Stay in touch with your classmates and peers

1973 / 1983 / 1985 / 1988 / 1991 / 1992 / 1993 / 1995 / 1997 / 1998 / 1999 / 2000 / 2001 / 2002 / 2004 / 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2018 / 2019 / 2023

Note: Years bolded indicate reunion years.

 

1973

Bob Rhodes MC/MPA recently completed an appointment as acting general counsel for the city of Jacksonville, Florida. The general counsel’s office serves the entire consolidated city government, including the mayor, city council, executive departments, constitutional officers, and independent authorities. According to Bob, the appointment was an interesting and illuminating community service for an octogenarian lawyer. “Ask not what the city can do for you...”

 

1983

Ken Hughes MPA has earned the distinction of becoming the 99th Canadian to win a Worldloppet gold medal. Worldloppet is a ski federation that recognizes the best loppets—or long distance cross-country ski races— around the world. Ken, who is asthmatic and in his late sixties, said of his win, “If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would be doing five world loppet races in one calendar year, I would have never believed it. I’m in as good of shape as I’ve ever been and that’s a great gift.”

Roy Watson MPA was recently appointed as a commissioner to work with the Massachusetts Bar Counsel. Roy just completed a required mediation program, and is now looking to work with Boston-based ADR/mediation groups. He welcomes any assistance. Roy has an extensive background in federal employment-based immigration. Since leaving a full-time role with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Roy has been doing private immigration work. He is always available to catch up with fellow alums!

 

1985

Michael Pocalyko MC/MPA was elected president of the Cosmos Club. Founded in 1878, the club brings together men and women distinguished in science, literature, the arts, the learned professions, and public service. Michael is CEO of SI, a Washington-based professional services firm and government contractor in the investigations, intelligence, and cyber sectors.

 

1988

Alan Loeb MC/MPA is finalizing a law review article critiquing the Supreme Court’s opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, the case that struck down the EPA’s new rules controlling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Alan writes, “A major error the court made was in applying a historically invalid account of the ‘administrative state.’ Based on extensive historical research, the article finds that there is an administrative state applicable to modern environmental problems, just not the one the court was thinking of. If the correct history had been used the court could not have reached the conclusion it did.”

 

1991

Joanne Butler Sadler MPA writes, “Late in 2022, I had an academic research paper published for the Gregor Mendel museum’s journal. The museum is located in Brno, Czech Republic, and the journal was commemorating the bicentennial of Mendel’s birth (Mendel discovered the theory of genetics in the 1860s). The paper discussed how Mendelian genetic techniques led to the development of the first American hop plant cultivar (Cascade), and how Cascade led to the launch of the craft beer industry. Over three decades ago, I attended HKS to improve my research skills, and HKS delivered. Plus, being an alum gave me access to Harvard’s incredible historical resources, notably the horticultural library. My paper’s title: ‘Building a Better Hop.’”

“Over three decades ago, I attended HKS to improve my research skills, and HKS delivered. Plus, being an alum gave me access to Harvard’s incredible historical resources, notably the horticultural library.”

Joanne Butler Sadler MPA 1991

1992

Neal J.Z. Schwartz MPP writes, “Thirty-five years ago, HKS and GSD took a chance on me as I applied to be the first joint-degree student between the schools. Today I divide my time between my design studio S^A | Schwartz and Architecture (saasf.com), teaching as a professor at the California College of the Arts, and community and policy work on the side. Although I am now an architect through and through, my time at HKS created the foundation for everything I do. I get teased that my every email reads like a three-page bullet-pointed memo, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If anyone needs an architect who also can tell you how to run the world, please let me know :)!”

 

1993

Rudy Ruiz MPP received the 2023 Texas Institute of Letters Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction for his novel Valley of Shadows. The novel was also recommended by the New York Times Book Review. Lit Hub writes, “A neo-Western blend of magical realism, mystery, and horror, Valley of Shadows sheds light on the dark past of injustice, isolation, and suffering along the U.S.-Mexico border.” The novel is Rudy’s sixth book combining social advocacy and culturally driven writing. Rudy also continues to serve as CEO of Interlex Communications, the advocacy marketing firm he co-founded with his wife, Heather, in 1995.

Gwen Young MPP is the CEO of Women Business Collaborative, a unique alliance of over 83 organizations, 60 companies, and 300 individuals fighting for equal position, pay, and power for all women in business. Gwen works in the D.C. area, where she ensures equity for all in business and continues to work on global equity for women and girls.

 

1995

Mike Walker MPA is VP of product management at REsurety, based in Boston. REsurety provides software and services to support the financial and sustainability goals of clean energy buyers, sellers, and investors.

Three black and white wind turbines with a red dialog bubble overlay.

The Climate Crisis
November 30, 2023

“In some areas, we’re able to align the policies and the public sector incentives to make sure that the private sector is investing in those parts. But it’s not yet enough.”

Judy Chang MPP 1996
Adjunct Lecturer, HKS, and former Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions, Massachusetts

 

1997

Christopher Hartwell MPP writes, “My book on the institutional development of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan: Snow Leopard at the Crossroads, was published by Routledge over the summer. Combined with my policy work in Ukraine on post-war economic reconstruction and my academic work on Russian economic history, I’m carving out a nice niche for myself in the region. And I’m happily based in Switzerland these days, so close enough to travel back there regularly!” Paul Michael Klein MC/MPA writes, “I am still enjoying Washington, D.C., and am currently serving as the senior director, creative, for HIAS, the world’s oldest refugee agency operating in over 20 countries. If you’re in D.C., I’d love to catch up over a coffee.”

 

1998

Charles Hokanson MPP, after nine-plus years as an SVP at the Helios Education Foundation, recently launched a Tampa-based consulting firm to advise nonprofit, philanthropic, and education clients on strategic management, policy and advocacy, and community engagement issues. In addition to serving on the HKS Alumni Association board, he serves as board chair of Hostelling International USA, immediate past chair of the Florida Education Foundation, and co-chair of Leadership Florida’s statewide education committee. He spent a month this summer hiking in 12 U.S. and Canadian national parks with his brother.

Jenny Korn MPP reports that Karen Bonadio (Harvard Kennedy School director of alumni relations), Kristen Messervy (Harvard Kennedy School senior associate director, alumni relations), and Jenny Korn MPP met for the first time in person in October 2023!

 

1999 | 25th Reunion

Al Kyle MC/MPA writes, “My book Courageous Dissent was recently published. It tells the story of how five U.S. Marine generals dissented decisions by President Johnson, Secretary McNamara, and General Westmoreland during the Vietnam War. Not surprisingly, they were ignored 80% of the time. The decisions were so bad, the outcome of the war may have changed if the war managers had listened to them. The four authors of Courageous Dissent served together in Vietnam as U.S. Marine officers. Their second careers were university professor, federal magistrate judge, a career Marine officer, and a medical device entrepreneur.”

Cynthie Tinoo MC/MPA writes, “My life was totally changed from peacefulness to heartbroken after a 2021 military coup in my country. I have been back to full-time unpaid work for internally displaced people inside Burma, providing humanitarian aid through fundraising and delivering crossborder aid from Thailand. If you would like to help, please donate to Partners Asia, the nonprofit organization that I serve as a board member. In war, the greatest suff erers are the innocent children and women. Let’s make the world free from any types of war!!!”

 

2000

Jennifer Martin Janis MPP recently took on a new role at UnitedHealthcare, leading the Medicare Regulatory Affairs team. After 18 years with UHC focused on Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, state legislation, and the COVID-19 response, Jennifer continues to enjoy working on health care policy issues and finding opportunities to strengthen relationships between business and government stakeholders. While health care was not Jennifer’s initial focus area at HKS, the MPP Spring Exercise focused on Medicare sparked an interest in the topic.

Kendra Perkins Norwood MPP has joined Reed Smith’s global regulatory and investigations practice as a partner based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Kendra represents clients, ranging from global aerospace and defense contractors to technology and R&D startups, who do business with federal and state governments. She founded, and was the inaugural chair of, the National Bar Association’s (NBA) Government Procurement Law Section.

Portrait of Elizabeth Linos.

Empowering the Public Sector

“The production of evidence does not necessarily mean that that evidence is being used and adopted in government.”

Elizabeth Linos
Emma Bloomberg Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management

 

2001

Josiah Brown MPP writes, “It’s been four years since we launched Connecticut Court Appointed Special Advocates, a new affiliate of the national CASA movement for children. Working with those in foster care and at the prior, preventative stage of protective supervision, we are now serving three of the four largest child-protection courts in the state. Connecticut CASA applies the proven CASA approach to improve outcomes for young people who have experienced abuse/neglect. Our aim: safe, permanent homes—with family members whenever possible—where youth are more likely to thrive. Our funding is a blend of public dollars, foundation grants, and individual donations.”

 

2002

Stephanie Oestreich MPA continues to be based in Boston and is incredibly excited to have assumed the position of managing director of the Myeloma Investment Fund in September 2023!

 

2004 | 20th Reunion

Ken Biberaj MPP writes, “Our boys, Hudson and Grant Biberaj, have written a book called No More Minutes, which documents their daily efforts to secure more time before bed. The book is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Archway Publishing.”

Michelle Blair MPA completed 14 years of service in the U.S. federal government, where she worked as a lead researcher at the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. Extending her career as a researcher, Michelle is now a doctoral student at Stanford University, with interests in labor economics, public economics, and the economics of education. She is launching a research agenda examining certification industries, focusing on standardized tests and higher education credentials. She welcomes collaboration opportunities in the United States or in other countries: visit michellefblair.com.

Andrew Leigh PHD switched from being an economics professor to a member of the Australian Parliament in 2010. Following the Labor Party’s win in last year’s election, Andrew is now serving as the assistant minister for competition, charities, treasury and employment. His new book The Shortest History of Economics hits the shelves in 2024. Andrew and his wife, Gweneth, live in Canberra with their three boys (now aged 11, 14, and 16). Diana Samarasan Hoover MC/MPA writes, “In early 2022, after 14 years, I left the organization I founded—the Disability Rights Fund (DRF)—in excellent hands, and it continues to grow. I am working as an independent consultant now, building on the model and work of DRF to increase participation of people with lived experience within philanthropy and more broadly. My co-conspirator, Katy Love, and I recently published our Advancing Participation in Philanthropy Tool available at advancingparticipation.com. I am also part of the founding board of a new Harvard alumni student interest group I urge you to join—the Harvard Alumni Disability Alliance. Finally, I am teaching my daughter to drive—she’s 17 and a junior!!”

“I am also part of the founding board of a new Harvard alumni student interest group I urge you to join—the Harvard Alumni Disability Alliance.”

Diana Samarasan Hoover MC/MPA 2004

2007

Kai Lee MPP left his post as the CEO of Vanke US at the end of 2022 after building a USD $6.3 billion portfolio over his decade-longŸtenure there. Kai managed to complete his goal of running at least one half-marathon in all 50 states and D.C. by mid-2023, which was a four-year plan interrupted by the pandemic. He is now the regional CEO of Europe, Americas, and the Middle East for JD Property, the logistics real estate subsidiary of the Global Fortune 100 conglomerate JD. He continues to be based in New York City and runs regularly along the Hudson.

 

2008

Jose Luis Romo MPP reports that Oxford Business Group (OBG) highlighted the Mexican state of Hidalgo as its foreign investment case study of the year. OBG emphasized that under Jose Luis’s leadership, Hidalgo transitioned its economy to high value-added sectors, securing a record amount of FDI. This strategic transformation led to an impressive 8% GDP growth in Q1 2023, marking Hidalgo as a standout success in economic policy and innovation.

 

2009 | 15th Reunion

Dan Björkegren MPP has a new job as a professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public A¨ airs in New York, where he will continue working on AI/machine learning in developing economies.

 

2010

Allison Shapira MC/MPA writes, “Having studied leadership communication for the past 20 years, I’ve been researching ways AI will change how we communicate. I am launching a new project and new keynote titled, ‘AI & Authenticity: The Future of Human Connection.’ Would love to connect with alumni working in the AI space!”

Josh Stephens MPP published Planners Across America (Planetizen Press, 2022), a collection of interviews with big-city urban planners nationwide.

Black and white women with headphones working on a computer with a red dialog bubble overlay.

Women in Technology
October 30, 2023

“As a woman or as anyone who is an unrepresented voice in a space related to technology or national security or underrepresented fields, you have to always question why people are trying to block you or your voice from that space.”

Sarah Spencer MPP 2006
Director and Founder, DoveTail

 

2011

Jonathan Gensler MPA has recently published six short stories in venues such as Cosmic Horror Monthly, CreepyPod, and Soul Scream Antholozine, with his first novel in the works. After a career in the military and clean tech, he is now writing horror and dark sci-fi rooted in the fears of technological and societal collapse he spent years trying to fight. Find his stories and other updates at jonathangensler.com.

 

2013

Mike McMahon MPP and his wife, Megan, welcomed their daughter Grace Ellen into the world in July 2023 in Chicago. Mike writes, “Megan was an inspiration. Grace’s favorite hobbies include drooling, coo-ing, chewing on her hands, and filling her diaper. She is single and ready to mingle with babies who share her interests.”

Sushma Raman MC/MPA was appointed the president and CEO of the Heising-Simons Foundation, a family foundation headquartered in the Bay Area that supports early childhood education, human rights, climate and clean energy, and scientific research. Sushma joined the foundation in February 2023 and was invited to serve on the foundation’s board this fall. Previously, she served as the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, a position she held since 2015.

 

2014 | 10th Reunion

Frank Kuzminski MC/MPA recently defended his doctoral dissertation at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. His dissertation, A Certain Idea of Space: How Leaders Shape Military Space Posture in Europe, dives into three of Europe’s most important space actors, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, to explore the role of leaders and human agency in shaping the use of space technologies in international security affairs. Next, Frank heads to Washington, D.C., to serve as a special assistant to the secretary of the Army.

Portrait of David Deming.

Diversifying Society’s Leaders?

“If you are from the top 1% of the family income distribution, you are 77 times more likely to attend an Ivy Plus college than if you’re from the bottom 20%. So we have highly unequal distribution of family income across colleges.”

David Deming
Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy and Academic Dean

 

2015

Kimberly Dowdell MC/MPA was inaugurated as the 100th president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on December 15th, 2023, in Washington, D.C. She serves as the organization’s first Black female president. She is the first AIA president of the millennial generation. Founded in 1857, the AIA advocates for the value of architecture and gives architects the resources they need to do their best work. Kimberly will continue in her role as global design firm HOK’s director of strategic relationships for the duration of her one-year term as AIA president.

Robert Reynolds MPP and Simran Gambhir were recently engaged. Robert is the founder and executive director of Vote Rev, a progressive political nonprofit. Simran is on the clinical faculty at UCLA’s medical school, where she works and teaches as a pediatric hospitalist. They live in Los Angeles.

 

2018

Andrew Poulin MC/MPA has published his first book, The Leader’s Handbook. Andrew writes, “The book is comprised of various ancient quotes, excerpts, and wisdom organized into 10 key leadership traits. It is meant for people to read, reflect, and then lead, and come back to any time you need inspiration. The book is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Archway Publishing. If you’re interested in following The Leader’s Handbook, check out @theleadershandbook1 on Instagram and ‘The Leader’s Handbook’ on Facebook.”

 

2019 | 5th Reunion

Joe James MC/MPA is doing a one-year secondment at Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before starting a new role as an energy and climate officer at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra.

 

2020

Laurent Boinot MC/MPA, Jaime Diaz MC/MPA, Steffen Feuerpeil MC/MPA, David Manoury MC/MPA, and Gayatri Rao MC/MPA are the authors of “Algorithms smarter than experts? AI methods applied to assessment of environmental risk of World Bank projects,” published in the International Journal of Sustainable Development (Vol. 26, No. 2).

“One year in Cambridge went too fast, and I am already missing the vibrancy of campus life.”

Jorge Galvez Mendez MC/MPA 2023

2023

Jorge Galvez Mendez MC/MPA writes, “One year in Cambridge went too fast, and I am already missing the vibrancy of campus life. I am back at the OECD applying what I learned from the MC/MPA for LatAm and MENA. I also acquired new interests such as improving the effectiveness of public institutions for better services for citizens and the opportunities and challenges of the unavoidable green transition for emerging countries. If
you have worked on those areas and, in particular, if you have experience in applying top management practices (HR, digitalization, transparency, etc.) from all types of entities, private and non-governmental to public institutions, please give me a ring.

Photography by Martha Stewart.

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