SIPA Speaks

A student speaker series showcasing the diverse professional and personal experiences of SIPA students involving prior employment, community/volunteer/public service, social entrepreneurship, and other topics of interest to the SIPA community.

Why You Should Join the U.S. Foreign Service, & Why I Quit

Chuck Park (MPA) spent almost a decade as a U.S. diplomat before resigning in protest in 2019, via Washington Post oped. On December 10, 2020, he discussed his personal path to public service, the extent -- and limits -- of a Foreign Service Officer's impact on policy, and why every SIPA student should consider becoming a diplomat.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Link Between Financial Crime and Financial Inclusion

Adam David Sperry (MIA) is a Senior Financial Intelligence Analyst with the New York High Intensity Financial Crime Area and the Department of Homeland Security where he investigates complex financial crime and money laundering related to human trafficking, drug trafficking, public corruption, and terrorism.  On December 11, 2019 he discussed how his work in law enforcement led him to perceive a link between policies governing financial crime detection and global financial inclusion.

Event sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

Community Organizing for Displaced Populations

Jake Sprang (MIA) is the Executive Director of the Refugee Empowerment and Support Taskforce, a small NGO that uses community organizing techniques to design humanitarian relief programs in coordination with Burundian refugees living in Rwanda.  He will discuss the importance of human-centered approaches to humanitarian relief and the importance of listening and building relationships with communities before acting.

Event was sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Youth Empowerment in North Africa

Mehemed Bougsea (MPA-DP) is the Co-Founder and Strategy Lead of Think.iT, a mission-driven company that trains and connects tech talent from North Africa with top engineering jobs globally. He will speak about his experience becoming a social entrepreneur in the Middle East; giving an insight into the daily challenges of connecting untapped pools of brilliance in Turkey and Tunisia with a rapidly changing world economy through technology.

Event sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

Community Development in the Andes: Successes, Failures, and the Promise of Youth Engagement and Civic Leadership

Andres Ochoa Toasa (MIA) was Social Director of TECHO Ecuador, the country chapter of one of the largest Latin American NGOs working in community development, youth mobilization, and public advocacy.  He discussed his experience working with various communities in Ecuador on the coast, in the capital, and within indigenous areas; highlighting the challenges of youth engagement and its role in contributing to sustainable change.

Event sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Social Ventures and Government Reform in Afghanistan

Shakb Noori (Executive MPA) is the Co-Founder of Freedom Learners, a technology organization that provides education through tablets to those who do not have access to schools. Shakib also served as a Senior Partner and Public-Private Partnership Advisor for the Afghanistan Center for Excellence and Commercial Counselor to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.
Event was sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Thursday, November 17, 2016.

Climate Activism in Bangladesh and Beyond: The Fight for Our Shared Future

Risalat Khan (MPA-ESP) is a climate activist from Bangladesh, a country with great promise that is also at great peril from climate change. Risalat was featured by The Guardian as a "young climate campaigner to watch" and recently spoke on a climate panel with Al Gore at the World Economic Forum's annual Davos meeting. He will share the path that led him to activism, his experiences organizing for the largest climate marches in history, and our mammoth challenge and responsibility to build a safe climate future.
Event sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

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    Poster for Risalat Khan's Event

Child Care in East Africa

Sabrina Premji (MPA-DP) is the Co-Founder and Chief Exploration Officer at Kidogo, a social enterprise that provides early childhood care & education in East Africa for less that $1 per day. She discussed her experience launching a social venture and the constant struggle to balance social impact and financial sustainability. Sabrina authored Backwards & Forwards: My Journey Through Africa, and was selected Canada's "Female Entrepreneur of the Year" by ELLE Magazine.
Event was sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

Getting Things Done in New York City Government

Samuel M. Pierre (Executive MPA) was Director of African American and Caribbean Affairs for Mayor Michael Bloomberg from 2010 to 2014. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Haitian American Caucus.
Event was sponsored by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.