MPP Cohort 2020-21

The Max Bell School is thrilled to introduce our 2020-21 Master of Public Policy class, made up of outstanding and diverse individuals from around the world. Meet the members of this year's cohort:


Alexandra Ages

Previous degree: B.A. in History and Applied Ethics - University of Victoria

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Constituency Assistant - riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford; Food Bank Operations Manager - University of Victoria Students' Society; Researcher for Good Food Challenge - Meal Exchange Canada

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Alexandra Ages currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she serves as a constituency assistant in the riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford. Alexandra studied History and Applied Ethics at the University of Victoria, with a focus on the impacts of imperialism in the Middle East; she spent her spare time managing the student food bank on campus and researching sustainable food procurement with Meal Exchange Canada.

Passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals, Alexandra has volunteered with the British Columbia Council for International Development, and she attended the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations in 2019. She enjoys writing, and her publications include “Canada at a Crossroads: Time to take action for climate migrants,” “Afghanistan: The Contemporary Consequences of Imperialism,” and “[You]th are the Problem: Ending the Intergenerational Blame Game to Achieve the SDGs.” Alexandra also loves dogs, and has two beautiful Bernese Mountain Dogs named Bella and Bear.




Danielle Appavoo  

Previous degree: B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering - University of Toronto

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Logistics Scheduler, LPG - Elbow River Marketing Ltd.; Operations and Trading Analyst - Glencore Canada; Review Engineer Assistant - Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

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Danielle Appavoo has spent 3 years working in logistics and supply chain at commodity trading firms. Most recently, she worked on the Liquefied Petroleum Gases team at Elbow River Marketing in Calgary, Alberta, and, prior to that, on the Sulfuric Acid team at Glencore in Toronto, Ontario.

Danielle completed her Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2017. During her undergraduate degree, she completed a one-year internship at the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, where she reviewed Environmental Compliance Approval Applications for air quality and airborne emissions.

Having developed a keen interest in energy, resources, and the environment, Danielle is excited to explore the intersection of industry and public policy in these areas. Through the Max Bell MPP program, she hopes to build the skills needed to help drive positive change in these sectors




Mariel Aramburu

Previous degree: B.A. in Political Science and International Development Studies - McGill University

Nationality: Mexican and Canadian

Recent work experience: Manager, Cross-Ministry and Intergovernmental Strategies - Advanced Education, Government of Alberta; International Business Officer, Alberta International Development Office - Economic Development and Trade, Government of Alberta; Ministerial Assistant to the Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations - Government of Alberta

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Mariel Aramburu is a policy professional interested in the complex intersections of the policy development process. She immigrated to Canada from Mexico City during her childhood and has explored policy contexts provincially, nationally, and internationally.

Most recently, Mariel’s work has focused on the role of the post-secondary system in the research and innovation ecosystem in Alberta. She has advanced legislation on talent development in technology and provided project leadership to a public advisory council. Mariel also has experience supporting trade and development activities through the Alberta International Development Office. She has spent time in Washington, D.C., where she was engaged in inter-American policy, and in Panama with the United Nations World Food Programme's Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mariel is passionate about gender equality and women's empowerment, food security, and community engagement. She served as a project advisory group member with the YWCA, where she contributed to the development of training curriculum for agencies serving Latinx women dealing with violence. Mariel has also served as a board member for the Campus Food Bank at the University of Alberta and for her local community league in Edmonton.





Rudayna Bahubeshi

Previous degree: Bachelor of Humanities, Highest Honours, Minor in English Literature - Carleton University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Program Manager, Canadian Women's Foundation; Manager of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications - Inspirit Foundation; Campaign Manager for Tiffany Ford, Candidate for Ward 7, 2018 Toronto City Council; Advisor, Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities - Ontario Government

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For the last few years, Rudayna has worked in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors with national organizations whose mandates include environmental sustainability, gender equality, and anti-racism. While in these positions, she also fulfilled key roles in organizing and volunteering, as well as in public appointments. This has included leading programming for a grassroots organization advancing the civic leadership of women, Two-Spirit, and non-binary peoples; advising a research think tank on a health equity project; and supporting visionary arts organizations.

Rudayna is committed to equity, racial justice, and centring the leadership of those with both the expertise and lived experience of socio-economic inequality in building the path to a more just and sustainable future. Her interests are wide and varied, and include issues concerning affordable housing, transformation of the philanthropic sector, and health equity – particularly mental health.

She has a Bachelor of Humanities, Highest Honours with a Minor in English Literature, from Carleton University, where completed an exchange at Jai Hind College, part of the University of Mumbai. She is a former DiverseCity Fellow and was named a Top 30 Under 30 in Canada by Corporate Knights in 2017.

Outside of work, studies, and community involvement, Rudayna loves to read, be outdoors, write, travel, and go to concerts and theatre performances..





Adele Brawley

Previous degree: B.A. Honours Specialization in Political Science - University of Western Ontario

Nationality: Canadian and American

Recent work experience: Senior Account Manager, Public Relations - Rose PR

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Adele Brawley is a 2018 graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where she received a B.A., Honours Specialization in Political Science. Outside of the classroom, she worked as an analyst in Western’s Democracy Lab, a student-run research group publishing various political risk assessment reports on the multi-faceted consequences of government policy affecting foreign investment opportunities around the world.

Since then, Adele spent two years working in public relations in her native Montreal, where she gained valuable experience in strategic communications, business development, crisis communications, and competitor analysis. Adele is motivated by helping others and hopes to work towards breaking down the social and economic inequalities women and girls face in Canada. As a former competitive swimmer and swim team coach, Adele enjoys being outside and in the water.





Raphaela Chakravarti 

Previous degree: B.A. Middle East Studies – Brown University

Nationality: American

Recent work experience: Grants and Foundation Relations Manager – International Institute of New England; Pro Bono Coordinator – Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP

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Raphaela Chakravarti lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and has been working in nonprofit development and immigration advocacy for the past few years. Most recently, Raphaela was responsible for researching policy trends and raising $600,000+ in private grants income for an immigrant-serving organization based in Boston.

Previously, she worked at a New York-based law firm, managing pro bono cases for survivors of domestic violence and unaccompanied immigrant children, administering a legal clinic for those facing evictions, and operating an immigration hotline for clients detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

While pursuing a Bachelor’s in Middle East Studies at Brown University, she spent three months in Beirut, where she worked with a team to organize and deliver emergency relief to refugees in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. Her pursuits, both academic and professional, have been driven by a desire to understand how progress is defined and measured in efforts to effect social change.




Rebecca Charles 

Previous degree: Bachelor in International Relations - University of Montreal 

Nationality: Canadian and Haitian

Recent work experience: Case Manager, Analyst Supervisor - Canadian Red Cross; President and Christmas Market Organizer - Les Amis de la Culture de Rigaud; Touristic Agent - Quebec Ministry of Tourism;

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When they ask me about who I am, the first answer that comes to my mind is that I am a single mother, an involved woman who wants to contribute to the world and makes it a better place. In 2014, after officially moving to Canada, my first reflex was to go back to school, when I was six months pregnant. I enrolled in International Studies at the University of Montreal, a place where I was actively involved on campus. I was the Vice-President of a campus association for two years, organizing conferences, cultural activities, and more for the student community.

When I lived in Rigaud, I was the President of ''Les Amis de la Culture de Rigaud," where, for two years, I organized workshops and events such as the city's annual Christmas Market. Having served as a volunteer for the Canadian Red Cross since 2017, I decided to take on a full-time role at the organization after graduating from undergraduate studies. Today, as a Case Manager, I work with victims of flooding; this experience has revealed to me a flawed system rife with policy application failures. I hope to gain the tools necessary to better understand how policy is applied and to provide me with ideas for correcting systemic failings. I am also interested in issues of racism and gender equality.




Ricardo Chejfec

Previous degree: B.A.& Sc. in Cognitive Science - McGill University

Nationality: Mexican

Recent work experience: Business Analyst - International Banking Systems, Scotiabank

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Ricardo Chejfec is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but moved to Canada six years ago to attend McGill and ultimately work as a Business Analyst. With a background in academic research, computer science, and data analytics, Ricardo is interested in contributing to the development of data-driven policy and its aiding protocols. Particularly, Ricardo is thrilled to learn about appropriate and efficient ways to tackle income inequality, as well as issues related to taxation and employment policy.



Photograph of Max Bell School MPP Student Chunhong Chen


Chunhong Chen

Previous degree: B.A. in Public Affairs and Administration - Rutgers University & Chinese Northeast Normal University

Nationality: Chinese

Recent work experience:Overseas Marketing Intern - NetEase; Public Policy Intern - Advocates for Children of New Jersey; Human Resource Assistant - Hangzhou XCGT State-owned Investment Holding GroupCo., LTD.; Volunteer - Building Bridges

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Chunhong Chen, has double degrees from Rutgers University in the U.S. and Northeast Normal University in China, having majored in Public Affairs and Administration. She currently lives in her hometown, Hangzhou, China, and she recently started an overseas marketing internship at NetEase. During the inspiring experience of volunteering in a rural part in China, she served as a teacher, encouraging children’s enthusiasm for learning. She found, however, numerous problems with the education system – not problems that could not be fixed in the classroom, but rather issues that would persist until their root cause, lack of economic development, was addressed. In light of this, Chunhong's wish is to become an economic policy adviser and fully devote herself to bringing about change through the public sector.

Seeking to learn how economic policies are created and implemented in the real world, and the challenges of putting them into practice, she joined the State-owned Investment Corporation, and later took on a role with Advocates for Children of New Jersey. Through these experiences, she became even more driven to do whatever possible to contribute to economic development for society's least privileged. Her goal in pursuing an MPP is learn strategies and gain tools that will support her efforts to narrow the gap between the wealthy and the impoverished.




Rym Cheriet

Previous degree: B.A. in Political Science and International Studies - University of Alberta

Nationality: Algerian and Canadian

Recent work experience: Manager, Government and Community Liaison - Association canadienne française de l'Alberta; Program Coordinator - Accès Emploi

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Born in Algeria and raised in Canada, Rym was exposed at a young age to world politics. Rym has lived in Québec; Ontario; and, most recently, Edmonton, Alberta. She holds a B.A in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Alberta. Rym is passionate about translating broad ideas into specific actions and outcomes, hence her interest in pursuing a career in public policy.

For the past three years, Rym has been working for the francophone community in Edmonton, holding various roles in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Rym worked as a Government and Community Liaison Manager at the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta, where she lobbied for francophone rights at the provincial and national levels. Having worked closely with government, Rym is eager to better understand how to create effective and thoughtful policies to solve complex issues that affect everyday Canadians. In her spare time, Rym enjoys cooking, taking care of her plants, and photography.




Yuting Fu

Previous degree: B.A. in Public Administration - Rutgers University, Newark; B.A. in Public Affairs Management - Northeast Normal University

Nationality: Chinese

Recent work experience: Human Resource Intern - Porsche Consulting; ESG Analyst Intern - SynTao Green Finance; Data Visualization Intern - MyH2O Water Information Network; Fellow - China House; Part-time Assistant - Industrial Securities; Grant Committee Officer - Philanthropy in Motion

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Yuting Fu, originally from midland China, currently lives in Shanghai, where she is completing an internship at Porsche Consulting. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and Northeast Normal University. After the inspiring experience of being a grant committee officer in Philanthropy in Motion’s Model Foundation program, through which she secured funds for social enterprises, she devoted herself to social enterprise development. In addition to seeking out funds for social enterprises, she also decided to join one of them.

She began working for MyH2O Water Information Network as a Data Visualization Intern, working to draw public attention to water security problems in rural Chinese villages. From these experiences, she began to realize the important effects public policy has on the work of social enterprises. As an MPP student, she wants to gain skills and knowledge to aid her work developing social enterprises.



Photograph of Max Bell School MPP Student henna hundal


Henna Hundal

Previous degree: A.B. in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology - Harvard University

Nationality: American

Recent work experience: Researcher - Harvard Stem Cell Institute

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Henna graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. She served as a researcher at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Harvard Center for AIDS Research. Inspired by her health policy background, Henna co-created the Bridging Borders Project, a multinational collaboration that brings Prime Ministers and Presidents together to share their COVID-19 response plans. The project has been utilized by heads of state and government across the European Union, South Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and Oceania.




Haris Jahangeer

Previous degree: B.A. in Law and Political Science - Balkh University, M.A. in Post-war Recovery Studies - University of York

Nationality: Afghanistan

Recent work experience: Project Management Specialist - United States Agency for International Development, Kabul Mission

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Born and raised in Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in the north of Afghanistan, Haris currently lives in Montreal. Throughout his career, Haris has worked in challenging settings for civil society organizations, the United States Government, the United Nations, consulting companies, private ventures, and think tanks. As a result, he has a solid grasp of adaptive project design and management. His multidisciplinary education and experience give him the skills and mindset to think about solving complex problems.

Haris holds a B.A in Law and Political Science from Balkh University and a M.A in Post-war Recovery Studies from the University of York (United Kingdom). He is learning about the energy storage industry, particularly lithium-ion batteries. He considers himself a good walker. He is interested in walking as a mode of transport and philosophy.




Asif Imran Khan

Previous degree: Master of Development Studies - University of Dhaka; B.S.S. in Media & Communication - Independent University, Bangladesh 

Nationality: Bangladeshi

Recent work experience: Senior Manager, Advocacy and Campaign - Save the Children in Bangladesh; Advocacy Coordinator - CARE Bangladesh; Advocacy Coordinator, & Advocacy Officer - Concern Worldwide Bangladesh; Communication Officer - BRAC.

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Asif Imran Khan is a policy advocacy and campaigning specialist, who has been working for the past six years to bring the voices of the poor and marginalized communities to the forefront of policy agendas in Bangladesh. Having started his career at BRAC, he has served as the advocacy and campaign lead of international NGOs in Bangladesh such as Save the Children, CARE, and Concern Worldwide. In his role, Asif successfully advocated to key government ministers, members of parliament, civil society actors and media for pro-poor policy and budgetary provisions on food security, gender equality, the climate crisis, and urban extreme poverty, among other issues.

At this point in his career, Asif has grown a desire to be more than a policy advocate through learning about and contributing to inclusive policy formulation and implementation. Asif is a certified scuba diver and loves to spend his free time on creative writing.




Dorothy Kwok

Degree: BSoSc in Public Policy, Management and Politics - City University of Hong Kong

Nationality: Chinese (Hong Kong)

Recent work experience: Officer (Enforcement) - Estate Agents Authority; Court Liaison Officer - The Duty Lawyer Service; Summer Research Intern (Political Aspect) - Hong Kong Police Force; Summer Intern - Hong Kong Legislative Council Secretariat

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Dorothy graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Social Science in Public Policy, Management, and Politics. The experience she gained from her exchange study in University of Warwick expanded her vision for the world and led to her decision to pursue an MPP at McGill. Her previous roles in the HKSAR Legislative Council Secretariat, the Hong Kong Police Force, and the Duty Lawyer Service were gave her experience if a variety of domains of public service. Most recently, she served as as an Enforcement Officer in the Estate Agents Authority, contributing to the regulation of the practice of local estate, in the interest of consumers. Both while serving as a service provider and as a regulator, she saw the extent to which her work contributed to a harmonious and law-abiding environment.

Dorothy now aspires to a career advancing firms' corporate social responsibility efforts to help address global social and environment challenges.




Jonathan Lesarge

Previous degree: M.A. in Political Science - University of Victoria; B.A. in Political Science - Western University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Executive Assistant to the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry - Government of Ontario; Legislative Assistant to the Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga - Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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Jonathan Lesarge currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, where he has worked full-time for the past three years at the Government of Ontario and Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. As the Legislative Assistant to the Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, Jonathan successfully steered the research and development of a Private Member’s Bill entitled Bill 50, The Cutting Red-Tape for Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2018, which would save consumers time and money by allowing new automobile dealers to register newly purchased vehicles online.

Similarly, in his recent role as Executive Assistant to the Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Jonathan advised on Ministry-related communications and policy objectives. Jonathan’s young career reflects his passion for politics, and his desire to harness public policy for the common good. 




Camilla Shuang Liu

Previous degree: B.A. in Communications and Political Science - Carleton University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Senior Communications Advisor - Department of Employment and Social Development Canada - Government of Canada; Senior Parliamentary Affairs Advisor - Department of Shared Services - Government of Canada; Strategic Communications Advisor - Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development - Government of Canada

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Camilla Liu fell in love with policy communications ten years ago and never looked back. As a senior communications advisor for Employment and Social Development Canada, she informs the public and media about the Government's response to help vulnerable populations during COVID-19, and to shape their understanding of Canada's Homelessness Strategy that aims to reduce chronic homelessness.

Camilla has assumed different communications roles in government departments. Whether it is organizing an awareness campaign about Canadian innovation, writing a speech for a Minister at a stakeholder meeting about poverty reduction, or running a Facebook Live broadcast for an announcement on a new citizenship policy, she does it with passion.

Deeply concerned about COVID-19’s impacts on seniors in poverty, Camilla recently volunteered to raise donation as a digital content creator for a local charity in northwestern Cameroon that helps seniors to cope with the pandemic. She wants to find ways to reduce poverty in Canada and around the world, through public policy.




Juan Leonardo Lozano Amaro

Previous degree: M.Sc. in Science, Technology, and International Development - University of Edinburgh

Nationality: Mexican

Recent work experience: Advisor - Secretariat of Energy, Mexico; Volunteer - Équiterre, Montreal.

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Juan strongly believes that science and technology have an impact on public policy, and vice-versa. Over the past eight years, Leonardo has worked on the sustainable development of policies and science. His work focuses on social participation and dynamic networks for the creation and design of technologies and public policy. Leonardo is passionate about engaging with innovative and socially-oriented multidisciplinary groups.

Leonardo holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Tecnológico de Monterrey and an M.Sc. in Science, Technology, and International Development from the University of Edinburgh. After graduating he worked for almost five years as an advisor to the Mexican Secretariat of Energy. He later volunteered for Équiterre in Montreal, where he conducted research on potential partners’ Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility reports. Leonardo has knowledge and experience in international development, human rights, energy policy, and sustainable development. Leonardo’s work has focused on renewable energy projects in First Nations communities, strategic planning, and international affairs.




James Samimi Farr

Previous degree: B.A. in Religious Studies and English - McGill University

Nationality: Canadian and American

Recent work experience: Media Officer - U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs; Freelance Writer, Copy Editor, Journalist; Senior Writer and Editor - Baha'i World Centre; New Media Specialist - Digital Opportunity Trust

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James Samimi Farr has worked for the last three years as the media discourse officer for the U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs. In this work, he collaborates closely with journalists, striving to understand the norms of American media and evolve them to be more just, inclusive, and unifying. To this end, he holds a regular roundtable with writers and editors from outlets such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, HuffPost, Mother Jones, and others.

He also advocates in the media for the persecuted Baha'i communities of Iran and Yemen, and he has coordinated coverage on this issue with various outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, AFP, Bloomberg, BBC, and several others. He has also written op-eds for such publications as the Religion News Service.

He grew up in Chelsea, QC, and is a semi-professional musician.




Gina Maldonado

Previous degree: B.A. in Management –  Pontifical Catholic University, Peru; Diploma in Smart Cities; and Diploma in Project Management

Nationality: Peruvian

Recent work experience: Director – Sector3 Social Venture Group; National Coordinator of Business Management – Ministry of Production, Peru; Lead Consultant – Axus Advisory Group; Project Assistant – German Red Cross; Academic Assistant – Pontifical Catholic University of Peru; Volunteer – Make-A-Wish Peru

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Gina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration and Executive Management, with a minor in Social Management, from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She also has a diploma in Project Management (Peru) and an international diploma in Smart Cities (Argentina and Austria). With over nine years of experience in project development management, public policy management, and social entrepreneurship, she has worked in Peru, Mexico, and El Salvador, pursuing her interests in entrepreneurship, innovation, and gender.

Gina is a Director and Partner at Sector 3 Social Venture Group, a Peruvian NGO that promotes the socioeconomic development of  (mostly women-owned) micro-enterprises by members of vulnerable populations in Latin America. Along with the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, Sector3 runs “ESCALA,” a business school specifically designed for marginalized entrepreneurs. She has also worked for the Peruvian Government (Ministry of Production) as National Coordinator of Business Management, a role wherein she designed and implemented the first business development services platform for Peruvian entrepreneurs.

Gina has volunteered for Make-A-Wish Peru since 2013. As she pursues a Master of Public Policy at the Max Bell School, she is aiming to strengthen her competencies and broaden her perspectives, better equipping her to create long-term impact through the promotion of entrepreneurship, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.




Shahid Mehmood

Previous degree:  M.Sc (Hons.) Agriculture 

Nationality: Pakistani

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As a mid-career civil servant and public policy practitioner, I have chosen the Max Bell School MPP to complement my experience and prepare myself as a leader in public policy. My goal is to learn to create and expand the boundaries of what is possible. I aim to prepare myself to take on the public-policy challenges of the future and contribute to solving real-world problems by developing impactful policies. My particular areas of interest in policy are innovative agriculture policy, environment and climate change policy, and emergency response policy.  




Ines Atugonza Muganyizi

Previous degree: BA. in Economics (Hons) and Environmental Studies - Connecticut College

Nationality: Tanzanian

Recent work experience: Research Consultant - The World Bank, Tanzania Office; Project Officer - Dalberg Global Development Advisors; Associate - Procewaterhouse Coopers Tanzania Ltd

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Ines is originally from Tanzania, where she has been working in social development consulting and project implementation. Her experience has focused on process improvement and government service delivery systems. In her career, Ines has worked with over 20 clients, including ministries, local governments, NGOs, and donor agencies. She also possesses working knowledge of agriculture, transportation, and government sub-sectors. Ines hopes to acquire more robust and holistic skills and approaches through her time in the MPP program.

She strongly believes developing countries, like her own, must aspire to solve systemic challenges in order to achieve stronger, equitable, and people-centric economies. Ines is also a 2019-20 Obama Africa Leader Fellow, a distinction that has allowed her to access leadership coaching as well as connect with amazing change-makers across the African continent.




Emily Nickerson

Previous degree: Bachelor of Water Resources Engineering - University of Guelph

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Director - Publish What You Pay Canada; Director of Programs, Mining Shared Value Initiative - Engineers Without Borders Canada; Consultant - Pollen Group

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 Emily Nickerson currently lives in Toronto, Ontario and has been working to improve how people and governments leverage natural resources for economic development over the last five years. At Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Canada, she has worked to increase transparency in the extractives sector, both domestically and internationally, in order to enable citizens to hold their governments to account for how natural resource wealth is managed.

Previously at Mining Shared Value, she worked to promote local procurement of goods and services in countries that host mining activity. Building on her experience, Emily is keen to improve her understanding of how to create policies to manage and govern natural resources in an equitable and sustainable way. Emily also enjoys travelling and eating her way around Toronto with her partner.




Gulrukh Zafar Qidwai

Previous degree: BSc (Honors) in Economics - Lahore University of Management Sciences

Nationality: Pakistani

Recent work experience: Business Analyst - Kearney; Process Development Intern - PepsiCo International

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Gulrukh is a an experienced strategy consultant and policy professional with work experience spanning across the Middle East and Asia. Originally from Pakistan, Gulrukh is quite familiar with the various public policy challenges prevalent in emerging markets and is passionate about solving complex policy issues. She is particularly fascinated by the ongoing policy issues in the global technology space related to sustainability, cybersecurity, and data governance.

Gulrukh completed her undergraduate degree in Economics in 2019. After graduation, she moved to Dubai to work as a Business Analyst for a global management consulting firm called Kearney. She has worked on diverse private and public sector engagements including the provision of organizational public policy support at multilateral economic platforms such as the G20 Summit and the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos 2020.

Gulrukh is also a fitness enthusiast and avid traveler, and she enjoys partaking in various adventure sports such as paragliding, rappelling, and cliff diving.




Ellen Rowe

Previous degree: B.A. (Hons) in History and World Languages - Queen's University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Cyber Security Policy Analyst – National Defence; Research Assistant – Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy (McGill).

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Ellen Rowe is a cyber security policy analyst for the Government of Canada (GoC). In 2017, Ellen commenced her career as a Queen’s University intern at National Defence. With an interest in research and writing, Ellen took on the task of writing quarterly and annual technical reports for key GoC stakeholders, while working in the Cyber Threat Reporting team (CTR). Her passion to educate others about cyber security led her to become a cyber security policy analyst.

As a policy analyst, Ellen writes and manages operational policies. With her high-level understanding of technical issues involved in information systems and cyber security, Ellen helped develop the Cyber Defence Operations Ministerial Authorization (CDO MA). Ellen also leads workshops and presentations for executives, new employees, as well as other government department staff to ensure policy is properly interpreted.

Ellen regularly attends webinars and conferences in Ottawa. After learning many Canadians do no comprehend how or why cyber security is important until they are hacked, Ellen’s desire to write clear and practical policy grew. Ellen believes the MPP program will prepare her to develop policies that improve cyber security for vulnerable communities.

In her spare time, Ellen enjoys rowing, baking, and photography.



Photograph of Max Bell School MPP Student  Sarah Sayani


Sarah A. Sayani

Previous degree: MBA – Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology; BBA (Hons) – Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology

Nationality: Pakistani

Recent work experience: Consultant - Afghanistan-Ministry of Finance Afghanistan; Manager, New Initiatives The First MicroFinanceBank; Assistant Manager Finance - Aga Khan Health Services

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Sarah A. Sayani is a socio-economic development professional with almost seven years working experience with banks, having specialized in microfinance, and with healthcare institutions, where she managed the provision of primary healthcare programmes in remote communities. She has accomplished demonstrable achievements in facilitating strategic collaboration and innovative interventions for economic resilience in war-stricken communities.




Amr Soliman

Previous degree: B.SC in Petroleum Engineering - Texas A&M University; MBA - Swiss Business School

Nationality: Egyptian

Recent work experience: Engineering Researcher - Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting; Energy & Economy Adviser - Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Qatar; Petrophysicist - Schlumberger

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I am a proud Egyptian who left my beloved country at the age of 11 and settled with my family in Qatar. I completed my B.SC in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M in 2012, at which point I started my career by working in the oil industry for three years.

However, I decided to shift my career in 2015 and seize an opportunity to work as an Energy and Economy Adviser at the Korean Embassy in Qatar. It is at the embassy that I widened the scope of my work and gained experience in global energy markets, energy economics and policy, diplomacy, and foreign relations.

After working for the embassy for 4 years, I began working as an industrial researcher; I spent the last year on secondment to the Qatari Ministry of Commerce and Industry working on the ambitious "Qatar National Manufacturing Strategy," aimed at revolutionizing the country's industrial sector.

I enjoy playing and watching all kind of sports (football, basketball, tennis, volleyball, handball, squash, swimming, etc.). I also love travelling and exploring the world, with its various cultures and exciting history.




Nayantara Sudhakar

Previous degree: B.A. in Psychology and Sociology - University of British Columbia

Nationality: Canadian and Indian

Recent work experience:  Support Worker - Atira Women's Resource Society; Community Resource Worker - Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre; Crisis Line Responder - Distress Centre Calgary and Canadian Suicide Prevention Services

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Nayantara Melissa Sudhakar has been fortunate enough to grow up in various regions of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, and North America. Her experiences with different cultures and people have enabled her to build an awareness of intersectionality and its importance in advancing equal opportunities for marginalized individuals. To further understand this, Nayantara completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology.

Eager to apply her knowledge and uncover factors of marginalization at the grassroots level, Nayantara joined non-profit organizations aimed at empowering stigmatized individuals, including those with developmental disabilities and mental health illnesses. In her positions as Support Worker, Community Resource Worker, and Crisis Line Responder, Nayantara worked with individuals to understand their personal goals and consequently leveraged various provincial and federal policies available to assist in their realization. With a passion for social and health policy, she now looks forward to contributing to the creation of global policies promoting accessible mental health support.

And amidst all this, Nayantara likes to immerse herself in dystopian literature, explore the night sky with her telescope, and discover new corners of our planet.




Seira Iwai (Tanaka)

Previous degree: Bachelor of Economics - Hitotsubashi University

Nationality: Japanese

Recent work experience: Deputy Director of International Affairs Office – Postal Services Policy Department.

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Seira Iwai (Tanaka) was born and raised in Japan and currently lives in Tokyo. She has always been fascinated with how public policy can have positive effects on people’s lives. After she completed a bachelor's degree in Economics, she worked for the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services of Japan as a public servant for seven years. She feels that the role of government has become increasingly complicated and diversified, especially in the field of information, communications and technologies. Having participated in international conferences such as the G7 and the G20 as a government official, she is interested in encouraging international cooperation regarding cross-border data flows and privacy policy.

Outside of work, Seira likes playing classical guitar and running marathons.





Noah Turner

Previous degree: B.A. (Hons.) in Criminology and Human Rights - St. Thomas University

Nationality: Canadian

 Recent work experience: Intern - Department of National Defence; Outreach Coordinator - Conservation Council of New Brunswick

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Noah is from Steam Mill, Nova Scotia. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Human Rights from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, and is nearing completion of a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science in England. His dissertation is on Indigenous-specific drug policy solutions pertaining to the opioid crisis in Canada.

During his undergraduate degree, Noah participated in the Students’ Union, Harvard National Model United Nations, an American Moot Court Association competition, and a legal aid mission in rural Panama. He worked with a Member of Parliament – serving on the Fredericton Constituency Youth Council – and held term positions as an Outreach Coordinator and Intern with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Department of National Defence.

Guided by a strong sense of social justice, Noah’s aspiration is to work in Canada’s public sector to positively influence the development of public policy. His other interests include cooking, sports, and travel.





Udita Upadhyay

Previous degree: B.A. in Economics - Banasthali University; MSc. in Economic Development and Policy Analysis - University of Nottingham

Nationality: Indian

Recent work experience: Senior Associate - EY GDS India

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Udita Upadhyay is originally from India but currently lives in Houston, Texas. She has five years of work experience in public policy research and risk management. After graduating from Nottingham she started working with a public policy think tank in India. While in this role, she witnessed – and studied – the failure of a national policy, crippled by flawed implementation and a lack of accountability. She also volunteered for an educational institution for children in a small village in North India.

A zeal to work in the private sector motivated her to move to Risk Management at EY (India). She spent a considerable part of her career with EY, where she worked on numerous projects, helping manage the firm’s risk. She assisted engagement teams to make decisions without compromising regarding compliance policies and the regulatory framework. Udita was been a part of a theatre group while pursuing her undergraduate degree. She is fond of travelling and is a novice painter.





Anil Wasif

Previous degree: H.B.A. Economics - University of Toronto

Nationality: Bangladeshi

Recent work experience: Senior Business Consultant & Advisor - Government of Ontario; Co-Founder - #BacharLorai Movement

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Growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh Anil was exposed to the socioeconomic realities of the global south and wanted to change the status quo in a meaningful way. He moved to Canada in 2013 to study Economics and Political Science at the University of Toronto. During his final year, Anil’s passion for public policy led him to advocate with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, supporting the Ontario150 program and moving on to manage stakeholders at ServiceOntario, the citizen service arm of the Ontario Government.

In 2020, Anil co-authored an article on Digital Social Innovation for the Canadian Science and Policy Centre, reflecting on #BacharLorai – a social movement he co-founded to provide over $100,000 in COVID-19 relief in Bangladesh. He was recently featured by Global Citizen for initiating Toronto Talks Privilege, a non-black project for Black Lives Matter. He believes in grassroots efforts, practices urban photography, and enjoys writing on Sundays.



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Suhara Wijewardane

Previous degree: B.A in Political Science - McGill University

Nationality: Sri Lankan

Recent work experience: Intern, Division of Nuclear Energy - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Communications Intern - United Nations Office For Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

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Suhara Wijewardane was born in Sri Lanka, and has benefitted from an international background, having also lived in Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Austria, the US, and Canada. In 2018 she graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in Political Science with distinction.

Currently Suhara lives in Vienna, Austria, where she completed a year-long internship at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the Division of Nuclear Energy. She assisted in providing practical support on issues of stakeholder engagement to Member States embarking on nuclear power. Prior to that, she worked as a communications intern at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), where she participated in Member State meetings on the development of outer space policy and helped to draft UNOOSA positions.

Suhara is keen to further explore the challenges of policymaking at the international level. In particular, she looks to contribute to policy solutions that support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In her free time Suhara likes to stay active, and enjoys running and playing tennis.



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Yvette Yakibonge

Previous degree: B.A. in Political Science and International Studies - University of Alberta

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Case Processing Officer - Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Case Processing Agent - Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Citizen Services Officer - Ministry of Economic and Social Development Canada

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As the child of parents who immigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yvette has always had a heart for helping immigrant communities in Canada, especially through empowering youth and women. From a young age, Yvette has been involved in her community as a volunteer, particularly for Alliance-Jeunesse-Famille de L’Alberta Society (AJFAS), an organization committed to empowering francophone immigrant families in Edmonton. Yvette was also selected as a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s (CCUNESCO) Youth Advisory Group, where, for over two years she collaborated with other young Canadians on issues concerning youth in Canada. Yvette holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Studies. She has worked as a Public Servant for the Ministry of Economic and Social Development Canada and also for the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, where she is currently employed.

Yvette is easy-going, adventurous, and she also believes herself to be extremely funny. The Amazing Race Canada (Season 4) is among her crazier adventures.




Mikayla Zolis

Previous degree: Bachelor of Business Administration - Brock University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Associate - MaRS Solutions Lab; Coordinator - MaRS Solutions Lab; Organizational Performance Student - Niagara Region; Program Advisor - Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

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Mikayla is a social innovator who bridges research, strategy, and design to address complex urban challenges. After graduating from Brock University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, she moved to Toronto and joined MaRS Solutions Lab, a social innovation lab where she tackled issues such as municipal data governance, transit-oriented affordable housing, and social procurement. She is passionate about sustainability and advancing the role businesses have in generating social and environmental impact. She is equally passionate about equitable city-building through large scale policy change and small scale community-led solutions and activism.

She is born, raised, and currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She has previously worked in provincial and regional government and has volunteered with environmental groups, mutual aid response, food sovereignty, political campaigns, and student leadership clubs. She loves politics, improv, Tetris, and growing, cooking, and eating good food. You can usually find her at one of Hamilton’s parks, trails, or beaches with a good book and some music.



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