Student Profiles

Class of 2017

Marion Abboud, GHD '17

Marion Abboud, recipient of GHD 17’s Carol Lancaster Scholarship, began her development career at Women’s Campaign International where she focused on gender development in conflict and post conflict zones, designing, implementing, and managing their flagship MENA and Balkans programs. At the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, Marion designed, launched, and directed the Institute of Regional and International Studies, a think tank focused on key challenges to social and economic development. She also directly supported refugee and IDP aid and assistance efforts in Iraq’s Sulaimaniya governorate. At Georgetown, Marion has deepened her knowledge base in gender, children and youth, migration, education and human capital development, as well as her skills in program design, implementation, M&E, and management. Interning at Relief International’s DC headquarters, she supported the development and monitoring of their Iraq programs. Last summer she worked with Columbia Global Centers in Amman, Jordan developing programs on refugee integration and gender based violence. Currently, she is working with Ipsos Public Affairs to develop new methods of evaluating women’s leadership programs, and consults for Kiron Open Higher Education to assess the feasibility of their blended online-offline refugee education programs in Lebanon and Iraq. Marion is also a Board Member for the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) where she supports their programming and fundraising efforts. She speaks French and Spanish, and is proficient in Arabic, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Communications and Public Service.

Rayah Al-Farah, GHD '17

Rayah Al-Farah completed her undergraduate education at Wellesley College where she majored in Economics, focusing on development and globalization. Following graduation, Rayah worked at International Relief and Development - a nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of communities emerging from conflicts or natural disasters – where she assisted in managing the Crisis Response programming in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Ukraine. Other relevant experience prior to joining GHD include working with Envision Consulting Group – a Jordan-based economic consulting and research firm – where Rayah contributed to research relating to the privatization of water, electricity, and telecommunication, and impact of the Syrian crisis on Jordan’s economy. While at GHD, Rayah worked for FHI360’s Workforce Development team, contributing to a paper that discussed the roots of youth unemployment. Last summer she worked with the World Bank in Amman, Jordan conducting research and analysis on the various political economy factors associated with the outbreak of civil wars in several Arab countries in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Currently, Rayah is consulting for Kiron Open Higher Education on how to firmly establish their operations in the MENA to deliver online and digital education to refugees and vulnerable locals within the host communities. She is also working as a research assistant for Dr. Ishrat Husain, assisting in the editing and organization of a study that investigates the relationship between institutions of governance and economic and social development in Pakistan. Rayah is from Jordan, and speaks Arabic, English, and Spanish.

Soham Banerji, GHD '17

Soham Banerji, an experienced Program Manager and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) specialist, joined Georgetown’s Global Human Development program after working on international development projects for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State (DOS), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the US Small Business Administration (SBA). With family roots in New Delhi and Calcutta, Soham grew up as a young expatriate in Dubai. He was awarded the Kofi Annan International Scholarship and graduated from Macalester College with a double major in Economics and International Studies. Soham’s work in M&E since, has allowed him to engage with individuals and projects world-wide, including Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Nigeria, Philippines, and Ukraine. He has served as Secretary and Board Member of Anka Rising, a non-profit, with a mission to combat and eradicate modern day slavery. His research interests in enhancing public private partnerships and exploring the interface between M&E and ICT has allowed him to engage with a wide variety of public and private sector organizations. Through his work, Soham has conducted a research study on millennials’ expectations and preferences around coaching in the workplace for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), he has implemented an electronic real-time tablet based population survey across Liberia for USAID's Feed the Future Initiative as well as assisted The Coca-Cola Company in the development of an e-Learning mobile platform and M&E strategy for their 5by20 Women’s Empowerment Initiative in Jakarta, Indonesia. For his Capstone project, Soham is working with a USAID-funded Kenyan start-up enterprise, M-Fodder, on their business strategy to connect smallholder livestock farmers to high-quality hydroponically grown fodder. Soham is currently working with the World Bank’s Development Economics – Global Indicators Group in Washington DC on measuring country progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. He is currently serving as a program representative on Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service Graduate Student Council and has served as Director of Strategy for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. He is fluent in Hindi and proficient in Bengali.

Celeste Carano, GHD '17

Celeste Carano joined GHD after five years working on education initiatives worldwide. She is passionate about expanding opportunities for children, as well as health and gender equity, both overseas and in the U.S. While at GHD, Celeste has pursued coursework in monitoring and evaluation to better understand what “works” to create change. After her first year, she spent the summer working on a randomized control trial studying learning in low cost private schools in Kenya, and her capstone project is examining use of evidence informed policy making in Ghana and Kenya. Before continuing her studies, Celeste led program strategy and development with More Than Me in Monrovia, Liberia, on its girls’ education programs and the 2014 Ebola response. Celeste also previously worked at Teach For All, supporting both fundraising for its work on international education equity and business plan development for educational entrepreneurs around the world. A serial volunteer, she has also worked in DC public schools, taught ESL, and counseled sexual assault survivors. Celeste holds a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University’s Elliot School. She is always trying to become a better Spanish speaker and is enjoying learning Portuguese  

Talia Dweck, GHD '17

Talia Dweck joins the GHD program after working as a Program and Development Manager for the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy arm of the Global Fund, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends). At Friends, Talia helped to build a network of U.S. companies dedicated to supporting the Global Fund’s fundraising and lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining Friends, Talia worked as a Development Assistant at the GlobalGiving Foundation, a charity fundraising organization that provides non-profits across the world the opportunity to raise money to accomplish their missions. Talia’s interest in international development and global health started when she spent over a year in Cape Town, South Africa, working for Grassroot Soccer (GRS), an organization that uses the power of soccer to educate youth about HIV/AIDS. While there, Talia piloted GRS’s first all-girls soccer league that educated young girls about HIV/AIDS prevention and female empowerment. Talia graduated from Emory University where she received a B.A. in International Studies and played on the Women’s Varsity Soccer team. In her spare time, Talia coaches two premier girls soccer teams in Montgomery Country.  

Victorino Floro, GHD '17

Victorino Floro IV completed his undergraduate education at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines where he graduated with a B.A. cum laude from the honors program in Economics and a minor in Development Management. While attending the Ateneo de Manila, Victorino was active in community outreach programs and spent his junior term abroad in France. After graduation, he had a stint as a metals and mining analyst for an American financial services firm before working with a USAID-funded program in the Philippines focused on increasing the competitiveness of key industries. His experience includes research and development of road maps and national policies for industrial development, and the implementation of a seaweeds/carrageenan value chain development program in the province of Palawan. Victorino is interested in the relationship between economic development and environmental sustainability, and plans on specializing in Environment and Climate while at Georgetown. 

Ariel Gandolfo, GHD '17

During his time in the GHD program, Ari has concentrated on governance issues like corruption, public service delivery, and democratic participation. He seeks to identify best practices in foreign aid and development policy, and spent last summer at the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development, leading a research project on Brazil’s foreign aid model. He recently collaborated with the U.S. State Department on policy options to support the democratic transition in Myanmar, and has also spent nearly a year working with DAI and the Global Development Lab at USAID to support and assess the eight Grand Challenges for Development, competition-based initiatives to incentivize more actors to participate in solving the most urgent issues to global poverty. Ari’s final capstone project will examine how federal governments in Ghana and Kenya are integrating data and evidence into national development policies. Before joining GHD, Ari studied international relations and economics at Pomona College, and spent the next three and a half years managing education and health programs in Honduras, Indonesia, and Mozambique with a Davis Projects for Peace grant, Fulbright Fellowship, and service in the U.S. Peace Corps.

Kyle Goeckner-Wald, GHD '17

Kyle Goeckner-Wald graduated from Swarthmore College with high honors where he studied political science, public policy, and Arabic. Proficient in Arabic, he has lived throughout the Middle East in a variety of professional and academic capacities. Prior to GHD, Kyle worked at an international development consulting firm where he administered a stabilization project in a post-conflict Middle Eastern country. His primary interest at Georgetown is development in the broader Middle East - particularly the intersection of public policy and social development.

James Graham, GHD '17

Jimmy Graham studied International Relations and Spanish at the University of South Carolina. Following graduation, he joined the Peace Corps as an education volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where he worked as an elementary school teacher, organized community education initiatives, facilitated citizenship acquisition for undocumented peoples, and led the establishment of youth sports leagues in the municipality. While living in the Dominican Republic, he became fluent in Spanish and conversational in Haitian Creole. At Georgetown, he has become proficient in French and has focused on the political economy of development and quantitative methods. This past summer, he led the data collection process for a research project in Rwanda. He is currently working as a consultant with the World Bank to make the case for shifting investment towards early grade reading projects. Following graduation he hopes to continue working on quantitative and experimental research projects, and eventually pursue a PhD in political science.

Stefan Grundmann, GHD '17

Stefan Grundmann joins the GHD program after working for nonprofits and social enterprises for over 5 years. After graduating college, Stefan co-founded a sustainable waste management company that specializes in turning organic “waste” into high-grade nitrogen-rich compost. He proceeded to join Population Services International where he was particularly intrigued by their private sector approach to provide life-saving products and services that allow the world's most vulnerable populations to live healthy lives and plan the families they desire. During his 3 years at PSI, Stefan directly supported PSI's operations in Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar and managed projects funded by USAID, DFID, BMGF and The Global Fund among others. Stefan graduated from Dartmouth College in 2010 with a BA in African Studies. He lived 7 very formative years of his youth in Rwanda and Morocco and studied abroad during college in Kenya. He has also spent considerable time working and travelling in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. At Georgetown, Stefan hopes to focus on private sector solutions to alleviating poverty as well as innovative financing mechanisms such as Development Impact Bonds. 

Upoma Antara Husain, GHD '17

Upoma Antara Husain is a development professional from Bangladesh with experience in microfinance and international project management. At GHD, her academic focus is social enterprise, agriculture, and quantitative methods. She is a Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellow. She spent her summer in rural Kenya as a Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow with BOMA, an NGO working with women living in extreme poverty. She is currently working with World Cocoa Foundation on their cocoa farm renovation and rehabilitation effort in West Africa. Before Joining GHD, she was working in Yangon, Myanmar with BRAC, one of the world's largest NGOs. She helped BRAC launch a new microfinance program in Myanmar. She primarily worked on developing business model, analyzing and forecasting financial sustainability, and networking with different stakeholders to find potential partners for collaboration and fundraising. Prior to joining BRAC Myanmar in 2013, she worked for BRAC's Microfinance program and BRAC Bank's SME department in Bangladesh. Upoma holds a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) degree in Finance from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Matthew Johnson, GHD '17

Matthew Johnson discovered a passion for international development through a series of courses at Bucknell University and decided to act on it by joining the Peace Corps.  Demonstrating an interest in the Latin America & Caribbean region, he was assigned to Honduras and developed an identity as a health/youth volunteer, first in a town near the Caribbean coast and later in a rural village off the western border.  Upon completing his service, he was awarded an internship with USAID/Honduras and supported the mission’s Health, Population & Nutrition and Strategy & Program Support offices. During this time, his efforts were focused on supporting the oversight of HIV/AIDS and citizen security program activities, as well as the strategic coordination within and among the mission’s offices.  Most recently, Matt worked with a USAID-funded project providing technical assistance to Global Fund grant recipients. His primary role was to support the project in steering the organizational development of regional partners and, through training, maintaining its pool of well-prepared consultants.     

Sean Kelly, GHD '17

Sean Kelly graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Saint Joseph’s University in 2009 with a B.A. in International Relations. While an undergraduate, he researched the impact of microfinance on the peacebuilding process in postconflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. This developed his interest in refugees and internally displaced persons. For the last five years, Sean worked in a variety of roles for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA in Washington, DC. Initially, he contributed to advocacy on South Sudan and created an online resource for immigration detention chaplains. Since 2012, he has assumed increasing responsibility for the management of grants from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Over the last three years, Sean developed proposals and managed the financial and program reporting for multiple PRM awards, totaling more than $6 million for JRS initiatives in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Panama, and Thailand. In addition, he provided extensive support on programmatic and financial matters for non-food item distributions inside Syria. He collaborated with counterparts in every JRS Regional Office on the implementation of major gifts and private restricted donations ranging from $5,000 to over $300,000 for education, health, livelihoods, pastoral, and psychosocial interventions. Sean visited projects in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. He is primarily interested in the provision of education to refugees and internally displaced persons in humanitarian emergencies. Sean is proficient in Italian.  

Priscilla Lekalkuli, GHD '17

Priscilla joined the Global Human Development Program after working as a project coordinator for The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) at Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF). At GETF, Priscilla supported the project managers in different activities on project development, implementation, monitoring and close-out. She contributed to enabling the RAIN program increase access to improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene for over 2MM in more than 35 countries in Africa. She was also involved in the development and implementation of the youth economic empowerment strategy through the RAIN program. She also supported the monitoring of the number of women economically empowered through the RAIN program. At Georgetown, Priscilla took classes focused on understanding the role of the private sector in poverty alleviation. In a bid to hone her quantitative skills and advance understanding evidence based decision making, Priscilla took impact analysis and advanced econometrics classes. To get a practical understanding of the different skills, Priscilla completed a two months internship at UN Women Rwanda country office where she supported the Women Economic Empowerment program manager in donor mapping and monitoring of the newly launched Buy From Women (BFW) platform project. She helped supervise eight enumerators in registering more than 500 farmers and measuring their plots of lands. She continues to support UN Women in developing a business model that will enable BFW reach scale in Rwanda. She hopes to pursue a career in project monitoring and evaluation after graduation.

Shane Mulligan, GHD '17

Shane Mulligan's work at a center for nutrition for children in Honduras and experience with youth and village communities in Belize led him to pursue a degree in Latin American Studies and Philosophy at Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, he taught English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to immigrants and religious education to youth in the Bronx. Additionally, he studied Spanish at the University of Central America in Managua, and political sciences at the Pontifical University Javeriana in Bogotá. In Central America and Colombia, he worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service and various youth development groups. After a year teaching Spanish and theology in Kansas City, he moved to Washington, DC, and worked as a paralegal at a business immigration law firm for two years.  

Eileen Ng Fábrega, GHD '17

Eileen Ng Fábrega was born and raised in Panama City, Panama and graduated with a Marketing Direction Degree from Universidad del Istmo. She is a founding member of Juventud Casa Esperanza, a youth volunteer organization that supports the work of Casa Esperanza, Panama’s largest NGO fighting child labor. She has been on the board of directors since they began in 2009 and has been selected to serve as President for 3 separate terms. In 2014, she was selected by the Latin American Board to participate in Georgetown University’s Global Competitiveness Leadership Program. Before entering the Global Human Development program, she was the Executive Director of Voluntarios de Panamá, the country’s National Volunteer Center which supports over 140 NGOs in strengthening their volunteer programs and mobilizes thousands of Panamanians to become change agents through volunteering. Eileen is also a member of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.   

Laura O’Brien, GHD '17

Laura O’Brien attended the George Washington University where she graduated with a BA in International Development and International Economics in 2009. During her time at GW, Laura studied and volunteered in Argentina and interned at Vital Voices Global Partnership. Following graduation, Laura joined Management Sciences for Health (MSH) as a Project Associate providing virtual support to public health programs around the world. Over the next six years, she grew her role at MSH in both program management and new business development capacities. As a Program Officer, Laura oversaw operations of programs in Peru and Malawi, including the development of annual plans and budgets, provided technical support for communications and marketing pieces, and facilitated virtual leadership development programs. Most recently, Laura was responsible for all new business for MSH in the Latin America and Caribbean region. In this role, Laura led proposal development of multinational teams and mentored country staff in best practices for donor relations and proposal management. 

Kate Pavelich, GHD '17

Kate Pavelich graduated from Colgate University in 2010, where she majored in Environmental Biology. Since graduating she has been working for community development projects in Latin America. She began as an English teacher in Pichilemu, Chile, later continuing on to Peru and Guatemala where she managed community outreach and education programs for NGO’s in rural, costal villages. Kate is passionate about the power of education in fostering active and empowered communities. During her time in Latin America she opened a community library, designed a literacy program for primary school students, won grants and donations to ensure project sustainability, and co-founded a children’s literacy NGO. Kate speaks Spanish and in her free time surfs and does crossword puzzles.

Deepika Ramachandran, GHD '17

Deepika Ramachandran is originally from Kerala, India but has spent most of her life in Singapore, Mumbai and Chicago. She majored in Economics and International Relations at Lake Forest College, Illinois. She was interested in gaining grassroots experience in the international development field and accepted a Teach for India fellowship after graduation. Through her fellowship she taught full-time in a low-income school in Mumbai for two years. After her stint as a fellow, Deepika became a program manager at Teach for India and coached and mentored 17 teachers for the next two years. At the GHD program, she is specialising in social entrepreneurship. She spent the summer working at the Gender Innovation Lab of the World Bank in Kampala, Uganda where she worked on two impact evaluations that were improving women’s property rights. She has continued working part-time at the World Bank in her second year. She recently collaborated with the International Labor Organization to develop a proposal to combat forced labor in Peru. Currently, she is also working with an e-platform called Remit Right, which is a remittance comparison website that aims to promote transparency in remittance prices, in order to lower costs. She is building a financially viable model for the organization and conducting qualitative and quantitative research to deepen the organization’s understanding of the current remittance market.  

Marvin Saccucci, GHD '17

Marvin Saccucci joins the Global Human Development Program as a recently Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.  As a member of the Community Economic Development program, Marvin spent two years in a remote town in the highlands of Peru, giving entrepreneurship classes, serving as a small-business advisor, and working with microfinance.  Prior to Peace Corps, Marvin graduated with high honors from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor’s of Science in business administration, majoring in Economics and Marketing, and minoring in Service Leadership.  During his undergraduate experience he was able to study abroad in Madrid, Spain, and work with Pisco Sin Fronteras, a Peruvian NGO that constructed latrines and modular houses as an earthquake disaster relief effort.  In addition, he has held a number of private-sector internships, working with pharmaceutical companies and marketing agencies.  Marvin plans to concentrate on public-private partnerships and economic empowerment in Latin America.  He is fluent in Spanish and his research interests include poverty alleviation, economic growth, and aid effectiveness.  

Maurice Masozera Sayinzoga, GHD '17

Maurice Masozera Sayinzoga is passionate about social entrepreneurship and development. His experience is in the fields of ICT for development, public health, youth livelihoods development, and evaluation. Maurice has worked for various organizations including Partners in Health, Intrahealth International and Education Development Center (EDC) in Rwanda. Maurice spent last summer working in Malawi with the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation. During his time in Malawi, he helped the team improve data collection and M&E processes of their adolescent psychosocial support line. Maurice has a bachelor's degree in IT Applications to Management from the National University of Rwanda. He is currently a second year graduate student in the Global Human Development program at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.

Natalia Shafi, GHD '17

Natalia Shafi has worked in international development for almost five years, focusing primarily on refugees in the Middle East. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Concordia University, she worked in Jordan with various non-profit organizations. Natalia has been serving in leadership roles on projects working with refugees at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Paces Charity, and SOS Village. She successfully set up and managed NRC’s first feedback and accountability mechanism in Jordan, which is aimed at improving the quality of NRC’s response and information to Syrian refugees. Natalia was also involved in conducting a quality needs- based assessment report identifying ways to engage NRC activities in Zaatari Camp. At NRC she became a trained mediator and facilitated trainings on Collaborative Dispute Resolution. Prior to that she supervised and coordinated extracurricular activities with Paces Charity in marginalized Palestinian refugee camps across the country encouraging sports and development for youth. She has participated in volunteer work teaching English to orphaned children at the SOS Village. Now, Natalia joins the Global Human Development program with a keen interest in gaining expertise in expanding the support system for refugees in sustainable ways by specializing in Education, Human Capital, and undertaking the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.  

Lauren Shaughnessy, GHD '17

Lauren Shaughnessy graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a degree in International Studies and a concentration in Ethics and International Social Justice. As an undergraduate student, Lauren spent time working with underdeveloped communities in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. After graduating, Lauren spent a year working in the health and medical field in Boston and volunteering for a refugee assistance organization focusing on Africa. For three years she has worked at the Technology Exchange Lab, a nonprofit organization working to bring sustainable technology to developing communities through free project consulting. Lauren is also a board member for the Archimedes Project, a nonprofit establishing clean water social enterprises in Haiti and Cameroon. Since joining the GHD program Lauren has interned with Marcy Corps, focusing on the adaptability of emergency response programs, and she spent the summer in Cameroon working on emergency programs for refugees from the Central African Republic. Lauren is proficient in French and is focusing her studies in the GHD program on humanitarian and emergency response.

Rachel Templeton, GHD '17

Rachel Templeton is passionate about the intersection of global health, women's rights, and migration. Prior to joining GHD she worked with Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. Through her work at FP2020, she engaged with governments and donors to support the 32 developing countries who have made pledges to increase women's and girl's access to contraception by the year 2020. She also worked on various country engagement projects, including helping countries develop strategic national plans, coordinating USAID and UNFPA activities, and sharing best practices between countries. Prior to joining FP2020, Rachel worked for the American Red Cross, where she provided communications, marketing and digital engagement strategy and support for their Preparedness, Health and Safety Services programs. Rachel has also interned with the World Pediatric Project and the Harvard Pluralism Project. She graduated from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and French, where she co-authored a paper on interfaith relationships among migrant communities in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Rachel is proficient in French and is especially passionate about her engagement with Francophone West Africa.  

Andrea Welsh, GHD '17

Andrea Welsh is a second-year student in Georgetown's Master of Global Human Development program and a candidate for the certificate in refugees and humanitarian emergencies. Andrea is a research assistant for the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and previously served as co-president for the Georgetown Women in International Affairs student organization. For her summer placement, Andrea traveled to New Delhi, India where she partnered with the International Center for Research on Women to investigate gender mainstreaming, gender analysis and the prevention of gender-based violence. Prior to her studies at Georgetown, Andrea served as a rural community development specialist with the US Peace Corps and worked for a global health non-profit backstopping HIV/AIDS and TB programs for twelve countries. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Spanish and International Studies. Andrea is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. Her research focuses on refugee and humanitarian crises; gender equality; and women, peace and security.

Krystal Werner, GHD '17

Krystal has strong interests in agriculture, education, and gender, and in fostering cross-sector partnerships to reach better social outcomes. Her current work centers around the design of a large-scale cocoa renovation and rehabilitation effort in West Africa, and agricultural innovations to reduce post-harvest loss and improve food security across Sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently a Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellow and the President of the SFS Net Impact Chapter. During school, she has interned with Coca-Cola’s Central, East and West Africa office in Nairobi on their regional sustainability initiatives and for a Latin America-focused think tank researching school-to-work transitions. Prior to graduate school, Krystal worked in Central America with a social business providing access to basic health services and social impact technologies to remote communities, as well as with various social enterprises and NGOs focused on sustainable tourism, educational exchange, and community development. Before Central America, she was in rural Japan as a teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. She graduated with a B.A. in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Japanese.

Rebecca Westbrook, GHD '17

Rebecca Westbrook attended the University of California-San Diego where she graduated with a BA in International Studies. While there, she studied abroad at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and interned with the International Rescue Committee, working with refugees in an after-school program in San Diego. These experiences motivated her to join Teach for America and become a teacher in Houston, Texas. There she taught ESL to newly arrived immigrants at Dowling Middle School for 3 years. She coached the school’s first girls soccer team and used her Spanish language skills with students and parents. After her second year of teaching, she participated in Invisible Children’s Teacher Exchange Program in northern Uganda, co-teaching classes with a Ugandan partner teacher. Interacting with students and teachers taught her about the powerful impact education has on individuals and communities. A year later, she accepted a 2-year position teaching ESL with Asian Hope International School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She taught both children and Cambodian teachers and enjoyed learning Khmer. She is an avid traveler and enjoys running.