Parker Essick comes to GHD with an interest in the apex between governance, rural development, and civic engagement, pushing the field to look toward the civic rise of rural populations and ethnic minorities as a foundation for economic development. At GHD, he has focused his research on innovative governance reforms and domestic revenue mobilization, all while boosting his analytical and quantitative proficiencies. Parker graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina with a BA in English and Political Science. While an undergraduate, he studied the intersections between community enterprises (like the literary magazine he helped found) and civic engagement, finding that community organizers’ uses of new media greatly impact political activism in low-income communities. After graduation, Parker served as a TEFL and Teacher Support Specialist with the Peace Corps in Rwanda for two years. His interactions with community leaders and changes agents there while establishing a professional development system for seven local schools solidified his interest in rural civic development. After returning to the United States, Parker joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights as an operational associate, rounding out his interests in the legal interactions between community engagement and human rights while also building his nonprofit management skills. A strong believer of both language and food as the great connectors between different people, Parker is excited to meet and learn from his GHD colleagues and others from around the world.
Class of 2020