Gabriel Stricker graduated from the MIA program in 2001 with a concentration in International Finance and Economic Policy. He currently serves as vice president of policy and communications at Google Fiber.

What are you doing now?

I'm vice president of policy and communications at Google Fiber, an initiative of Alphabet, Inc., to build out high-speed internet access on networks that are always open. I also serve on the boards of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Before joining Alphabet, I worked as the head of public policy and communications for Twitter.

Why did you choose to attend at SIPA?

It was clear to me that the theories of commerce and trade were best understood in [the context of international affairs] rather than in a vacuum. I was also impressed that MIA students had to have fluency in a second language. That prerequisite alone made for a diverse student population, and one in which people approached things differently if only because they brought some entirely different worldview to the table.

What was it like to attend graduate school in New York City?

It was just amazing. You’d read about folks in the New York Times in the morning, and they’d be giving a lecture in your class—or maybe even teaching your class—that night.

I’ll never forget taking finance and accounting from Andrew Danzig, an adjunct professor who was also a financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank. It was incredible to get instruction from someone who was teaching the same principles that he put into practice every single day.

What’s your most vivid impression or recollection of SIPA?

I remember taking a course on privatization, and our professor began the class by explaining that he had just flown in from Russia, where he had been providing guidance on privatizing its telecommunications industry. There were so many times when instructors' real-life experiences were far more compelling than any textbook could ever be.