2024 David Gergen Summer Fellows

2024 Gergen Summer Fellow

United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Afreen is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. She is studying labor policy with an interest in expanding protective legislation for non-formal workers. Her interest in the topic stems from her upbringing in Chicago, where she grew up in an immigrant and refugee community that relied heavily on gig work to make a living, and then from the four years she spent in the UAE working with McKinsey on creating quality job opportunities and strengthening institutional labor codes. Through the Gergen Summer Fellowship, she is working with the U.S. Department of Labor over the summer on projects to strengthen national-level worker protections.

2024 Gergen Summer Fellow

City of Detroit, Office of the Mayor and Office of the Chief Financial Officer

Paul Garbarino is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, concentrating on social and urban policy. This summer, Paul will be working on economic and workforce development for the City of Detroit under the Chief Financial Officer’s and Mayor’s Offices. His projects will include exploring and proposing new urban development policy initiatives, evaluating the effectiveness of the currently proposed Land Value Tax and existing tax increment financing revitalization tool, and assessing outcomes of the City’s workforce development programs.

Before HKS, Paul lived in Washington, DC, working as a data scientist with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation—specializing in forecasting, machine learning, and data visualization—and as an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—publishing articles on trends in manufacturing sector employment and writing speeches for the Commissioner. 

Paul received a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from Bowling Green State University in May 2019 and his master’s in economics from the University of Detroit-Mercy in May 2020. After HKS, Paul hopes to return to his home state of Michigan to work in either state or Detroit city economic and urban development. In his spare time, Paul is an avid runner, boardgamer, moviegoer, and Detroit sports fan.

2024 Gergen Summer Fellow

Tony Blair Institute, Government Innovation Team

Ruthie Gottesman is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. This summer, Ruthie will work with the Government Innovation Team at the Tony Blair Institute, reimagining digital public infrastructure for developing countries in Africa, as well as researching the role AI will play on Asian and African labor markets, and the implications of the technological revolution on local governments.

Prior to graduate school, Ruthie spent her early career working with older adults in the nonprofit sector, first at DOROT running a high-touch technology coaching program, and more recently at AARP, where she equips organizations around the country to deliver world-class technology training curricula. Through her experience, she has been struck by the issues facing older adults, particularly those who also belong to other marginalized groups. They are culturally sidelined, and it translates to real hardships across housing, labor, and technology. Ruthie hopes to strengthen her ability to leverage cross-sector partnerships through the Gergen Summer Fellowship in advance of a career in aging advocacy.

Ruthie holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where she facilitated workshops with thousands of first-year students on sexual violence response and advocacy, developed anti-hate curricula as an Anti-Defamation League intern, and led a Jewish current events publication. She is originally from New York and currently lives in Cambridge, MA.

2024 Gergen Summer Fellow

New Politics

Brandon Moore is committed to addressing the challenges facing our democratic institutions. His public service began at West Point where he earned a B.S. in international relations and American politics and commissioned as an aviation officer in 2014. While at West Point, Brandon directed recruiting outreach efforts across Connecticut, led the Model United Nations team, and competed on the alpine ski team.

Brandon’s first army assignment was to Fort Novosel, Alabama, where he completed the AH-64D Apache helicopter course as an honor graduate in 2016. He then served in the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade as an Air Cavalry Platoon Leader. In this role, he implemented the Aviation Restructuring Initiative as his unit converted from the OH-58D Kiowa to the AH-64D Apache and RQ-7B Shadow drone. In 2018, Brandon transitioned to Squadron Logistics Officer during a rotational deployment to South Korea. Upon return, he assumed command of an Air Cavalry Troop and led counterterrorism and stability operations while deployed to southeast Afghanistan. 

Brandon is currently a joint degree candidate at Harvard Kennedy School (Master in Public Policy) and Harvard Business School (Master of Business Administration). His studies focus on conscientious public policy and cross-sector partnerships critical to the American electoral process. Brandon is committed to lifelong public service and aspires to strengthen the political voice of underserved communities in his home state of Connecticut. This summer, through his internship with New Politics, he will provide nonpartisan campaign advisory support to veterans and service-oriented candidates running for state and local elected office.

2024 Gergen Summer Fellow

United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Deputy Secretary

Camy Pearson is a joint degree candidate at Harvard Kennedy School (Master in Public Administration) and Stanford's Graduate School of Business (Master of Business Administration), where she is focusing her graduate studies on health policy and innovation. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, where she double-majored in Economics and Biological Sciences while playing varsity soccer. Camy is passionate about improving healthcare efficacy and access, and has nearly a decade of healthcare operational experience across digital health, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Prior to beginning graduate school, she helped build digital health unicorn Virta Health from seed to Series E while playing multiple leadership roles. This summer, Camy will work in the Office of the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), supporting the Deputy Secretary on projects related to technology, customer experience, and employee engagement. 

The Center for Public Leadership also supports a summer internship at the Robin Hood Foundation through the David Gergen  Summer Fellowship Program.  

Jordan Engel is a Master in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. She is invested in improving the public benefits system in the United States and increasing equity in K-12 education. She graduated from University of California Berkeley in 2019 with a psychology major and education minor. Upon graduating, she started a career at MEF Associates, a small social policy research firm dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations. At MEF, she worked on a variety of domestic policy areas, including housing mobility, food security, workforce development, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  

This summer, she is excited to intern with the Robin Hood Foundation to support their mission of fighting poverty in New York City.