Kesha Ram MC/MPA 2018 plans to change the face of politics.


MC/MPA 2018 Kesha Ram
Kesha Ram MC/MPA 2018

Name and HKS degree: Kesha Ram MC/MPA 2018 

Home town: Los Angeles, CA, but my spiritual home is Vermont 

Education: BS in Natural Resource Planning, BA in Political Science, University of Vermont 

HKS Fellowship: Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellowship

Favorite spot on campus: Back corner of the Center for Public Leadership office with my Johnson Fellowship Advisor, Akiesha Ortiz. I can dig into her candy bowl while I tell her about my day or get advice on a long-term goal. Meanwhile, everyone walks by from founder David Gergen to my brilliant classmates to A-list visiting leaders and scholars. It's a reminder of both the intimacy and grandeur of HKS, and how fortunate we are to belong here.

Why HKS?

As state representative who served on the Vermont Legislature for eight years, I am a policymaker who wanted the tools to help boost the economy, rebuild downtowns and know I am making a difference for Vermonters. Regardless of where life has taken me, it has always been in service to the public good—working with low-income children, empowering victims of domestic violence, creating access to and trust in municipal and state government, and most recently directing a nonprofit that works at the intersection of environment and social justice. At HKS, I wanted to join a network of change-makers from around the world.

"We live in a country where a girl like me—who grew up in her Indian immigrant father and Jewish American mother's Irish pub in Los Angeles—can grow up to make policy and attend Harvard. I am privileged to have a lifetime to give back to my country."

Kesha Ram MC/MPA 2018

Stand-out activities at HKS:

Professor Jason Furman’s Growth, Inequality, and the Income of Households class.

Professor Joseph Newhouse’s Economics of Health Care Policy class.

Studying as a Sheila C. Johnson Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership gives me the immense privilege of finding the common ground that makes progress possible in such a pivotal and polarized time in our nation and world.

What’s next?

Running for office! Changing the face of politics in America by learning how to empower people to do the work that will make them feel invested in solutions, rather than relying on political leaders. Continuing to support other emerging leaders.