Business & Government Professional Interest Council
A Student-run Organization at Harvard Kennedy School
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Mission: The Business & Government Professional Interest Council serves as the forum for HKS students and fellows interested in the thought-leadership, partnerships, careers and innovations at the intersection of business and government.
Co-chairs for 2021-22
Malaika Toyo is a Mid-Career MPA candidate. As a social development and monitoring and evaluation specialist, she facilitates and enables collaboration between private and public sector actors across Africa with the goal of delivering high-impact social projects. Her work focuses on applying co-design methodologies to emphasize locally-led priority-setting and inclusive local leadership.
She started her career at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa where she developed empirical research to support policy making on poverty reduction strategies. She has also led the development of a job placement marketplace, supporting a pipeline of over 5,000 creative entrepreneurs with skills development, employment linkages, and economic opportunity. Malaika is interested in building evidence on what is working and under what conditions. At HKS, she is keen to explore and develop policies that enable innovative modes of skills development delivery, leading to sustainable improvement in the technical, entrepreneurship and vocational sectors across Africa. More
Srikar Mysore Sridhar is a Mid-Career MPA candidate and a Fulbright Fellow from India. Srikar's experience has varied from the multilateral to the local, from international organisations to ‘on the ground’ village institutions. As a civil servant, he has more than two decades of experience in implementing development policy, offering strategic policy advice to the political executive, holding senior positions in a provincial government, ideating a large technology-led identity project, leading international trade negotiations for India and engaging in a historic tax reform exercise. He was part of the team that was involved in the conceptualization and implementation of one of the world's most complex and successful biometric technology identity projects which aimed to provide biometric identities to 1.2 billion residents and was also India’s trade negotiator at the World Trade Organization, Geneva.
Srikar is deeply interested in the potential of business government collaboration for public good and has a special interest in the intersection of international economic law and policy with domestic regulatory regimes. More
Kent Shi is a second-year MPP candidate. Specializing in communications and media, he has known and worked with the importance of dialogue between the private and public sectors to facilitate policy delivery for the intended communities. He is interested in expanding the impact of the B&G PIC to all of the HKS student body so that everyone can learn about the opportunities the PIC presents.
As a contributor at the Daily Caller, he helps manage the social media accounts and content creation for a national audience. He has also put in an effort to address the inequity of access by specifically focusing on incorporating the people and communities that have been traditionally overlooked. He has had experience working in resident outreach for Hartford City Council member Wildaliz Bermudez, informing denizens of basic services. As the point person for community engagement for the Trinity College Hillel for more than two years, Kent has been able to organize events of inter-faith and inter-cultural connections to break down barriers and break bread together.
Yomna Mohei Eldin is a MPA/ID candidate with experience in both the public and the private sector. Yomna worked in the Central Bank of Egypt specializing in money and capital market development ,where she worked on introducing new financial instruments to increase the private sector access to the capital markets and market research ,where she worked on studying the relationship between the financial markets and economic growth. Before joining the public sector, Yomna worked in a local consulting firm in Cairo providing consultancy services to the public sector in areas including exports promotion and increasing the efficiency of social services. At HKS, Yomna is specifically interested in examining the possible role of the government in promoting private sector led growth.
Sectoral Chair - Innovation, Technology and Government
Stephan Florian Rihs (MPA) is a first-year MPA candidate and Kennedy Scholar. Stephan is keen to gain and promote a more nuanced understanding of the technology and innovation landscape in the US. This interest covers both the public and private sector, and issues of (bigtech) regulation as much as tech entrepreneurship and digital government.
Stephan started his career consulting international public sector clients with BCG, and then moved on to advise the Austrian chancellor on the strategic agenda of the Austrian federal government. He also served on the Austrian COVID task force, and most recently advised the secretary of treasury on budget and COVID stimulus. Beyond government, Stephan co-founded an early-stage fintech venture, and two social impact projects focused on legal literacy and access to justice.
Sectoral Co-Chairs - Corporate Social Responsibility
Francisco Biber (MPA) is a first year MPA with over six years of experience in the human rights and business agenda, with a focus on childhood and adolescence He previously served as the Child Rights and Business regional officer for UNICEF operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, advising 24 Country Offices and leading corporations. He also worked with Save the Children International in South America, researching avenues to protect Venezuelan migrant families during the cusp of the 2019 crisis. At HKS, Francisco wants to connect public institutions, companies and communities, and articulate multi-stakeholder platforms to tackle socio-economic problems faced by society.
Valerie Moreyra (MPP) is a Harvard Kennedy School student pursuing an MPP and will later attain her MBA from MIT Sloan. She has 6 years of work experience in the international development and business sectors. Valerie has worked at a social enterprise in Peru, at the UNU in Japan, the UN WFP in Panama, and most recently at Nomura Research Institute as a management consultant where she helped businesses enter emerging markets and generate social impact. Currently at HKS, she’s joined a startup focused on financial inclusion helping them create an impact strategy and a measurement framework. Valerie believes there is significant potential and an increasing responsibility for the private sector to create social and environmental impact within their business models; she hopes to make this a focal point in her future career.
Sectoral Chair - Healthcare
Huy Huynh (MPA) is a first year MPA candidate and Crown Prince Frederik Fellow from Denmark. Huy worked in the Ministry of Finance of Denmark, where he coordinated the process regarding appropriations on the Danish budget. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been involved in the many COVID-19 related expenses e.g. the business-government collaborations that has made the help packages and vaccine efforts possible. Huy has a background in both Medicine and Political Science and during his studies, he has also worked in the Ministry of Health of Denmark, the Danish Health Authority and on the hospital floors. At HKS, Huy is specifically interested in examining the possible role of better digital governance and implementation of new digital tools in bettering health care.
Sectoral Chair - Public Private Partnerships
Ashley Kang (MPP) is a first-year MPP student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to attending Harvard, she worked in the corporate legal department at the Walt Disney Company. As part of the antipiracy team, she partnered with internal stakeholders, law firms, and government agencies across Asia and the US in their intellectual property protection and enforcement initiatives. At HKS, she is passionate about learning how to strengthen public-private partnerships to foster the global flow of innovation. Ashley holds a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago.
Sectoral Co-Chair - Impacting Investing
Kappie Farrington (MC-MPA) is an MC-MPA candidate. Kappie most recently served on the founding team of Co-Impact, a philanthropic fund that invests in large-scale economic opportunity, health, and education initiatives in the Global South. Prior to that, Kappie launched an initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation supporting front-line workers in the US. Kappie began her career in management consulting where she advised Fortune 500 companies on their innovation strategies. At HKS, Kappie studies economic development policy and the role of the private sector in addressing growing economic inequality.
Jonathan de Wolff (MC-MPA) is an MC/MPA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School.
He is an impact entrepreneur, who has spent the better part of the last decade running an internet-based, social impact enterprise out of Southern Africa. While serving over 5 million years worldwide, he focused efforts primarily on serving users in the Global South.
Prior to starting his own venture, he worked for the United States Congress during the Obama Administration, progressing cyber and civil rights policy. Most recently, he served as Chief Growth Officer and as a member of the board of inKind, helping spearhead the creation of the inKind ESG fund, an initiative committed to providing working capital to BIPOC and female entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry. He also serves as a member of the supervisory board of Issue Voter, a 501(c)3 that promotes active, constituent engagement in the US. He enjoys investing in and providing mentorship to early stage startups.
Sectoral Co-Chairs - Sustainability and Climate Change
Grace Lam (MPP) is a first year MPP/MBA joint degree student with Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. Prior to Harvard, she was an Engagement Manager in McKinsey’s Greater China region. She was an active member of McKinsey’s sustainability practice in Asia and helped launch the firm’s global pro-bono commitment to accelerate decarbonization effort around the world. Grace is passionate about sustainability, in particular cross-sector climate investments and public-private collaborations towards a zero-carbon economy. Grace holds a BBA degree in Global Business and Information Systems from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where she received full-ride scholarships and graduated with First Class Honors. She was born in Singapore and grew up in Hong Kong.
Amelia Cao (MPP) is a Master in Public Policy candidate 2022 at the Harvard Kennedy School. She recently graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Economics. At Brown, Amelia focused her research on China’s political economy, state-business relationships and worked as a public policy volunteer, summer technology investment analyst, and research assistant to the director of Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Her latest involvement at HKS include researching for the Harvard-Tsinghua decarbonization workshops and running autonomous vehicles policy scrums for Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Urban Mechanics. She aspires to build on a career fostering US-China partnerships in climate change.
Sectoral Chair - International Trade and Investment
Gopal Nadadur (MPA-ID) is a candidate in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master in Public Administration in International Development program. He is passionate about poverty reduction through industrialization and trade.
Gopal’s prior experiences include helping multinational firms increase their global competitiveness through improved product portfolios and reduced costs and risks of doing business. More recently, at the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Gavi, Gopal led negotiations to secure significant price reductions for life-saving vaccines and medical equipment, contributing towards more rapid uptake in 50+ low- and middle- income countries.
Gopal earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (product design) from the Pennsylvania State University (USA) and a B.E. degree in mechanical engineering from R.V. College of Engineering (India).