Jorge Jaramillo HKSEE 2010, 2012 describes his biggest gains from his programs at HKS.

Jorge Jaramillo HKSEE 2010, 2012 has lived and worked on three continents. He works at the intersection between business, public policy and economic development. Jorge serves in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development as deputy director, a position he was appointed to by Governor Jerry Brown.

Q: What do you use the most today from your Kennedy School courses?

My time at HKS helped shape my view of the positive impact government can have on our communities, from providing education to promoting a healthy economy and business sector. In my role with the state of California, our office supports the economic strategy for the world’s eighth largest economy on issues relating to business development, private sector and foreign investment, and international trade. HKS’s programs on mastering negotiations and senior executives in state and local government gave me an analytical framework that I use to tackle the varied challenges that come about in state government affairs. They also provided an opportunity to learn from the wealth of experience of my classmates.

Q: Why do you serve on the HKS Alumni Board?

I am proud to serve on the Alumni Board to represent our diverse alumni family—more than 50,000 alumni from over 170 countries. I have had the opportunity to interact with alumni in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Paris and to advocate for their ideas and feedback. Through one-on-one conversations, I have learned how HKS helped shape their work and their passion for continuing the connection to the Kennedy School.

I have met a diverse group of executive program graduates—from ambassadors to state senators to nonprofit leaders in emerging economies—and I am continually impressed by the important role HKS plays in bringing new insights to individuals working to improve governments and communities globally. As an HKS alumnus, I believe we need to increase our ties to one another across graduate and executive programs. We all share common goals that brought us to HKS, and we can do so much more by working together. Executive program graduates have much to offer in terms of connections, career coaching, and financial support. As a board, we need to pull them in and continue the rich tradition of HKS.

Q: How do you advise alumni to become more involved with the school?

There are many ways to stay involved, from participating in a local network to hosting a seminar for fellow alumni to making a financial contribution to help ensure that HKS can support the next generation of students.

Also important is creating pathways for new and upcoming graduates to have a network of support worldwide, including mentoring, internships, and potential job opportunities. For example, the Office of Alumni Relations and Resource Development and the Office of Career Advancement are sponsoring the J-term shadowing initiative in nine locations globally, where students visit alumni hosts at their workplaces during one day and get a firsthand view into their careers.

Additionally, we are developing a role for alumni global ambassadors to promote engagement regionally and back at HKS, and we welcome involvement. I look forward to hearing from the Harvard community on how we can enhance the connection between alumni and HKS, so please feel free to email me.