CID's Student Ambassadors for the 2016-17 academic year.
Cassandra Ling is an Ed.M. candidate specializing in international education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She moved to Cambridge from Washington, DC, where she spent two years working at an education authorizing board. Prior to her work in domestic education policy, Cassandra managed youth development projects in Morocco and assisted asylum-seekers in Hong Kong awaiting refugee status and resettlement. An avid mallet percussionist, she has been a proud instructor for youth percussion ensembles and spent her first visit to Massachusetts performing at the Gillette Stadium. Cassandra holds a double degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Yuxiang Luo is a graduate student at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he studies the planning and governance of urban development. At the GSD, Luo worked on research and design projects in Argentina, Mexico and China sponsored by city government, federal housing funds and real estate developer. His independent research on the institutions of urban redevelopment and social housing is funded by Harvard Ash Center. A native of China, he worked for China Development Bank and Shenzhen Urban Planning and Design Institute. Luo also holds a Masters from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
David Pareja is a Master in Business Administration and Master in Public Policy Candidate at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, where he is a recipient of the Center for Public Leadership's David M. Rubenstein Fellowship. Previously, he worked as an Analyst and Associate at Palladium Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity firm focused on partnering with founders and family-owned businesses. Before Palladium, David was an Investment Banking Analyst at Citi's Global Industrials Group, where he focused on transactions in the aerospace and shipping industries. David graduated from Yale University in 2011 with a BA in Economics. David grew up in Peru and is interested in tri-sector approaches to development in Latin America.
Gustavo Payan-Luna is an international development specialist with experience in Central America, Eastern Europe, Ethiopia and the Philippines. An impassioned advocate for youth violence prevention, he builds programs and influences policy to foster peace and security through promoting access to education and economic opportunity. Payan-Luna has designed, managed, and provided technical assistance to youth and workforce development initiatives that have improved outcomes for thousands of young people. He has also led and supported learning communities and networks that seek to promote education and youth development. His experience ranges from directing multimillion dollar grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development to smaller strategic initiatives funded through private foundations. Payan-Luna is currently a Mason Fellow and a mid-career MPA student at the Harvard Kennedy School. He earned an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.
Mohamed Qamar is an MPAID candidate at the Kennedy School of Government. An Ethiopian by descent, he had been living in the unrecognized republic of Somaliland for 8 years, having moved from the Middle East as a teenager. He has worked in the education sector as both a teacher and in the administrative team of the premier boarding school in Somaliland, Abaarso School of Science and Technology. Recently, he worked for a renewable energy startup, also in Somaliland. He is interested in the combined roles of social and education policies in creating equal opportunities in upward mobility for disenfranchised and disadvantaged communities. He is also interested in studying the macroeconomic dynamics of emerging economies.
Mayra Salazar Rivera is in her second year at the Harvard Kennedy School in the Master in Public Policy program. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN); after college, the Mexican President awarded her the Lazaro Cardenas medal. She worked as a Research Assistant at El Colegio de Mexico and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, as a Head of Planning at the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy (CONEVAL), and as a Head of Budget Information at the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit in Mexico (SHCP). Last summer, she worked at the Mission of Mexico to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. She is interested in income inequality, trade and development, and diplomacy. Her MPP area of concentration is Political and Economic Development.
Raven Tukes is a Masters student in the International Education Policy Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in Chinese (Mandarin) and Education. Her main academic interests are exploring and understanding the ways in which donors and ministries of education work together to create education policy for children situated in regions of conflict. She is also interested in global citizenship education for American youth and the ways in which educators can equip young people to think about their agency in acting on issues of local and global importance.
Hubert Wu is a current Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School. He previously worked as a competition economist at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and is a former Executive Committee member and Director of Finance of the Melbourne Microfinance Initiative. He also managed the trade and economics arm of the Australian non-profit organisation Global Voices, where he coordinated national youth delegations to the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and OECD.