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Class of 2020

Hillary AndersonHillary Anderson

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: Haverhill, MA
Mentors: Katie King, Assistant Town Administrator of Needham, MA and former Rappaport/Boston Urban Scholar and Anne Herbst, Senior Regional Environmental Planner, MAPC and former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Supervisor: Michelle Monsegur, Hingham Assistant Town Administrator

 

Sam BrobeckSam Brobeck

Graduate School: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Placement: Hingham, MA
Supervisors: Michelle Monsegur, Hingham Assistant Town Administrator
Project Description: Sam Brobeck and Hillary Anderson worked in the Hingham Town Administrator’s office this summer on two primary projects: (1) evaluating Hingham’s capital planning process and (2) supporting Hingham Schools in creating a safe school reopening plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While evaluating Hingham’s capital program, they analyzed the town’s past and present capital spending, financial policies, and conducted a series of 1:1 interviews with town elected officials, committee/board members, and town staff to better understand the town’s capital planning process. They then conducted similar reviews of capital programs in nine benchmark communities. Using this analysis, they were able to compare Hingham’s capital program to similar municipalities, identify the strengths and growth areas of Hingham’s capital planning process, and provide the town with a menu of policy options to consider implementing in the future. As a part of their work with Hingham Schools, they served on the Facilities, Operations, and Finance task-force (assembled by the Director of Business and Support Services, John Ferris) and met with local teachers, principals, nurses, district staff, and community members to determine the best approach to utilizing building space, transporting students safely to school, and acquiring and distributing PPE to staff members and students. They then synthesized the taskforce’s recommendations in an easily digestible communications tool that can be distributed to parents and students before the start of the school year.

Tony CastanedaTony Castañeda

Graduate School: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Placement: MBTA
Mentors: Samantha Silverberg, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, MBTA and Meghan Haggerty, Chief of Staff, MADOT and former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Supervisor: Angel Peña, Chief, Green Line Transformation Project
Project Description: This summer my partner Gal Kramer and Tony Castañeda had the pleasure of working with the Green Line Transformation Department at the MBTA creating an operations and maintenance cost model as it relates to the department’s capital projects, like the commissioning of the new type 10 vehicle fleet. Our ultimate goal was to help the department better understand the impact of capital projects on operating budgets across the T as well as future impacts to train scheduling and maximum vehicle capacity. Throughout the fellowship we were able to acknowledge the challenges and opportunities that come with establishing cross-departmental communication channels in large agencies like the T and how beneficial cross-cutting teams like the GLT can be in fully utilizing the institutional skills and knowledge that exists in the large agencies.

Natalia ChavezNatalia Chavez

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Mentors: Tim Warren, The Warren Group and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member and Chelsea Bruck, DBI Projects and former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Placement: Gloucester, MA
Supervisor: Ann-Margaret Ferrante, MA State Representative and former Rappaport/Boston Urban Scholar
Project Description: Natalia worked with the State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante where she evaluated the economic, community, and city impact of a proposed 40,000 SF theater & civic center development project in downtown Gloucester, MA. She incorporated four main analyses, including stakeholder interviews, an assessment of Gloucester’s planning goals, a literature review on economic development and the arts, and an economic impact analysis by using a software called IMPLAN. She conducted an IMPLAN analysis to quantify the economic benefit that expenditures have on Gloucester, from both the construction of the Gloucester Forum and the Forum’s activities (theater, events, catering) as well as the increase in spending before or after these events, namely restaurant spending.

Will Dorsey EdenWill Dorsey Eden

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: MassPort
Supervisors: Gordon Carr, Deputy Director, Real Estate Strategy and Policy; and Andres de Riva, Development Manager
Project Description: COVID-19 and its resulting business closures disproportionately impacted Massachusetts' seafood industry. Heavily reliant on restaurants - where 70% of seafood in the US is consumed - the crisis demanded the industry’s many small businesses to quickly adapt or perish. To support the seafood industry to advocate for itself, Will met with industry and government leaders to develop a governance and financial plan for a state-wide seafood collaborative. The collaborative would support the industry’s many small businesses to access new markets, including the state’s institutional markets, such as schools, prisons, and hospitals. Analyzing the cumbersome food service procurement process for these institutions, we outlined a strategy for the collaborative to access the state’s large institutional market.

Spencer Gurley-GreenSpencer Gurley-Green

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Mentor: Stephanie Hirsch, Consultant
Placement: City of Somerville, MA
Supervisor: Angela Allen, Somerville Director of Purchasing
Project Description: The purpose of the fellowship was to evaluate e-signature software options and make a recommendation. Specifically, Spencer evaluated software that could allow for moving either some or all of Somerville’s purchasing department signature requirement workflow from paper-based to electronic-only. After evaluating several options, the fellow determined that software already purchased by the city (but currently underutilized) would meet all of the department’s requirements. After a series of tests and meetings with relevant staff, he concluded the fellowship with a software demo for purchasing staff.

Andrew HeimowitzAndrew Heimowitz

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: MBTA
Supervisor: Samantha Silverberg, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Project Description: Andrew helped the MBTA evaluate how it used contractors in lieu of employees at the Agency. Currently, the MBTA hires a number of contractors to conduct agency business. For his project, he created a tool that the MBTA can use to evaluate the total cost of an additional contractor or employee at the agency, which includes salary cost but also fringe benefits or contract overhead cost. He also looked into the qualitative costs and benefits of the MBTA’s use of contractors.

Anne HoytAnne Hoyt

Graduate School: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Placement: Hingham, MA
Supervisor: Michelle Monsegur, Hingham Assistant Town Administrator
Project Description: The capital budget has a profound and lasting impact on a town’s institutions and services. It funds some of the largest expenses- including school buildings, parks, ambulances, and critical infrastructure. Each proposal made to the capital budget committee has ardent supporters, fueled by both need and passion. However, towns inevitably are bestowed with limited resources, forcing the individuals serving on the capital committee to make hard choices. When should they say yes? When should they say no? When should they say, ‘not this year, but next?’ When should they advocate for a tax override? These are some of the questions we sought to illuminate for the town of Hingham. We found that Hingham already possesses a strong array of assets, including a capital planning process, and dedicated capital committee. To support the committee, we explored some approaches that can bolster transparency, equity, and sustainability within the fiscal and capital planning policy. Our work focused on the importance of increasing efficiency in the process from proposal to passing, and on potentially raising revenue for capital investments in perpetuity. We hope this work will provide this town with impactful options for communicate its values and goals clearly through the capital planning policies.

Alex KhouryAlex Khoury

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: Massachusetts 6th Congressional District
Supervisor: Rick Jakious, Chief of Staff for Congressman Seth Moulton, MA 6th
Project Description: Alex will assist the MA 6th Congressional District Office with COVID-19 response and Small Business Support Planning.

Gal KramerGal Kramer

Graduate School: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Placement: MBTA
Mentors: Kelly Blynn, Electrical Vehicle Technical Strategist, Natural Resources Defense Council and former Rappaport Policy Fellow and Kassie Dumlao Bertumen, Community Development Manager, BRIDGE Housing Corporation and former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Supervisor: Angel Peña, Chief, Green Line Transformation Project
Project Description: For the Rappaport Public Finance Fellowship, Gal was partnered with the Green Line Transformation (GLT) Department at the MBTA to create an operations and maintenance cost model. The financial model was a dynamic tool that evaluated the long-term costs for the Green Line as it relates to the GLT's capital projects like the commissioning of the new type 10 vehicle fleet. It also looks at costs specifically associated with the green line across various departments, including maintenance, transportation operations, safety, security, and energy and environmental affairs. The goal project was to help the department better understand the impact of capital projects on operating budgets across the T as well as future impacts to train scheduling and changes in capacity.

Natasha LawrenceNatasha Lawrence

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: MBTA
Supervisor: Samantha Silverberg, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Project Description: Natasha spent her summer focused on the MBTA’s Covid-19 response, ensuring continuity of service at the transit agency. Her primary initiative was leading a cross-functional team to ensure that 900 employees could safely and smoothly transition to remote work. Under her leadership, she rewrote agency policies, designed internal processes, conducted cost benefit financial analysis and facilitated extensive employee outreach.

Victoria OrozcoVictoria Orozco

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: MassPort
Supervisors: Gordon Carr, Deputy Director, Real Estate Strategy and Policy; and Andres de Riva, Development Manager
Project Description: In Victoria's 4-weeks summer fellowship, she assisted Massport in its participation in a state-level initiative to promote seafood consumption and relieve COVID-19 impact in seafood stakeholders. She participated in the work sessions together with the Massport team, and contributed to craft the potential structure and by-laws of a formalized collaborative initiative.

Safeer ShersadSafeer Shersad

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: MBTA
Supervisor: Kat Benesh, Chief of Operations Policy, Strategy and Oversight
Project Description: This summer, Safeer worked with the MBTA’s Transit Priority team to implement rapid-response bus lanes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase in capacity is critical for ensuring that public transit remains safe and accessible for all. He developed a performance evaluation plan for Bus Transit Priority projects, which will be used to ensure that projects meet program objectives of improving reliability, efficiency and the overall quality of service. He also worked on a regional procurement RFP with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council alongside multiple state agencies and municipalities, which is estimated to have saved $6 million in project costs. Gaining practical experience in implementation and working with municipalities has been a terrific experience for him, and He's enjoyed the opportunity to apply the skills he gained during my time as a graduate student at Harvard.

Federico SucreFederico Sucre

Graduate School: Harvard Kennedy School
Placement: MassPort
Supervisors: Gordon Carr, Deputy Director, Real Estate Strategy and Policy; and Andres de Riva, Development Manager
Project Description: In response to the COVID crisis, the seafood industry has pulled together to develop a formal Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative. The mission of the Collaborative is "to improve the collaboration and networking of the Massachusetts commercial fishing industry stakeholders to identify and take advantage of opportunities for increased government, institutional, direct to consumer, and retail purchasing opportunities." Federico assisted in the consolidation of the Collaborative's governance structure, funding structure, and strategy for a top-priority initiative. More specifically, he put together a 'pitch deck' with a draft of the following items relevant to the Collaborative: context and problem statement, mission statement, goals and objectives, opportunities, and funding sources. It is missing details for the "major initiative" and a concrete action plan. He also drafted a preliminary version of the Collaborative’s bylaws and assisted in developing a draft of the Collaborative’s top-priority initiative to help the seafood industry benefit from state and federal grants and contracts.

Class of 2019

Joy McDowell worked at the City of Somerville’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative Program. Joy expanded upon research begun with her HKS student team concerning best practices for establishing a community land trust.

Stevie Olson worked on ‘cost of roads’ research begun in the spring with his HKS student team for the MA 6th Congressional District Office. Stevie expanded upon financial costs associated with the road economy uncovered during the team’s work in Lynn. He also explored and analyzed costs associated with new technologies that will necessitate new considerations in the future.

Miles Roman worked with the MBTA on capital budgeting and related issues. Miles continued research begun with his HKS student team in the spring for the MBTA Chief Financial Officer – Operations, analyzing aspects of the new Orange Line trains roll-out and future servicing scenarios.

Arjun Shah worked with Boston Public Schools this summer. In addition to conducting research for the Boston Public Schools Budget Director and the Senior Strategic Projects Manager, Arjun also designed analytics to provide education data for use by both BPS and City of Boston.

Class of 2018

Youcif Almegaryaf worked at the MBTA on its capital budgeting for infrastructure projects with the Senior Director of Capital Planning.

Sophie Feldman worked with the MBTA’s Transportation Facilities Maintenance Department. She built on the work she started during the semester investigating when the department should be making things in house and when it should be procuring services or items.

Justin Galle explored the performance of the contract for the use of the MBTA jet turbines, which are emergency generators that also earn revenue through participation in energy markets. The deliverable was a recommendation for approaching the new contract (current end date 2019) with a benefit cost analysis of the options for replacement, fuel switching, or leasing of the turbines.

Kevin Leiby, in coordination with Sophie Feldman, worked with the MBTA’s Transportation Facilities Maintenance Department. He also furthered the project he started during the school year to make recommendations for what criteria the organization should look at when making the decision if they should make or buy a good or service.

Kyle Smith worked with the City of Revere’s Public Works Department. His summer project focused on the next steps in bringing this department to have an activity-based approach to their budget. His work built upon a project he did during the semester with Professor Linda Bilmes’ class.

Class of 2017

Anurag Gumber worked for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. His created a financial system improvement study.

Sarah Hinschelwood was the Financial Analyst for the Center for Public Leadership. She also wrote a case study for the Harvard Kennedy School focusing on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's process mapping and activity based costing implementation.

Syed Nadeem worked on candidate city modeling and research for Neighborly.

Laura White worked on a paper estimating the cost of a North-South Rail link for Congressman Seth Moulton's office.

Class of 2016

Megan Larcom worked for the Boston Redevelopment Authority on a study of affordable office space for start-ups in Boston.

Devon Maylie worked at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on a change implementation project.

Jean-Louis Rochet is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and worked on a paper estimating the cost of a North-South Rail link for Congressman Seth Moulton's office.

Ted Sands worked at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on a change implementation project.