fbpx Student Ambassadors | Harvard Kennedy School

CID Student Ambassadors are current Harvard students who are engaged and passionate about international development. They are responsible for planning the CID Speaker Series seminars, disseminating new research, and interviewing guests for CID's podcast channel, among other projects to promote accessibility and innovation in international development. 

Student Ambassadors 2022-23

Manasa Acharya - Student Ambassador Co-lead

Manasa is a Master of Urban Planning candidate at the Graduate School of Design. She has previously completed her bachelor's in Economics and a post-graduate studies in Liberal Arts from India. She worked for several years with Indian state governments in systemic transformation projects on mandates related to education and service delivery. Immediately prior to GSD, she was working in philanthropy consulting and grant management on issues related to urban governance, gender, sanitation, skilling, among others. Manasa hopes to improve quality of life for citizens in Indian cities and informal settlements by improving the ability of public systems to undertake better urban planning.

Maryam Guerrab - Student Ambassador Co-lead

Maryam Guerrab is a sophomore at Harvard College studying Government and Global Health. Maryam's interests lie in the intersection of politics, economics, and global health and she is passionate about about addressing the role of poverty in health outcomes across the globe. Currently, Maryam is a Refugee Patient Navigator at the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Services at the Boston Medical Center. She is also involved in various initiatives including a project to improve access to higher education for low income international students from the MENA region. Before coming to Harvard, Maryam worked at various non-profits to advance policy surrounding issues that impacted people of color and children in her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. Ultimately, Maryam hopes to leverage her studies and experiences to drive sustainable and equitable development practices. 

 

Dara Adamolekun

Dara Adamolekun is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Social Studies with a secondary in Economics. Within her studies, she intends to develop a focus field on institutional capacity development and social cohesion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her Nigerian-American background and passion for ensuring opportunity, stable governance, peace, and prosperity have motivated her to engage in the world international development, allowing her to view it as both a means of understanding the present realities of an unjust world and a mechanism to change it.  Over the years, her fascination with international development has provided her the opportunity to cultivate her interest across a variety of disciplines, from academic research for the UN Development Program Pacific Office, to creating US-Africa policy recommendations with the Harvard Undergraduate Foriegn Policy Initiative, to magazine writing for the Harvard International Review, and to development consulting with a USAID-funded organizational development activity based in Uganda. At HKS CID, Dara is excited collaborate with and learn from others within the international development field while working towards HKS CID’s vision of creating a world where all can thrive. 

Jukta BasuMallik

Jukta is a dual degree student pursuing MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School and MBA at Wharton Business School. She is passionate about socioeconomic mobility and access to higher education in developing countries and is currently incubating her venture in the Harvard innovation lab. Prior to coming to HKS, Jukta worked with McKinsey & Co in the San Francisco office. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Tata group supporting C-suite across 4 different industries – retail, CPG, tech and social impact. She led brand marketing and strategy for one of India’s largest retailers with 2000+ stores and won International customer experience awards in 2018. She hopes to marry her training in engineering, business and policy to create sustainable solutions for the developing economies, especially India.

Sara BinMahfooz

Sara BinMahfooz is a MC/MPA Edward S. Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is an education specialist with over a decade of experience at UNESCO. She joined as part of the Young Professional Programme in 2011, working to improve global education systems, mainly in developing countries. Previously, she worked as an Operations Analyst for the World Bank from 2007-2010. Her career is dedicated to improving the lives of others by driving equal opportunities to education and improving access to learning for all; to working as a specialist in education policy reform; to improving data for management and raising awareness of the importance of happiness in education and the positive correlation between wellbeing and learning. 

Manda Bwerevu

Manda is a Master of Education Policy Canidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an aspiring global change-maker and policy advocate. He is passionate about using policy to influence change and support the economic and infrastructural development of developing communities globally, especially those in the Central African region. He firmly believes in the importance of using research-based evidence to influence policy that supports, sustains, and develops marginalized global communities. Social justice work is at the very center of his academic and career interests, as it serves as source of passion from which he draws motivation to excel. He intends on being a policy advocate in Central Africa, specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo (his homeland), to uplift and advocate for the African diaspora at large.

Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Economics and a possible secondary in Government. He was born and raised in Shanghai, China but came to the US when he was 12 for education. He is passionate about macroeconomics and developmental economic policies, and he is excited to continue to engage with the CID community.

Sarah Deonarain

Sarah Deonarain is a senior at Harvard College concentrating in Economics, with a secondary in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights, and a citation in Spanish. Sarah enjoys researching how international migration law can be improved to better meet the needs of refugees and immigrants around the world. Sarah also participates in public service and social impact work in the areas of women’s and children’s rights, especially regarding human trafficking and gender-based crimes, as well as urban planning and infrastructure. With aspirations to become an attorney and legislator, Sarah served in Summer 2021 as a legal intern at the Immigration Center for Women and Children, where she provided affordable immigration services to underrepresented immigrants, specifically children who are abused, abandoned or neglected and immigrants who are victims of violent crimes. She is currently interning in the Executive Office of the United Nations Development Programme, where she has designed and debuted a new data platform that tracks political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and cultural changes in the developing world, an innovative tool that will transform the future of development at the United Nations.

Alejandro (Alé) Gaytan Zepeda

Alejandro Gaytan Zepeda is a Junior at Harvard College concentrating in Neurobiology, with a secondary in Physics and a citation in Portuguese language/literature. He is currently conducting research that focuses on the parallels of artificial intelligence and neurobiological processes. Some of the issues he is interested in lie at the intersection of climate change, the implications of urbanization, and public health across Latin America. At HKS CID, Alejandro is looking forward to strengthening his think tank approach to broader global issues and learning from experts in international development, with the hope of applying his background in bioartificial systems to some of Latin America’s most pressing issues.

Max Guo

Max is a senior at Harvard University concentrating in Computer Science and Statistics, with a secondary in Economics. He is also an S.M. candidate in Applied Mathematics through Harvard's concurrent master's program. His academic interests vary, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and development economics. In his future career, he hopes to combine his education in technical AI-related subjects with initiatives from international development to help alleviate extreme poverty.

Sohee Hyung

Sohee Hyung is a Master in Public Policy candidate and John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Upon graduating from Princeton University in 2016 with a degree in politics and political economy, Sohee joined an agriculture social enterprise in Myanmar as a Princeton in Asia fellow and helped to develop and launch a corporate training program for 900+ employees. Since then, she led digital transformation initiatives and established a data analytics team to transform the decision-making process and grow the organization. Her passion for international development and rural economic development stems from her experience growing up in rural Tanzania. At HKS, Sohee hopes to expand on her experience and learn more effective ways to scale solutions to rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Aashish Khullar

Aashish Khullar is a MC/MPA Edward S. Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. For the last ten years he has been working in the UN system in various roles. All of these have been around supporting stakeholder engagement in multilateral global governance processes, including the SDGs, the Paris agreement, and climate as peace and security issue. Most recently his work has focused on renovating the multilateral system to better address emerging and existential risks. On a substantive level he is very interested in using post growth economic paradigms to maximize human development and minimize ecological footprints. 

Aining Liang

Aining Liang is a graduate student at Harvard University. She is interested in the intersection between poverty alleviation, peacebuilding, and technological innovations. Aining is passionate about exploring the nature of the developing world’s intractable problems and examining the challenges and opportunities of implementing entrepreneurial solutions. In the past few years, she coordinated innovative initiatives toward basic education, healthcare, and sustainable development in war-torn countries such as Syria, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and Cameroon. Prior to Harvard, Aining served as the head of two non-governmental organizations with the consultative status of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 2022, she founded Innovation for Development Action (IDA) to conceptualize transformative refugee education and teacher professional development (TPD) through the social-ecological model and design a future learning space using emerging technologies. She hopes to promote incremental changes that tackle humanitarian crises and climate change while developing evidence-informed projects and translating research into action.

Liza Maharjan

Liza is a second year MPA/ID candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, Liza worked as a consultant at the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity practice in Nepal helping manage and deliver the first of its kind 100-hour data literacy program to journalists, academicians, and civil society members. Liza also supported the field operations and analytical work for South Asia Regional COVID-19 rapid monitoring phone surveys. Earlier in her career, Liza worked as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company where along with client work, she led initiatives to connect junior consultants with seasoned partners and mentoring potential candidates from minority backgrounds. At HKS, Liza is hoping to focus on the role of data and digital technologies to help governments deliver better public programs and policies. Liza currently sits on the board of Hollaback! a NY based non-profit working to end harassment in all forms. Liza holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Smith College, Northampton, MA.   

Tomoki Matsuno

Tomoki Matsuno, originally from Japan, is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Government and East Asian Studies. He is particularly interested in analyzing the policy-making methodologies implemented in East Asian nations and experimenting with quantitative methods, such as causal inference. Tomoki was a Youth Representative at the 2019 Y20 Summit, where he worked on policy recommendations on international trade for G20 governments and identified a problem of systematically incorporating LDCs into existing trade frameworks. At CID, he hopes to find paths to establish an evidence-based policy-making structure that can comprehensively tackle international development problems, particularly in education. Outside Harvard, Tomoki serves as a Global Shaper at World Economic Forum and a Chief Financial Officer at Jinbezame Inc, an EdTech startup based in Tokyo. 

Laila Nasher

Laila Nasher is a sophomore at Harvard studying History and Anthropology with a focus on gender relations and political instability. On campus, she is involved in first generation student advocacy, the Institute of Politics, and Harvard MUN. Outside of Harvard, she is an advocate for girls' education and is a research associate for the United Nations. If she’s not listening to music, she’s trying out new cafes in the city. 

Amna Pervaiz

Amna is currently pursuing a Master’s in Urban Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan, with a background in Architecture from the National College of Arts. In the past, Amna worked with non-profit groups as a researcher, writer, illustrator, and advocate for affordable housing, resource, and demographic database development, for sustainable living solutions in Lahore. This summer she worked as an Affordable Housing Development & Design Community Service Fellow at Homeowners Rehab, Inc., working on the development of affordable housing opportunities in Cambridge, MA. Amna hopes to improve the state of access to equitable and affordable housing opportunities in Pakistan through exploring intersections of social and environmental justice and urban resilience in policymaking and the built environment. 

Mahabub Rahman

Mahabub Rahman is a MC/MPA Edward S. Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation for the 2022-23 academic year. As a career diplomat, he joined Bangladesh Foreign Service in 2013 after his graduation in Economics. Since then, he worked in various capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka and Bangladesh Missions in Istanbul and Geneva. Mahabub was Bangladesh delegate/alternate delegate to different international organisations in Geneva including the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Conference on Disarmament (CD), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), TRIPS Council at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) etc.  He served as the Regional Coordinator of the Experts from the Asia and Pacific region at WIPO from 2020 to 2021. His key focus for career development is on leadership, negotiation, international development, and conflict resolution. Mahabub highly values democracy, social and economic equity, and human rights as the ultimate determinants of peace and development in the societies. 

Devangana Rana

Devangana Rana is a sophomore at Harvard College in Pforzheimer House and is originally from Urbana, Illinois. She is pursuing a concentration in Economics with a secondary in Government. She is interested in exploring the intersection between economic development, social change, and behavioral economics. On campus, Devangana is involved with research on the “Biorefinery; A Sustainable Waste Management Solution for the Developing World” project at the Radcliffe Institute. She is also an analyst for the Behavioral Strategy group as well as for the Global Research and Consulting Group, and is part of the Venture Program at the Harvard Innovation Labs in the Social Impact track. 

Jay Rappaport

Jay Rappaport is a first-year MPP student at the Harvard Kennedy School, and he is a joint JD/ MPP student at Georgetown University Law Center and HKS, class of 2024. Jay is very interested in the intersection between economic policy and the law, particularly regarding international development and macroeconomic issues. Currently, Jay is conducting research on the history of sovereign debt to assist Professor Carmen Reinhart. Before starting law school, Jay worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC for two years, where he worked on a number of fiscal policy and macro-fiscal topics. Jay graduated from Columbia University in 2018 with B.A.'s in economics and history. 

Angelica Remache Lopez

Angelica Remache Lopez is a master's candidate in International Relations at Harvard and holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. Her research interests focus on economic development, economic growth, and political economy. She is particularly interested in the Latin American region, where she studied the impact of youth unemployment on youth migration and the impact of government performance on economic and human development. Angelica is a Latina writer, poet, social entrepreneur, and human rights advocate. She is the author of a Spanish mystery novel and a poetry book about social and economic justice. Angelica founded a non-profit organization to help children in extreme poverty in Latin America, and to date the RL Foundation has helped more than 10,000 children from the region. She served for four consecutive years as an Ambassador for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, where she also served as a member of the Political and Legal cluster at the Office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly. 

Prasanya Tirupathy

Prasanya Padmasha Tirupathy is currently an ED.M Candidate in the Education Policy and Analysis program at Harvard Graduate School of Education and an Equity and Inclusion Fellow at Harvard. She has worked with the Government of Tamil Nadu, India  – School Education Department on projects pertaining to their Educational Management Information system, Student Health, Inclusive Education, and Digital Content. Before this, she was a Teach For India Fellow, developing a community-based pedagogy model with 129 students she loved and adored. She has also worked as a Teach For All - Global Girls’ Education Fellow building and, eventually confounding, a gender advocacy program. She is keen on working with the governments of developing countries to use digital platforms to deliver public services, especially in the Ministries of Education after graduating.   

Maryam Tourk

Maryam Tourk is a sophomore at Harvard College studying Social Studies and Economics. Currently, Maryam is involved with the Institute of Politics, serving on leadership of the CIVICS and Politics of Race and Ethnicity initiatives as well as acting as a liaison to the former Prime Minister of Sweden. She also writes for the Harvard Undergraduate Law Review and serves on the board of the Harvard Islamic Society. She is passionate about addressing the systemic injustices that face globally underrepresented populations, particularly pertaining to international human rights crises and global inaction. Maryam hopes to use her experiences at the CID and Harvard to further these pursuits as well as address global humanitarian crises in a sustainable and empathetic way. 

Priyanka Varma

Priyanka Varma is a Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is passionate about improving educational access and quality and strengthening learning outcomes among children and youth in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to Harvard, Priyanka worked at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy & Development program, where she conducted research on how best to scale up effective education systems worldwide, and at The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), where she synthesized evidence from across global education research and shared lessons with policymakers, practitioners, and donors to help them integrate rigorous evidence into their education programs and policies. Priyanka holds a B.A. in International Relations & Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Phil in Education, Globalization, and International Development from the University of Cambridge. 

Whitney Warren

Whitney is an Education Policy and Analysis Master’s candidate at the Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about teacher capacity building to help create equitable access to quality early years education, particularly in LMICs. Prior to attend Harvard, Whitney completed a Fulbright in Mexico City and her Master’s in Early Childhood Education at the University of Georgia. She taught internationally for nine years in Brazil, Indonesia, Sudan, Mexico and Colombia. 

Student Ambassadors 2021-22

Manasa Acharya

Manasa is a Master of Urban Planning candidate at the Graduate School of Design. She has previously completed her bachelor's in Economics and a post-graduate studies in Liberal Arts from India. She worked for several years with Indian state governments in systemic transformation projects on mandates related to education and service delivery. Immediately prior to GSD, she was working in philanthropy consulting and grant management on issues related to urban governance, gender, sanitation, skilling, among others. Manasa hopes to improve quality of life for citizens in Indian cities and informal settlements by improving the ability of public systems to undertake better urban planning.

Ana Alvarez

Ana Alvarez is a second year dual degree student pursuing the MPA/ID candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and the MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management. She is currently incubating Vaiven, a startup that aims to reduce the gap in financial inclusion and financial literacy in Latin America, at the Harvard i-lab and the MIT Sandbox. Prior to coming to HKS, Ana served as Director of Financial International Liaison at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance, coordinating and formulating the Ministry’s stance at International Financial Standard-Setting Bodies. She represented Mexico as Co-chair of the Markets and Payment Systems Subgroup of the GPFI, supporting its work to reduce remittances costs and promote digital financial inclusion. Earlier in her career, Ana co-founded Fonpico, a FinTech platform, to provide loan access to small and medium firms. At HKS, Ana is hoping to focus on the intersection between technology and international development, gender, and inequality. Ana holds a BA in Economics from ITAM.

Jukta Basu Mallik

Jukta is a dual degree student pursuing MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School and MBA at Wharton Business School. She is passionate about socioeconomic mobility and access to higher education in developing countries and is currently incubating her venture in the Harvard innovation lab. Prior to coming to HKS, Jukta worked with McKinsey & Co in the San Francisco office. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Tata group supporting C-suite across 4 different industries – retail, CPG, tech and social impact. She led brand marketing and strategy for one of India’s largest retailers with 2000+ stores and won International customer experience awards in 2018. She hopes to marry her training in engineering, business and policy to create sustainable solutions for the developing economies, especially India.

Zeineb Ben Yahmed

Zeineb Ben Yahmed is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Previously, Zeineb was working at the World Bank, supporting early childhood development operations in the MENA region. Prior to joining the WB, She was a research analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where her research was focused on political economy and state-society relations in Tunisia and the MENA region. Zeineb holds a master’s degree in Comparative Politics from the LSE and a bachelor with a dual degree in Economics and Politics from SOAS, University of London. She is fluent in Arabic, English, and French.

Emmanuel Birba

Emmanuel Birba is a Mid-Career MPA student at the Harvard Kennedy School. For about a decade, Emmanuel has been working on developing greenfield infrastructure that improves people’s lives. Initially based in France, he relocated to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) in 2015, where he led the development and financing of the country’s first privately procured geothermal power producer. The project will provide electricity for over two million households, unlocking substantial social dividends as Ethiopia industrializes. Emmanuel is passionate about economic development and urban resilience. He has a strong interest in delivering solutions that promote public and private sector collaboration, particularly in the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen is a freshman at Harvard College concentrating in Economics and a possible secondary in Government. He was born and raised in Shanghai, China but came to the US when he was 12 for education. He is passionate about macroeconomics and developmental economic policies, and he is excited to meet everyone in the CID community and beyond.

Sarah Deonarain

Sarah Deonarain is a junior at Harvard College concentrating in Economics. Sarah enjoys researching how international migration law can be improved to better meet the needs of refugees and immigrants around the world. Sarah also participates in public service and social impact work in the areas of women’s and children’s rights, especially regarding human trafficking and gender-based crimes. With aspirations to become an attorney and legislator, Sarah recently served as a legal intern for the Immigration Center for Women and Children, where she provided affordable immigration services to underrepresented immigrants, specifically children who are abused, abandoned or neglected and immigrants who are victims of violent crimes.

Kerianne DiBattista

Kerianne DiBattista is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is a Teaching Assistant for the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Course: Implementing Public Policy and a Course Assistant for the Harvard Kennedy School Course: Resources, Incentives, and Choices I: Markets and Market Failures. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served as a Math Teacher Trainer and Financial Coordinator in Mozambique. Her professional interests focus on international development at the local level, policy design and implementation, and child protection and youth development. In addition, Kerianne served as the Finance Chair for the International Development Professional Interest Caucus, a Student Organization at Harvard Kennedy School. She was recently honored with the Francis Bator Public Service Fellowship and the Caroline Cady Hewey Scholarship for Diplomacy.

Sandra El Hadi

Sandra G. El Hadi is pursuing her PhD in Human Development, Learning, and Teaching at Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard, she worked with United Nations (UN) agencies, governments, and multilateral organizations. She received her master's degree in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology from the University of Oxford and pursued her undergraduate studies in Political Science and English at the American University of Beirut. Her interests lie primarily in developmental psychology, language acquisition, and early childhood education.

Alejandro (Alé) Gaytan Zepeda

Alejandro Gaytan Zepeda is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Neurobiology, with a secondary in Physics and a citation in Portuguese language/literature. He is currently conducting research that focuses on the parallels of artificial intelligence and neurobiological processes. Some of the issues he is interested in lie at the intersection of climate change, the implications of urbanization, and public health across Latin America. At HKS CID, Alejandro is looking forward to strengthening his think tank approach to broader global issues and learning from experts in international development, with the hope of applying his background in bioartificial systems to some of Latin America’s most pressing issues.

Maryam Guerrab

Maryam Guerrab is a first-year at Harvard College studying Government and Economics. Currently, Maryam is a policy researcher at the Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative working in collaboration with the Kingdom of Morocco on transitional justice efforts in Africa. In the past, she has worked with non-profits such as Youth Empowered Solutions and NC Child in her home state of North Carolina to advance policy surrounding issues that impact people of color and children. Maryam is passionate about international development and hopes to leverage her studies and experiences to drive sustainable and equitable development practices. In her spare time, Maryam enjoys volunteering, meeting new people, and reading a good book.

Sohee Hyung

Sohee Hyung is a Master in Public Policy candidate and John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Upon graduating from Princeton University in 2016 with a degree in politics and political economy, Sohee joined an agriculture social enterprise in Myanmar as a Princeton in Asia fellow and helped to develop and launch a corporate training program for 900+ employees. Since then, she led digital transformation initiatives and established a data analytics team to transform the decision-making process and grow the organization. Her passion for international development and rural economic development stems from her experience growing up in rural Tanzania. At HKS, Sohee hopes to expand on her experience and learn more effective ways to scale solutions to rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Zainab Iqbal

Zainab is a Master’s in Education candidate at Harvard University from London, United Kingdom. Following completion of her bachelor’s degree at the London School of Economics (LSE), she participated in the Teach First Leadership Programme where she taught in an inner-city London school for two years. Zainab was most recently a Management Consultant at Deloitte, where she worked with and advised a range of clients across the public and private sectors. Zainab is passionate about education and development, and is interested in addressing education inequities and socioeconomic disparities at a global level. 

Mandlesizwe (Mandla) Isaacs

Mandla Isaacs is a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration and Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School from Johannesburg, South Africa. He is passionate about accelerating inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa. Mandla is a former senior public servant in the national government of South Africa, where he worked on immigration, economic and fiscal policy as head of research and speechwriting for the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance. In his previous career as a management consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Johannesburg office, he advised businesses and governments across Africa on economic development and strategy topics. He holds a BA Political Science from Howard University, and MA International Relations from Wits University.

Yogesh Kumar

Yogesh is a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration and Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is social entrepreneur, working towards creating a gender just society in India. Gender equity and building an inclusive workforce for future are his areas of interest. Yogesh has been leading a variety of gender initiatives across India over the last eight years. He founded Even cargo in 2016, India’s first all women last mile logistics company, a social enterprise that trains women from resource-poor communities for employment opportunities with major e-commerce companies. He was also a visiting faculty at Ambedkar University, Delhi. He is an engineering graduate and holds a master’s degree in social Entrepreneurship.

Kisimbi Thomas Kyumwa

Kisimbi is pursuing Master’s degrees and fellowships in International Development, Public Administration and Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is a senior public health expert who has more than 17 years of experience driving large-scale transformative change, working in partnership with governments on a variety of health issues including reproductive health, maternal and child health, community health, health systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. His work spans across Africa, parts of Asia, and Latin America, with organizations including the Clinton Foundation, The UN, Gates Foundation, The Global Fund, GAVI, KPMG, Oliver Wyman Health, and The Aspen Institute. He has served as a senior advisor to top government officials in multiple governments on their ambitious strategic health plans. He has supported the institutionalization of data-driven decision-making and strengthened collaborations among private-public partnerships, governments, development partners, donors, academics, and other stakeholders to release hundreds of millions of dollars for impact. Kisimbi is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Eiffy Luo

Eiffy is a Master in Education candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Education studying Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology. Her passion for education and international development stems from her experiences working in a youth camp in Nairobi, Kenya, and in the underdeveloped area of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in her hometown Sichuan, China. She is currently a Research Assistant at The Next Level Lab and conducting research on how technology can promote education equity and facilitate innovative learning design in adult learning and workforce development. Prior to grad school, she interned as a journalist at The New York Times, Reuters, and TheStreet, covering education and business sectors. Later She served as a Research Assistant at Stanford University, and a Marketing Manager at Princeton University Press to share global thinking and advocate cross-cultural communication to enrich human conversation.

Liza Maharjan

Liza is a first year MPA/ID candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, Liza worked as a consultant at the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity practice in Nepal helping manage and deliver the first of its kind 100-hour data literacy program to journalists, academicians, and civil society members. Liza also supported the field operations and analytical work for South Asia Regional COVID-19 rapid monitoring phone surveys. Earlier in her career, Liza worked as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company where along with client work, she led initiatives to connect junior consultants with seasoned partners and mentoring potential candidates from minority backgrounds. At HKS, Liza is hoping to focus on the role of data and digital technologies to help governments deliver better public programs and policies. Liza currently sits on the board of Hollaback! a NY based non-profit working to end harassment in all forms. Liza holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Smith College, Northampton, MA.   

Aqil Merchant

Aqil is a first-year student at Harvard College intending to pursue a concentration in History & Science with a Medicine and Society focus. In previous years, he has conducted research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic. Aqil most recently investigated teenagers’ knowledge of COVID-19 and published his analysis report with the Harvard Public Health Review. Beyond evaluating global health, he has collaborated significantly with the refugee community of Clarkston, Georgia, in efforts to ease newly-arrived families' transition into the U.S. His interests also include podcasting as he has produced his series Operation Status Quo with the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common Project. Through his position at the CID, Aqil hopes to further his involvement in such fields and learn more about the nuances of poverty alleviation initiatives and particularly humanitarian crises response efforts.

Daniel Ofosu

Daniel is a student at the Harvard Kennedy School pursuing the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC-MPA) program. Prior to Harvard, Daniel spent a significant portion of his career working in investment and commercial banking for the largest privately owned bank in Ghana and in New York and Delaware for JP Morgan Chase. He is currently an entrepreneur and a founder of a private investment company where he oversees interests in healthcare, energy and real estate. He is passionate about economic development and has a strong interest in creating solutions that promote public and private sector collaboration particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds an MBA from Drexel University and a Bachelors degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Ghana. 

Devangana Rana

Devangana is a first-year at Harvard College aiming to concentrate in Economics and pursue a secondary field of study in Government. She is passionate about exploring the intersection between economic development, social change, and youth empowerment especially in the context of countries in the Global South. Devangana previous experience includes working with the Indo-German Biodiversity Program HP-FES Project in India, where she conducted research on sustainability and the protection of local forest ecosystem services in the Indian Himalayan region where she is from. She has also interned with the City of Urbana’s Community and Economic Development Services Department to aid in creating a 20 year comprehensive plan in aim of making the city more equitable for all residents. She hopes to apply her learnings from Harvard College and CID in tackling socio-economic inequality at a global scale. 

Harsh Sahni

Harsh Vardhan Sahni is a Mid-Career MPA student at the Harvard Kennedy School. He also holds graduate degrees from the University of Oxford and Delhi School of Economics. For about a decade he has been working on development in India, mostly public health, with international agencies, research organizations and grassroots nonprofits. Most recently he has been consulting such organizations on strategic management, organization development, advocacy and communications and other aspects, to meet their objectives. Harsh is passionate about sustainably scaling up impactful interventions and would like to pursue this calling at a global scale after Harvard.

Nicah Santos

Nicah Santos is a graduate student in the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Ed.M. program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she is concentrating in Global, International, & Comparative Education. She is an educator who believes in the potential of education to close equity gaps, correct historical injustices, and foster peace. Having grown up in Manila, Philippines, she is particularly passionate about harnessing the power of education for poverty alleviation and decolonization. As she prepares for a career in international educational development, Nicah hopes to use her experiences as a CID Student Ambassador to expand her worldview and connect with colleagues in the field.

Maryam Tourk

Maryam Tourk is a first-year at Harvard College studying Government and Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights. Currently, Maryam serves as a representative for Harvard’s Islamic Society and for Harvard South Asian American’s in Public Service. She also works with the Institute of Politics’ CIVICS and Politics of Race and Ethnicity initiatives. In the past, she has worked to reform educational systems to support refugee and immigrant populations, foster national civic empathy, and initiate interfaith dialogue. She is passionate about addressing the systemic injustices that face globally underrepresented populations, particularly through community empowerment, dialogue, and combating ignorance with education. Maryam hopes to use her experiences at the CID and Harvard to further these pursuits as well as address global humanitarian crises in a sustainable and empathetic way.

Jamar Williams

Jamar Williams (he/him) is a first-year joint MPP/MBA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. Upon graduating from Yale in 2017 with a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, he joined Deloitte’s Government and Public Services consulting practice. At Deloitte, Jamar worked on international development and social impact projects, ranging from designing a pay-for-results prize mechanism in the West African agriculture sector to helping organizations in Cambodia better support survivors of trafficking. He also served as a Public-Private Partnership Funds Manager for the United States’ leading initiatives focused on defending the human rights of vulnerable communities around the world. At HKS, Jamar hopes to discover more effective and innovative approaches to addressing global humanitarian crises.

Christina Zupanc

Christina is a Master in Education candidate at the Graduate School of Education. She holds a BA from Northeastern University in English and International Affairs. Prior to Harvard, Christina worked in child protective services in Germany serving unaccompanied refugee minors, and in her most recent role she worked with international students at Columbia University in New York. She is passionate about youth development and educational equity in multicultural contexts. With her background in refugee work, she founded an organization in 2017 to provide tutoring services for young refugees during displacement. She is a former fellow for the Clinton Global Initiate University.

Student Ambassadors 2020-21

Shada El-Sharif

While a CID Student Ambassador, Shada El-Sharif was a Mason & Emirates Leadership Initiative (ELI) Fellow and an MC-MPA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. She serves as a Senior Advisor to the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) for the project to establish Jordan’s National Center for Innovation (NCI). She is a recognized thought leader on green economy and sustainable development in Jordan and the region, where she served as an advisor to government, private sector, and international organizations on related policies and projects. Shada has held diverse leadership positions in the public and private sectors, as well as international development programs and organizations. She previously served as Director of the Jordan Environment Fund at the Ministry of Environment, and as Clean Tech Director at the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program. She holds MEng and BSc degrees in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and is currently co-chair of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassadors Network (CAAAN) for Jordan.

Sama Kubba

While a CID Student Ambassador, Sama Kubba was a freshman at Harvard College planning to joint-concentrate in Government and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. She is passionate about human rights in foreign policy/international relations and wants to be a part of socially sustainable global development efforts. 

Manoj Kumar

While a CID Student Ambassador, Manoj Kumar was a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MPA/Edward S. Mason Fellow) at Harvard Kennedy School. He has 22 years of progressive senior leadership experience in international development and the humanitarian field in Africa and Asia.  He was  undertaking the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).  He has lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Sudan, Ethiopia, Malawi, Afghanistan, and India. He has worked as a country director and regional director with reputed international NGOs and provided leadership to large development and humanitarian operations in highly complex operating contexts.  He hopes to use his learning at HKS to strengthen his leadership capabilities in pursuit of solving development and humanitarian challenges at the global level.

Rohit Subramanian

While a CID Student Ambassador, Rohit Subramanian was a first-year MPA/ID candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to coming to HKS, Rohit spent 5 years at CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution. In this role, he helped deploy over US$500m of equity investments into financial inclusion businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. At HKS, Rohit intends to focus on private sector development and financial sector reform in low-income countries. Rohit started his career in mergers and acquisitions at Lazard. He has a First Class degree in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford.

Kyi Thant

While a CID Student Ambassador, Kyi Thant was a joint Master in Business Administration  (MBA) and Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School.  She was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar, and graduated from Harvard College concentrating in economics with a secondary in Psychology. Her academic focus throughout college and senior thesis was on behavioral economics, particularly on applying behavioral science in financial markets and public policy. Kyi was an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs based in Hong Kong and then joined the investment team at the International Finance Corporation based in Washington D.C.