Alumni Spotlight: Eugenia Valdez Tamayo, GHD’16

What does GHD mean to you? Eugenia Valdez Tamayo, GHD’16, shares how the Global Human Development Program expanded her understanding of private sector participation in development.

I started working at the Inter-American Development Bank a couple of months after graduating from GHD, happy to be focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. Being born and raised in El Salvador, and having traveled through Latin America, I always knew I wanted to work in the region. I started working on digital analytics – understanding and helping internal clients at the Bank get a snapshot of the Latin American development landscape through data. After a year and a half of working on the digital analysis of development, I am currently working as a consultant in the Digital Economy Initiative, focusing on the digital economy as a key driver of economic growth and poverty reduction in the region.

Headshot of Alumni EugeniaGHD was crucial in helping me understand the constantly evolving development field, and its hands-on approach helped me develop skills that have been very useful in my day-to-day work. My experience with both the Social Enterprise Fellowship and my summer internship with Coca-Cola shaped my understanding of private sector participation in development, which is why I decided to pursue a role where private sector participation is key. My capstone project, also with Coca-Cola, reinforced my experiences in Latin America and with gender inequality in Peru. I still remember some of the case study discussions on Social Enterprise and Impact Investment that challenged my way of thinking about development approaches and have made my work at the IDB easier.

My two years in GHD were extremely fulfilling. I was constantly challenged to improve by my classmates and teachers and being part of such a small cohort created the perfect environment for personal growth. Being in DC gave us front row seats to exciting events and the opportunity to meet new people that were shaping the development field. Looking back on my time at GHD I can say I am lucky to have been part of a program that not only has a human-centered view on development but also the multi-disciplinary background of Georgetown University.

To current GHD students I would say TIME FLIES! Make the most of the experience and enjoy every sleepless night and stressful presentation; those are the ones you learn from the most. To future GHD students I would say TAKE THE LEAP! No matter where you come from or what your background is, you won’t regret the GHD experience.