Background II

Meet the Candidates

MPA - GL Class of 2024

Valeria Acevedo
Chile

Valeria Acevedo

Valeria is an Improvement Advisor from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Industrial Engineer from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is a lecturer for the UC Center for Educational Transformation at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has worked at the Feduca Educational Foundation, the Luksic Foundation, and the Patio Vivo Foundation. She is a 2022 Fulbright Scholar and recipient of a CAF's Development Bank of Latin America Scholarship and a World Fellowship from the DKG International Educators Foundation.

Anu Agarwal
India

Anu Agarwal

Anu is an Indian civil services officer. In her 15 years stint, she has worked in different capacities with the Government of India. Her most recent assignment was as an Additional Commissioner in charge of implementing a newly overhauled indirect taxation law in India – the Goods & Service Tax. She has also served as head of Customs operations at Mumbai International Airport. Being passionate about providing a fair and fear-free tax environment, Anu has been instrumental in detecting several large cases of smuggling, tax evasion, and fraud. 

Carlo Angeles
Peru

Carlo Angeles

Carlo is a Peruvian public servant. He served as National Director for Youth Organization and transitioned into politics becoming one of the youngest ever members of the Metropolitan Council of Lima. He has served as Chairman of the Metropolitan Commission on Environment and City Services, and member of the Peruvian Government Commission on Climate Change, and to the Board of Directors of the National Forest and Wildlife Service. His work has been recognized by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the European Commission, the World Economic Forum and has been awarded the Global Democracy Award by the Washington Academy of Political Arts and Sciences. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from San Ignacio de Loyola University and an MPA from San Martin de Porres University.

Felipe Bernal
Colombia

Felipe Bernal

Felipe is an experienced project manager and advisor, with more than ten years of experience in the strategy consulting field working on renewable energy and energy transition. He is the technical committee leader as industry rapporteur for the Hydrogen Economy Draft Bill, discussed in the Colombian Congress. He recently worked at Hinicio as Head of Colombia & LATAM. Before joining Hinicio, he worked for almost six years as manager and energy sector lead for the Strategy, Markets and Growth line of service at PwC. Moreover, Felipe has served as Board Member at the Colombian H2 Association and the World Energy Council in Colombia and has contributed as a community member to the Data for a Common Purpose Initiative at the World Economic Forum.

Saumya Bisaria
India

Saumya Bisaria

Saumya has experience working at the intersection of finance, strategy, and policy, across government, and private sector. She has worked on the build-out of an innovative, collaborative financing model to catalyze foreign equity investment in Indian infrastructure sector and related businesses at the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a public-private investment institution with a mandate to create national impact. Saumya worked alongside the Government of India, Ministry of Finance to set up NIIF and later became part of the start-up team instrumental in building several pillars of the institution. Saumya started her career with IDBI Capital Markets & Securities, investment banking, where she worked on different corporate advisory assignments in the infrastructure sector and other areas. Saumya is a commerce graduate and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

James Brown
United States

James Brown

James is a native of Rochester, New York. He is currently serving as an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps where he has focused on Russian and Chinese military capabilities for the last ten years. James has been stationed or deployed in Japan, Korea, Australia, Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy, in diplomatic roles within the Department of Defense. James has also served as the lead intelligence analyst for multiple Marine Corps Commanding Generals and has authored wide ranging analysis for the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States. Prior to joining the Marine Corps, James volunteered as an English teacher in Taiwan and Romania. Following the earthquake that occurred in Haiti in January 2010, James was deployed as a civilian paramedic with the International Medical Assistance Team to Port Au Prince.

Mingqi Cai
China

Mingqi Cai

Mingqi is a versatile professional with experience in law, equity investment, and enterprise risk management. As a member of the Beijing Bar Association in China, she has worked on a range of public interest environmental cases. Mingqi also served as the head of the investment department in a private equity fund, where she was responsible for investment projects focused on advanced manufacturing in the field of commercial spaceflight, new energy, and new materials. Prior to that, she worked as project manager in PwC and Deloitte, providing risk control and compliance management to the firm's clients.

Terry Cao
China

Terry Cao

Terry is the co-founder and General Partner of Redici, a crypto fund of funds in the digital asset market. His experience has been marked by exploration and innovation, with a variety of ventures, including founding and managing four companies, ranging from e-commerce and lifestyle brands to mobile application development, as well as creating product strategies for various DeFi projects and operating a crypto fund. Prior to this, Terry worked at the China Exploration and Research Society in Hong Kong, after graduating from the University of British Columbia (Canada) with double majors in Political Science and Asian Studies.

Sunyoung Chon
Republic of Korea & United States

Sunyoung Chon

Sunyoung has an academic and professional background in communications and journalism. She has been with the United Nations Department of Global Communications since 2013, most recently serving in strategic and crisis comms function. During her decade-long career at the UN, she was also involved in news monitoring, media insights and impact analysis, as well as supporting the work of military personnel in peacekeeping operations. Prior to joining the UN, she worked in broadcast journalism and aspires to one day make a documentary film. Sunyoung holds a bachelor's degree from New York University where she majored in communications and minored in producing.

Aura Cifuentes
Colombia

Aura Cifuentes

Aura's expertise is in Open Government, Public Innovation, and Digital Transformation. She has held high-level roles in the Ministry of Technology's Digital Government Directorate, the Public Innovation Team of the National Planning Department, and the Transparency and Anti-Corruption Observatory of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. In France, she worked as an adviser at Etalab, the French Prime Minister taskforce in charge of open data, and as a Smart Cities consultant at the multinational Inetum. She also teaches at the Rosario and Los Andes universities in Bogota. She was recognized as one of "the 31 influential young women in Colombian politics" by the Konrad Adenauer and the Women Foundations. Apolitical and the WEF appointed her as one of the 50 most influential disruptive leaders in the world 

Jade Cooper
New Zealand

Jade Cooper

Jade has spent most of her career working as an international & public law litigation lawyer, for multiple governments across the globe. Jade started her career in New Zealand as a lawyer for Auckland City Council (the largest municipality in Australasia). She moved to New York in 2018 to work for the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the UN, and then worked in London as a lawyer for the U.K. Government, focused on Brexit-related litigation. Most recently Jade was part of the management team of a New York based tech startup called The Org, where she got a crash course in operating in a high-growth, fast-paced private sector environment. Jade is passionate about criminal justice system reform and equal access to justice, and volunteered as a legal advocate for incarcerated mothers in New Zealand prisons. She is also interested in the potential for innovation in the public sector, by applying learnings from the private sector.

Claudia Cornejo II
Peru

Claudia Cornejo

Claudia Cornejo is an experienced public and private sector expert. She served as Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru until 2021. As Minister, she led the team that elaborated the National Trade and Tourism Recovery Strategy after Covid19. Claudia has spent most of her professional career strengthening public-private partnerships. She was CEO of the National Confederation of Private Organizations, where she created the first women in the private sector and the first human rights and enterprise working groups. She was the Global Compact National Network’s focal point, where she championed the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Yajie Dai
China

Yajie Dai

Yajie is a Partner and the Senior VP of Dasfly Group, an MIT alums-founded pioneering tech company developing the technology for flying cars. Before that, she founded the Grace Art & Culture Foundation in New York. She was awarded the Merits Entrepreneur in Chinese Culture by the New York State Assembly in Feb 2014. She was also the team member of the current Boston City Mayor Michelle Wu in her campaign for Boston City Councilor in 2013. Previously in China, Grace was placed 4th among 40k competitors in the “Sinology Contests” TV competitions held by the Ministry of Chinese Culture and aired live by China Central Television in 2009. She was the only female player who stepped into the final in the very male-dominated field in China. Grace obtained her BA in Sociology with a minor in Finance with honors from Xi’an Jiaotong University, the “MIT of China".

Kiera Ellis
United States

Kiera Ellis

Kiera has over 10 years of experience elevating people and initiatives on the public stage and guiding organizations in navigating complex measures with public stakeholders. She is the chief executive officer of Resist Strategies, an impact-based public affairs firm. Prior to founding Resist Strategies, Kiera led public affairs for Related Companies serving as the liaison to elected officials, civic, business advocacy and trade groups, non-profits, and community organizations. As the former Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Kiera served as the primary spokesperson and point-of-contact for Illinois press in 10 media markets. Before joining Senator Duckworth’s office, Kiera impressed as former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Deputy Press Secretary, where she managed high-profile issues and initiatives including operational changes to address lead in paint and water, the elimination of food deserts with new grocery stores and targeted media relations in the wake of police accountability in Chicago.

Dylan Enright
United States

Dylan Enright

Dylan is currently Chief Growth Officer at The Org, a Sequoia and Founders fund-backed professional network. He is also General Partner of Ziggy Capital, a distressed real estate investment firm in the Mid-Atlantic. Dylan has built a career in technology, real estate, and politics. He was the National Finance Director for Andrew Yang’s 2020 Presidential Campaign. Before that, he led investing at Y-Combinator backed Wefunder, the pioneer of equity crowdfunding and primary author of the JOBS Act signed by President Obama. He is also the co-founder of Income Movement, a national foundation leading the basic income movement via grassroots support, and of Rightside, a non-profit funding youth arts education in over 40 public schools in Massachusetts. Dylan holds a degree in Economics from Boston College.

Luciana Galan II
Brazil

Luciana Galan

Native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, bachelor in Public Administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas, EASP, and bachelor in Law from Universidade de Sao Paulo. For more than 20 years has worked in financial markets in Sao Paulo and New York, specializing in capital markets, fixed income, foreign exchange and structured products – with a focus on clients based in Latin America and the USA. Native fluency in Portuguese, proficiency in English and Spanish, and working knowledge of Italian. Volunteers for Project Rousseau as a translator for refugees and their lawyers.

Andy Gouanvic
France

Andy Gouanvic

Andy is a passionate leader with 10 years of experience in the healthcare sector. Prior to joining the MPA in Global Leadership, he worked for Johnson & Johnson as a Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Product Manager in Mood Disorders. With a master’s degree in neuroscience from Universite Paris Descartes and an MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona, he worked in bringing pharmaceutical innovations to patients in the EMEA market. Amongst many, he worked in multiple sclerosis, hematology, HIV and mood disorders. As a leader, Andy strives to create inclusive workplace environments. At Johnson & Johnson he launched and led the Spanish employee resource group for the LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies and was part of the Spanish DE&I Council.

Arif Husain II
Canada

Arif Husain

Arif has over 15 years of experience on leading strategic transportation policy issues with Transport Canada (Canada’s Federal Ministry of Transport). In his current position as a policy advisor, Arif has been leading initiatives to strengthen the climate resilience of Canada’s transportation sector. Arif is also the lead for climate resilience for the aviation sector, and represents Transport Canada at international fora, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization. Prior to joining the Climate Change Adaptation Policy team in 2017, Arif worked for the Surface Transportation Policy directorate at Transport Canada and for over nine years was the policy lead for urban congestion and urban freight movements.

Isao Kitajima
Japan

Isao Kitajima

Isao graduated from Waseda University with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in energy engineering. He worked for over 10 years at Mitsubishi UFJ Bank in Japan, mainly in corporate finance, FX trading, and corporate planning. With an interest in the impact of public policy on society and business, he studied policy making at the Japan Policymaking School and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP). He often participates in volunteer activities, helping Ukraine refugees in Warsaw, Poland, and providing disaster prevention education in Sumatra, Indonesia.
 

Hyun Seung Lee
North Korea

Hyun Seung Lee

Hyun Seung is a North Korean escapee and human rights activist. With an extensive background in international business and military affairs in North Korea, he has contributed to the U.S. government and policy community in Washington, D.C. as a highly sought-after consultant specializing in North Korean affairs. He has served as a fellow at the Global Peace Foundation and an advisor to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).  Before coming to the United States, Hyun Seung worked in the shipping and mining industries facilitating North Korean trade with China. He also served as a sergeant in the DPRK Army. However, a series of brutal purges by the DPRK government forced him to defect in 2014. Since then, Hyun Seung has emerged as a highly regarded speaker on North Korea-related topics. His insights have been featured in various media outlets including CNN, BBC, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The New Yorker, and others.

Ronald Lin
United States

Ronald Lin

Dr. Lin is a graduate of Brandeis University and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. In addition, he holds the distinction of being the first and only American to have obtained both the LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from Zhejiang University. Dr. Lin has worked in government within the offices of his state’s County Executive, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator and Governor. Dr. Lin ran for Bergen County Commissioner in Bergen County, New Jersey during the 2021 and 2022 election cycles, becoming the first Asian-American in New Jersey history to attain the nomination of a major political party for a county-level seat. Most recently, Dr. Lin served as an Associate Professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, as founder and host of “Real Talk With Ronnie”, and founder and CEO of Linbright Consulting Group, LLC, a consultancy.

Juan Sebastian Lozada
Colombia

Juan Sebastian Lozada

From the experience of being kidnapped by the guerilla in Colombia, Juan Sebastian gained a profound understanding of the country’s social and political realities. He has worked for more than 11 years in the private and public sectors, particularly in Congress and as an advisor in different government institutions, where he has gained a deep knowledge of how public policies are designed at a high level and their impact on civil society. Additionally, due to his passion for soccer, he worked for one of the most important professional clubs in Colombia as Board Member and President, making strategic and operational decisions to have a positive, long-term impact on the organization. Since 2014, Juan Sebastian has been leading his own political consultancy firm.

Abigail O'Reilly
United Kingdom

Abigail O'Reilly

Abigail has more than a decade’s experience working in politics and policy development across the public and private sectors. She began her career as a political researcher in the Welsh Parliament before working as a senior parliamentary researcher and office manager in the House of Commons in London. Following her time in the Commons, Abigail moved into financial services, driving public affairs for a leading UK health cash plan provider before commencing work in the pharmaceutical sector for Novo Nordisk. Most recently, she was based at the company’s global headquarters in Denmark as a global policy lead. In this role, she engaged with colleagues across Novo Nordisk’s 80 in-country offices, utilizing and enhancing her knowledge of healthcare and political systems around the world. Abigail has a degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, and a diploma in public affairs from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Rosa Paya
Cuba

Rosa Payá Acevedo

Rosa María is a Cuban democracy activist and human rights defender. She is the founder of Cuba Decide, a movement in favor of changing the political and economic systems in Cuba. Rosa María is a graduate of Physics at the University of Havana. She is a lecturer and speaker at various universities, as well as at the UN, the Concordia Summit, the SC forum of the Summit of the Americas, the Oslo Freedom Forum, the US Congress, and multiple parliaments around the globe. She has been awarded The Common-Sense Courage Award, the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Ileana Ros-Lehtinen International Leadership Award, and the Morris Abram Human Rights Award granted by UN Watch, and with the Keys of the City of Miami. In 2013, she was selected as one of the “25 most powerful women” according to People en Español magazine. She is the Honorary President of the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy.

Ritu Sain
India

Ritu Sain

Ritu is a seasoned administrator currently leading the National Anti-Doping Agency in the Government of India.  In her two-decade long career in the Indian Administrative Service, she has held many challenging assignments and has been credited with a number of innovative solutions to complex problems being faced by marginalized communities in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. She has been awarded the President’s Medal for Outstanding Zeal and High-Quality Service and Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for outstanding public service delivery contributions.

Matan Sivek
Israel

Matan Sivek

Recognized for his leadership as the Israel Nature and Heritage Foundation of America (INHFA) Executive Director in Forbes '30 Under 30' list, marking Israel's 30 most promising young leaders, Matan's mission is to allow people from around the world to connect with and contribute to Israel's extraordinary historical and natural assets, thus taking part in our shared story and responsibility to create a better world for the next generations. Prior to serving as the Executive Director of the INHFA, Matan promoted coexistence and equality in Israel as the Advisor on Minorities Affairs to the Director General of the Ministry of Education,and as the Advisor to the Director General of the Authority for Development of the Bedouin Society, volunteering in several non-profits and leading a social initiative to bridge social gaps through education. He holds a B.A from the prestigious 'Amirim' Program for Humanities and Economics and an MBA, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Michele Torsello
Italy

Michele Torsello

Michele is a Director at the Italian Ministry of Economics, where he deals with sustainability and climate change policies. He has been working with the public administration since 2011, as Director of the Prime Minister’s Task Force for hydrogeological risks and Advisor for sustainability of the Minister of Territorial Development and Director and Adviser for the Minister for Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility. The World Economic Forum selected him in the first group of Global Shapers. He coordinated the GS Rome Hub and developed projects on the city’s suburbs and photojournalism. Since 2016 he has been a member of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, a network that brings together more than 300 organizations aimed at raising awareness about the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. He is also a musician and a photographer with a passion for politics and history.