare students for future political leadership roles. I am also an active member of the Latin American Policy Association, an organization that aims to foster policy dialogue in our region, and have played a leading role in organizing a Latin American networking event. I was also part of the organizing team for the 25th Annual Social Enterprise Conference (SECON), a student-led conference that seeks to explore the role of social enterprises in addressing complex global challenges.

What advice would you offer to prospective students considering Harvard Kennedy School?

When considering HKS, it’s crucial to have a clear and honest understanding of what you want to achieve during your time here. Time is one of the most valuable resources at HKS, and it’s easy to use it ineffectively if you don’t have a clear goal in mind. Take the time to reflect on your objectives and how HKS can help you achieve them. This clarity will be key to making the most of the opportunities and resources available to you.

Quick questions

  • Favorite class: MLD-340M: Power and Influence for Positive Impact
  • Favorite study spot: Taubman study rooms
  • Favorite restaurant near campus: As a proud Latin, Felipe’s, of course!
  • One bucket list item you want to accomplish before graduating: Serving as a research assistant
  • Favorite guest speaker: Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia
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