MPP Cohort 2023-24

The Max Bell School is thrilled to introduce our 2023-24 Master of Public Policy class, made up of outstanding and diverse individuals from around the world. Meet the members of this year's cohort.

Chloe Aboud 

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, Economics and International Development Studies, McGill University

Nationalities: Lebanese; Canadian

Recent work experience: Senior Associate Consultant Deals, PwC

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Chloe joins the Max Bell school with recent experience as a Mergers and Acquisitions consultant. She completed her undergraduate studies in Economics and International Development Studies during which she conducted research in Education and Youth policy at the American University of Beirut, and research on Syrian newcomers’ experiences in Canada at McGill University.
With this background, and having witnessed the economic crisis unfolding in her home country Lebanon, Chloe is interested in tackling economic development issues and addressing policy gaps related to marginalized communities. She hopes to advance the collaboration of public, private and social actors to contribute to holistic policy solutions that support and revitalize communities making them more resilient in post-crisis contexts.




Pallawi Anand

Previous degree: Bachelor of Engineering, Electronics and Communication, BIT Mesra, Ranchi, India

Nationality: Indian

Recent work experience: Tax Administrator, Indian Revenue Services, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India

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Pallawi Anand is from India and it is her first time in Canada. Pallawi has a 6+ years of work experience & expertise in Indirect Tax Administration and Tax System implementation in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Being a Tax Administrator, her responsibility included collecting, administering, and implementing Indirect Tax policies.

She has worked in variety of fields like Goods and Service Tax, Indian Customs department wherein she was thrilled to work in collaboration with different stakeholders and implementation of laws originating from WTO. Pallawi wants to use the opportunity as MPP candidate to learn tools and strategies to learn effective policy design in areas of Global governance and policy making.

During her leisure time, she likes to travel and try out different cuisines.

Mercy Baidoo

Previous degree: Bachelor of Laws

Nationality: Nigerian

Recent work experience: Project Manager, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)-Pakistan

Fiorella Becerra Ortiz 

Previous degree: Bachelor, Economics, Universidad del Pacífico

Nationality: Peruvian

Recent work experience: Budgeting and Planning Coordinator, Ministry of Education of Peru; Budgeting and Planning Analyst, Ministry of Education of Peru; Business Analyst, Everis (Now NTT Data)

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Fiorella is originally from Lima, Peru. She has a financial planning and management consulting background in the public and private sectors. Her journey in the public sector started in the Ministry of Education of Peru, where she led the team responsible for planning and budgeting strategies for thematics, such as education for special needs, remote education during the COVID-19 pandemic, and programs for high-performance students. Fiorella's commitment extended to volunteer work as a tutor for children of low-income households in Lima, fueling her passion for accomplishing inclusive services. Fiorella aspires to strengthen her experiences by delving into economic, political, and social development issues to continue aiding minorities in Latin America.

Leah Brodovsky

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science, Honours Food Science (Co-op), University of Guelph

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Sales Development Manager, Caldic; Product Developer, Guelph Food Innovation Centre

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Leah grew up in Ontario, where she completed her BSc. Food Science at the University of Guelph. She has spent the past three years living in Montreal and is bilingual in English and French. Leah has professional experience in food and pharmaceutical technical sales as well as food R&D. She is passionate about policy focused on One Health, the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health. In her free time, Leah trains with the McGill Triathlon Club.

Leona Bu

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, political science, University of California-Santa Barbara

Nationality: Chinese

Recent work experience: Research Specialist, Competition Policy Research Center

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Leona's journey began in Shanghai, China, where she was born and raised. Currently residing in Montreal, her diverse experiences have shaped her path. Holding a B.A in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Leona's academic foundation laid the groundwork for her future endeavors. A strategic internship with the United Nations Development Programme broadened her global perspective, inspiring her to pursue an MPP at McGill University. Throughout her professional journey, she has made impactful contributions in fields such as consumer action and social media. Guided by her aspirations for a better world, Leona envisions a career where she can effect meaningful change and leave a positive mark on the world.

Sean Celi

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, Economics, University of British Columbia

Nationality: Filipino 

Recent work experience: Senior Immigration Officer, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada; Policy Analyst and Client Relations Officer, PolicyReporter; Marketing Coordinator, Amplifon Canada

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Sean Celi was born and raised in the Philippines but moved to Canada with his family when he was fifteen. His experience as a youth immigrant fueled his passion for participatory democracy and youth engagement. He has organized Get-Out-The-Youth-Vote campaigns as a member of the Vancouver Hub of World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, mentors newcomer youth through an organization called EdMeCo, and advocates for racialized youth’s inclusion in public decision-making processes as a Co-Lead of the Surrey Youth Newcomer Council.

Currently, he works at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada where he conducts geopolitical and legal research in order to make written and oral submissions to the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division. A graduate of UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics, he hopes to combine his professional and educational backgrounds to solve economic and immigration policy issues.

Tirzah Commey

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, School of Business, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Nationality: Ghanaian

Recent work experience: Teaching Assistant; Travel consultant ( work abroad)

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My name is Tirzah Commey, I am a Ghanaian and have lived all my life in Ghana. Although I have a business administration background, I have garnered an interest in sharing and contributing to development particularly in the area of education and disabled groups. I am eager to study about the building of more inclusive societies.

Clea Corman

Previous degrees: Graduate Certificate, Business Management, Bishop's University; Bachelor of Arts, Clinical Psychology, Bishop's University

Nationality: Canadian 

Recent work experience: Executive Director, Camp Massawippi; Advancement & Programs Manager, Phelps Helps; Community Development Agent, Eastern Townships School Board

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A bilingual Queber, Clea Corman has spent the last nine years working with at-risk youth and has been dedicated to rural community development and youth engagement. As a board member of a social pediatrics clinic and the Executive Director of a non-profit, Clea has advocated for accessible services and cultivated impact partnerships to foster community well-being and vitality. She has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by vulnerable populations and is passionate about supporting initiatives that make those exceptional populations shine. Clea hopes to contribute to inclusive and equitable policy in the fields of education, health and social services, helping policy makers better understand the barriers to accessing services.

Anita Dernovici

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Political Science, International Relations, with Minor in Law, Carleton University

Nationalites: Canadian; Moldavian 

Recent work experience: Manager Privacy Policy, Transport Canada; A/Chief Privacy Policy, Transport Canada; Senior Analyst Access to Information and Privacy, Public Sector Pension Investment Board

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Anita, a Manager in Privacy Policy, at Transport Canada, leads a team of privacy professionals responsible for ensuring compliance with privacy laws and applicable directives. Most notably, she made significant contributions by providing expert privacy guidance on all vaccination policies related to federally-regulated air, train, and rail transportation. Born in Moldova and raised in Montreal from a young age, Anita holds a degree in Political Science with a Law Minor from Carleton University. Her professional journey includes contributions at CSC, PSPC, TC and PSP Investments, mainly within the field of Access to Information and Privacy. As a pioneering female leader within the Federal Government, Anita is resolute in advancing equity and impartiality within institutional frameworks. Amid the evolving global landscape driven by disruptive technologies such as generative AI and cryptocurrencies, she envisions a future founded on just principles, safeguarding individual and collective well-being.

Teodora Durca

Previous degrees: Honours Bachelor of Arts With Distinction, Ethics, Society, and Law and Urban Studies, University of Toronto - St. George Campus; Graduate Certificate in Government Relations Management, Seneca College at York University

Nationalities: Canadian; Romanian 

Recent work experience: Research Associate - Environment Practice, Sussex Strategy Group; Digital Content Specialist, Public Outreach Fundraising Group; Student Recruitment Coordinator, Seneca College

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Teodora is an experienced government relations consultant, policy researcher, and advocacy writer. Prior to joining McGill, Teodora worked as a Research Associate in the Environment Practice at Sussex Strategy Group, where she provided strategic public affairs counsel, policy monitoring and analysis, and lobbying services to clients in clean technology, energy, and resource recovery sectors at both the federal and provincial government level. She has also provided communications and strategic support for political and digital advocacy campaigns. To support her formal post-graduate training in government relations, as well as her academic work in ethics, social, legal, and urban studies, Teodora is excited to join McGill to learn more about policy solutions for pressing environmental and social issues, and how to advocate effectively for innovators and communities.

Arwa W. Emhemed

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts

Nationality: Libyan

Recent work experience: Peer Advisor, Office of International Programs

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Arwa Emhemed is a Libyan student who graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Political Studies. Throughout her academic journey and professional experiences, she has developed strong research skills, including analytical writing and data collection and analysis. Her research focuses on the socio-political situation in Libya, particularly the civil war's impact on women and its induced gender-based violence. She is looking forward to learning more about policy making and joining a diverse group of graduate students who will enrich her experience as she wishes to formulate policy recommendations for improving women's rights in Libya and the MENA region. She hopes that this academic path will provide her with a unique perspective to compare policies in the MENA region with the ones adopted in the North.

Abdul-Hakim Fuseini

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of Ghana,Legon

Nationality: Ghanaian 

Recent work experience: Financial Analyst, One Billion Africa; Financial Analyst, The Vaultz Media; Teaching and Research Assistant, University of Ghana Business School

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Abdul-Hakim starts his graduate studies with the Max Bell School of Public Policy after working in the finance industry for 3+ years. After graduating from the University of Ghana with first-class honors, he was given the distinctive chance to work as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Ghana Business School, where he taught and conducted research in the areas of finance, accounting, and auditing.
The highly esteemed Vaultz Media House then hired Abdul-Hakim to analyze economic and financial data and trends for news reporting and to carry out research on the financial sector in Africa.
Presently, He volunteers as a Financial Analyst for One Billion Africa, a Non-Governmental Organization that promotes social and political change in Africa by supporting community-level problem-solving. His role includes providing financial recommendations on various charity and problem-solving endeavors that the organization can undertake to help underprivileged members of the community while staying within its financial limits.
Abdul-Hakim hopes to use the public policy degree he will obtain from McGill University to collaborate with business, government, and non-profit organizations to create policies that support businesses and address policy gaps.

Gagan Gill

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Manitoba

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Research Associate, Carleton University; Research Associate, University of Manitoba

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Despite the frigid winters, Gagan is proud to call Winnipeg, Manitoba (Treaty 1 Territory), and by extension, the prairies, her home. She is a first-generation university graduate, receiving her B.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Over the years, Gagan has been heavily involved in health research and worked as a research associate at both the University of Manitoba and Carleton University. She is a strong proponent of community organizing and is involved in grassroots initiatives supporting Prairie Asians. Gagan’s research and policy interests include aging, palliative care, and environmental and occupational health.

Aislinn Hagan

Previous degree: Bachelor of Public Affairs & Policy Management, Carleton University

Nationality: Canadian 

Recent work experience: Program & Project Coordinator, Indigenous Services Canada;  Junior Policy Analyst, Indigenous Services Canada

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Aislinn Hagan is from Brantford, Ontario but has lived the past 5 years of her life in Ottawa, Ontario while pursing her undergrad and professional opportunities concurrently. She has worked within the federal government for 4 years, and has a diverse background in both national and international policy issues. As a young, Indigenous woman, Aislinn recognizes the impacts of effective policymaking on all areas of life and community. Having extensive experience working within community settings, as well as within government, Aislinn has grown to appreciate the importance of both top-down and bottom-up policy creation, and the practical skillset that ensures the development and implementation of transformative policy. As such, Aislinn is particularly excited about expanding her policy toolbox and obtaining the skills to create effective and sustainable socio-economic policies.

Soomin Han

Previous degree: Bachelor of Environmental Studies - Policy and Law, University of Manitoba

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Programs Lead, Youth Climate Lab; Parliamentary Intern, GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship for the Environment; Intern, UN Climate Change - Adaptation Division 

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Driven by her passion for climate justice, Soomin is committed to working towards a more equitable and climate-resilient future at the intersections of policy, art, and advocacy. As the Programs Lead at Youth Climate Lab, she supports youth across the world to build capacity and lead climate solutions. She has led efforts to advance climate justice and equitable decision-making spaces both nationally and internationally by developing UN Climate Change Adaptation Division's youth engagement strategy, leading a climate motion during her time working on Parliament Hill, serving on the board of directors for The Starfish Canada and CPAWS MB, and acting as the North American representative on the Global Center on Adaptation’s CEO Youth Advisory Panel. With her work rooted in intersectionality, youth engagement, and community, she was named Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 in Canada.

Jillian Hayden

Previous degree: Bachelor of Business Administration, Advanced Major in Finance with a Minor in Economics, St. Francis Xavier University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Research Assistant, Centre Haïtian du Leadership et de L'Excellence; Livelihood Fund Monitor, The Self Employed Women's Association; President, The Schwartz Business Society

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Jillian is a recent graduate from St. Francis Xavier University, completing an Advanced Major in Finance with a Minor in Economics.

Passionate about economic inclusion, she has conducted research with the Self-Employed Women's Association and the Centre Haïtian du Leadership et de L'Excellence through the Coady International Institute.

During her undergrad, she also served on the board of the Halifax Helpers and created an accessible job application guide for women in domestic abuse shelters. She has worked in the areas of affordable finance structures, asset allocation, and education accessibility. This year, she looks forward to obtaining the critical knowledge and skills from the MPP program to make meaningful contributions nationally and globally.

Nina Hernández Jayme

Previous degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Government, The University of Texas at Austin; Bachelor of Arts, Rhetoric and Writing, The University of Texas at Austin; Associate, Venn Strategies

Nationality: Mexican 

Recent work experience: Subdirector, The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks; Project Analyst, Municipal Institute for Planning and Competitiveness; 

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Nina Hernandez is from Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, and holds a double major in Government and Rhetoric and Writing from The University of Texas at Austin. She has experience working in the private and public sectors in both the United States and Mexico. Her passions lie in development, digitalization, and multilateral alliances with international organizations. With a mission to create strong alliances, she has worked as a political consultant in Washington, D.C. for international clients in the fields of engineering, pharmaceuticals, and technology. She has also been involved in outreach efforts for urban policies at the local urban planning department in her state. For her most recent job, Nina was a subdirector for the federal health regulatory agency in Mexico, where she was closely involved with authorizations, permits, and international equivalence agreements for the release of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. In her free time, she enjoys doing pottery and hiking.

Jibril Hussein

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, University of Winnipeg

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Policy and Regional Advisor, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; Community Engagement Specialist, Liberal Party of Canada; Policy Assistant, Minister of Science and Sport

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Jibril grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry. Before joining the Max Bell School, Jibril worked as a Policy and Regional Advisor to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. He also was an advisor to the Minister of Science and Sport. With his background in health and social policy, data analysis, and human rights, Jibril is interested in developing robust public policy solutions that uplift and empower marginalized communities locally and globally. He looks forward to gaining the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to tackle the world’s most pressing issues through public policy.

Guadalupe Jolicoeur

Previous degree: BA Applied Science - Latin American Studies, Communications, SFU

Nationalities: Canadian; Argentinian 

Recent work experience: CEO, Midwives Association of BC; Communications Consultant, Project Manager for Recording Artists

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Guadalupe (Ganga) Jolicoeur is originally from Buenos Aires Argentina, but moved to Canada in the late 70's with her family. Guadalupe is returning to higher education after a 2 decade break during which she worked in both the non-profit and private sectors in areas as diverse as women's reproductive health, conservation and artist management. Guadalupe's interest in the MPP program is to deepen her understanding of global, health and immigration policy to contribute further to improving the lives of Canadians within a global environment.

Dara Joyce

Previous degree: International Relations, focus on Japan/East Asia

Nationalities: Irish; American 

Recent work experience: Public Policy/Demand Gen Manager at Quorum Inc

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Dara Joyce is originally from County Clare, Republic of Ireland, but moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to pursue a B.A in International Studies with a minor in Japanese. In 2017, he moved to Washington DC to work in the public policy space, focused on the role technology plays in moving the needle on US federal policy. Dara is passionate about studying the role of income inequality and how it shapes the sociopolitical landscape of the USA, especially as it relates to LGBTQIA+ communities.

Raihana Sayeeda Kamal

Previous degrees: MA in English Language Teaching, English, East West University; BA in English, Literature, Stamford University Bangladesh

Nationality: Bangladeshi

Recent work experience: Research Communications Manager, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development

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Raihana Sayeeda Kamal is originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh. With a background in development communications, qualitative research, and journalism. Raihana has a diverse experience in the field of climate change, environmental policy, gender and digital finance. Raihana is interested in contributing to social policy changes in developing country context. Particularly, Raihana is thrilled to be equipped with policy analytical skills necessary to conduct policy evaluations and bring a lasting change in social policy.

Colleen Keilty

Previous degrees: Graduate Diploma, Social Responsibility and Sustainability, University of Toronto; Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, University of Toronto

Nationality: Canadian 

Recent work experience: Manager, Audit and Evaluation, Women and Gender Equality Canada; Senior Evaluator, Government of Canada; Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, Plan International Canada

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Colleen hails from Toronto, Ontario (Treaty 13), where she obtained a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, from the University of Toronto. Colleen joins the Max Bell School 2023/24 cohort with over a decade of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, including her current role as Manager of Audit and Evaluation for Women and Gender Equality Canada. Colleen is particularly interested in how government, private sector, and civil society actors can mobilize to advance social and environmental justice.

Rebecca Kresta

Previous degree: Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Logistics Team Leader, Médecins Sans Frontières, South Sudan; Operations Cell Leader, GE Aviation, Canada; Technical Logistics Manager, Medecins Sans Frontiers, South Sudan

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Rebecca recently returned from South Sudan where she was working in a remote area to build a large medical clinic. Prior to working for Médecins Sans Frontiers she was running an 80-person operations team manufacturing commercial engine parts for GE Aviation in the Eastern Townships. Rebecca is passionate about international development and has witnessed the importance of infrastructure in allowing communities to flourish. She wants to learn how public policy can be used to answer the questions that challenge our generation.

Michael Kynaston

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, History, University of Warwick

Nationality: British 

Recent work experience: Participation and Communities Manager, Barking and Dagenham Council; Policy Officer, Barking and Dagenham Council; Democracy and Development Officer, Warwick Student's Union

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Michael is from London, United Kingdom. He has worked as a Participation and Communities manager for Barking and Dagenham council in London, engaging directly with local residents, community partners and elected officials. Michael is passionate about education policy and has good experience of participation and engagement work, but is excited about the variety of the MPP course, and being able to study such topics as global macroeconomics and budgeting and fiscal policy in all of their complexity.

Ian Lupton

Previous degree:  Bachelor of Arts (Honors), Government, University of Texas Austin

Nationality: American; Canadian

Recent work experience: Executive Assistant to the Deputy City Manager, City of Cambridge; Executive Secretary, Ontario Heritage Trust; Production Assistant, Texas State Legislature

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Ian is a dual Canadian/US citizen originally from Vancouver, British Columbia and has lived, studied and worked in both Canada and the United States. Ian has diverse public sector experience working in legislative, provincial and municipal governments and has a broad range of interests including housing, the design and use of public space, and strategic communications.

Elsie Mares

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Loyola Marymount University

Nationality: American

Recent work experience: Policy and Programs Associate at Peace Direct; Herbert Scoville Peace Fellow

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Elsie Mares, originally from California, United States worked in Washington DC as a Policy and Programs Associate with Peace Direct prior to attending Max Bell. Elsie works across the US Advocacy Team and the International Programs Team to advance Peace Direct’s partner’s advocacy priorities, develop partnerships and program proposals with local peacebuilders, and support research and policymaking around the localization agenda. In Washington D.C, Elsie is affiliated with the Herbert Scoville Peace Fellowship, Foreign Policy for America’s NextGen Initative, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, and is an endorsed Progressive Talent Pipeline young professional. 

She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University where she served as Student Body Vice President, leading initiatives focused on equity and inclusion. Throughout her undergraduate career, she interned with EMILY’s List, the UK Parliament, and LMU’s Global Policy Institute. She also previously worked with the United Farmworkers Foundation and continues to be involved with grassroots efforts to serve immigrant workers in the US. Elsie is thrilled to pursue her passion for addressing and preventing displacement through policy and programs work toward a world without violent conflict.

Maeve McGuire

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and History, McGill University

Nationality: American

Recent work experience: Program Administrator, Come on Out Japan; 

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Maeve McGuire is a recent graduate from McGill University, obtaining a Joint Honours degree in Political Science and History. She joins the Max Bell School with a strong background in academic research and statistical analysis.

Maeve is particularly interested in public policy related to education, technology, and international relations. This has been further fostered by her experience working as a program administrator for Come on Out Japan, where she led teams of teachers in delivering a cross-cultural curriculum that discusses global issues such as climate change with middle school, high school, and college students.

She looks forward to combining theoretical and practical knowledge to tackle public policy issues in her studies.

Sarahí Nava Marquina

Previous degree: Bachelor of Economics (Honours); Diploma in Public Affairs from IESA School of Management, OAS School of Governance and Institute Ortega y Gasset

Nationalities: Mexican; Venezuelan 

Recent work experience: ESG Project Manager, Vector Casa de Bolsa; Financial Analyst, Vector Casa de Bolsa; International Economy Analyst, Vector Casa de Bolsa

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Sarahí is an economist from Mérida, Venezuela. She has led student organizations, arranged national and local conferences with top Venezuelan economists and coordinated international student exchanges. Sarahí has lived in Canada, Poland and Mexico, participating in cultural and professional exchanges. She immigrated to Mexico in 2016 to work as an International Economy Analyst in a Mexican brokerage firm, where she also worked in corporate finance. Later on, she shifted her career focus and became an ESG Project Manager, developing initiatives on education and gender equality. Most recently, she received a Diploma in Public Affairs from IESA School of Management (Venezuela), in partnership with OAS School of Governance and Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset (Spain), achieving the highest grade among 52 selected participants. Finally, Sarahí is interested in creating policies to empower women and widen educational access to everyone.

Francis Kwesi Padi

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science, Development Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Nationality: Ghanaian

Recent work experience: Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

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Francis Kwesi Padi originates from Akosombo, Ghana. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Development Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He is passionate about public policy, urban and regional planning, data science and project management. He envisions himself working in diverse settings such as government agencies, international organizations, or research institutions, where he can leverage his skills to develop data-driven policies and programs that address social and economic inequalities, promote sustainable development, and improve public service delivery.

Emily Peden

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of Waterloo

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Jr. Policy Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Education

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While in university, Emily completed four internships including one as a Jr. Policy Analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Education where she gained hands-on experience in the policy development process, sparking her interest in a policy career.


Through the study and practice of public policy, she aspires to address the systemic barriers to social and environmental justice and promote inclusive practices in policy development.

Adrita Rahman

Previous degrees: Masters in Applied Economics, Economics, BRAC University; Bachelor of Science, Economics, BRAC University

Nationality: Bangladeshi

Recent work experience: Research Associate, Brac James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University

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Adrita Rahman is a public health researcher with three years of experience in ethnographic and qualitative research. With a background in Economics, her research interests include income and inequality, migration, gender, sexual and reproductive health, urban poverty, governance, and health services in urban informal settlements, adolescent health, health policy, use of social media and digital technology, climate change, and its impact on health and well-being.

She is particularly interested to learn about program evaluation. Adrita wishes to adopt a policy mindset to make community-centric policy changes in the global South where she has been born and brought up. Prior to working as a Research Associate at BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, she worked as a communications manager, campaign planner, content writer, and project coordinator. Adrita enjoys traveling, writing, and karaoke.

Joyce Selby

Previous degree: Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Ashesi University

Nationality: Ghanaian 

Recent work experience: Faculty Intern, Entrepreneurship Capstone, Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University

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Joyce Selby is from Winneba, Ghana and has a BSc in Business Administration from Ashesi University. She serves as a faculty intern with the Business Administration Department at Ashesi University.

Joyce’s motivation to pursue a graduate degree in public policy stems from her experience as a low-income student who faced significant challenges accessing higher education. She is passionate about promoting fairness and inclusivity through effective policymaking. Inspired by her experiences, she decided to further her education at the Max Bell School of Public Policy. With a specific focus on education and women’s rights, Joyce aspires to develop policies that prioritize the needs of low-income communities through her social venture, The Aketesia Boafo Foundation.

Abdel Sherif

Previous degree: Bachelors of Arts, Business Administration, Graceland University; MBA, Global Management, ESLSCA University

Nationality: Egyptian

Recent work experience: Management Consultant at Deloitte Middle East

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Abdelrahman Sherif is originally from Cairo, Egypt. with a background of Management consulting, Abdelrahman was able to contribute to wide range of transformational and strategic projects that witness the impact of public policy and its implication first hand in the MENA Region.

Asha Sivarajah

Previous degree:  Media, Information, and Technoculture, Western University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience:  Communications Specialist, Canadian International Council; Research Delegate, Environmental Crises in El Salvador;  Faculty Liaison, Faculty of Information and Media Studies Student Council

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Asha holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Media, Information, and Technoculture from Western University. She began her policy journey while working as the Faculty Liaison on her student council, where she worked with administrative stakeholders to advance funding initiatives and democratize access to student equipment. Her passion for community-driven development and democratic reform was cemented during a research trip to El Salvador, where she investigated issues of water scarcity and pesticide contamination.

Since completing her degree, Asha has worked at the Canadian International Council (CIC) and coordinated the relaunch of award-winning foreign policy publication, Open Canada. Most recently, she worked at a Toronto-based asset management firm.

Asha now seeks to leverage her research and advocacy experience to design policies that help advance human rights protections, particularly in the data & technology sector.

Krystina Sorensen

Previous degree: BSocSc (Honours), Criminology and minor in Psychology (French immersion), University of Ottawa

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Policy Analyst, Partnership Development and Management Directorate, Service Canada/ Employment and Social Development Canada; Research Assistant, Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR), Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre; Support worker, John Howard Society of Ottawa

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Krystina Sorensen's lifelong passion for human rights has guided her academic pursuits at the University of Ottawa, where she gained invaluable insights into the intersection of criminal justice and mental health. Building on her knowledge, she has actively engaged with various public and non-profit sector organizations in Ottawa, Ontario.

In her most recent role as a policy analyst in the Centre of Expertise for Partnerships at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), a key focus of her policy team is the strategic development, implementation, and oversight of service delivery partnership framework and activities. Notably, she has provided service expertise for partnerships, including, but not limited to, the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative, and the recently announced Budget 2023 Canada Dental Care Plan.

Driven by a desire to expand her understanding of complex policy systems, Krystina is eager to join the prestigious Max Bell School MPP Program. With her vast experience and skills, she aims to address the barriers hindering access to social services and advance human rights policies.

Adam Alykhan Suleman

Previous degree: Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours w/ Distinction), Management Information Systems & Finance, Simon Fraser University

Nationality: Canadian

Recent work experience: Business Analyst II, TELUS; Business Analyst, Teck Resources Limited; Department of Highways and Public Works Intern, Government of Yukon

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Adam Alykhan Suleman is from Vancouver, British Columbia, where he graduated as a Dean's Honour Roll recipient from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours with Distinction) in Management Information Systems and Finance. Focused on the intersection of health, business and technology for social impact, Adam worked as a Business Analyst with TELUS' digital health division and Teck Resources' RACE21 innovation-driven business transformation program. He additionally holds experience in government having worked for the Government of Yukon in which he prepared an analysis that was used to brief ministers on transportation-related issues brought up in the legislature. With numerous experiences in community-based leadership, Adam is committed to catalyzing social change and fostering community cohesion through his engagements.

Jamil Tanimu

Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts, Social Work and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Nationality: Ghanaian

Recent work experience: Programme Officer, ActionAid Ghana; Program Assistant, Local Governance Network, LOGNet; Executive Director, Nectar of Hope for Children Foundation

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Jamil is a dedicated advocate for the development of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in conflict areas and rural communities. Growing up in a conflict zone himself, he has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by women and children in rural-communities and is committed to improving their access to public services. With a background in Social Work and Political Studies, Jamil founded the Nectar of Hope Foundation, which has provided educational support to thousands of children in Ghana.

He has 6 years’ work experience with civil society organizations where he successfully led projects that promoted women empowerment, social justice and poverty eradication. He contributed to the development of the National Decentralization Policy in Ghana as a member of the Inter-ministerial-coordinating committee.

Keen on developing his knowledge in public policy, he has published research papers and numerous articles on social policy in Ghana. He is joining MaxBell as a Mastercard-Foundation Scholar.


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