2015 Students

UBC’s first Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs cohort represent a range of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and ambitions. Learn more about them in their student profiles below.

Read insights from our MPPGA students on topics such as the impacts of climate change, democratic movements, and strategies for digital diplomacy in their global policy blog.

Meet UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs student Zameena Dadani and learn what inspired her to apply to the MPPGA program, why she thinks the program is unique, and what she hopes to do with her MPPGA degree to help foster positive changes in the world

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If you are an employer and wish to offer mentorship, internship opportunities, or employment to our MPPGA students, please contact mppga.partnerships (at) ubc.ca.


Talia Ahmad

Talia spent the early part of her life in Pakistan, where she witnessed the consequences of widespread economic depravity. This experience compelled her to study the social and political structures that produce such inequality, and led her to complete a BA in International Relations from UBC, with a study abroad year at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Her BA challenged her to identify the multiple players that influence and impede the development of foreign and national policy. After completing her BA, Talia worked as the Program Coordinator of a community task force for early childhood development. Through the MPPGA program, she hopes to cultivate her capacity to effectively analyze and create sound policies.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Kiran Alwani

Kiran is passionate about public policy and international development, and has experience working in Canada, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Originally from Pakistan, she worked with underprivileged children as a fellow at Teach for Pakistan for two years after her undergrad. Her experience with Pakistan’s public education system, and the country’s educational crisis, ignited her desire to pursue a career in public policy to drive positive change. Prior to starting her Master’s at UBC, she worked in communications, public engagement, and development at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship in Toronto. During the past two years, Kiran has worked in a range of research and policy analysis roles. She worked as a researcher with the Northern and Aboriginal Policy research team at the Conference Board of Canada in summer 2016, and recently with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada on the organization’s national opinion polls on Canadian views on Asia. She was also part of the research team for 2016 Canada-ASEAN business outlook survey and the 2017 Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement impact report. After finishing her MPPGA degree, Kiran hopes to continue working on Canadian and global policy issues, particularly in the areas of sustainable economic development, fair trade, poverty alleviation, and corporate social responsibility.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Denea Bascombe

Denea graduated from the University of British Columbia with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2015, and is a current 2017 candidate for the UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs.  Denea has maintained various research associate and policy analyst positions, from her completion of a policy internship with the Liberal Party of Canada (in BC), work as a Policy Researcher for STAND Canada, contribution to the survey design team for the 2016 Canada-ASEAN Business Council Forum, and holding of various positions for university faculty and external projects, including short-term data analyst work for the Inter-American Development Bank. Currently, Denea is a website writer for the United Nations Association of Canada in Vancouver, a frequent contributor to Observatory Media, and a Junior Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. 

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Corrin Bulmer

VPN Finance and Operations, 2016-17 MPPGA Executive Council

Corrin is first and foremost a Vancouverite. The city’s landscape and its people have forged within her an appreciation for diversity at the local and international stage. While at Mount Allison University, Corrin continued to pursue her interest in the complexities of identity creation through the lenses of religious studies and history. While enrolled in the MPPGA program she was able to expose herself to many new questions about people in policy and particularly how people are represented through numbers in policy decisions. As an alumni, Corrin is working on a number of data consultancy projects with local firms as she prepares to spend half a year abroad in Spain.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Zameena Dadani

President, 2016-17 MPPGA Executive Council

Zameena graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and minor in Legal Studies. Her passion towards public policy and global affairs stems from her work and academic experiences, her upbringing in Kenya, and her experience backpacking through four continents. Zameena has worked for the Canadian Bar Association, in the Ontario Hospital Association’s Policy and Public Affairs department, and has been a dedicated volunteer with the Aga Khan Foundation in Canada for over a decade, where she worked to raise awareness and funds towards sustainable development in Africa and Asia. As an aspiring global thought leader, Zameena aims to work in global relations continuing to foster Canadian values whilst making an impact.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.


J. Andrés Delgado

After graduating as a Medical Doctor, Andrés became involved in leading participatory processes for public policy. He worked at the National Secretariat for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, where he was responsible for advising the ministry on internet governance, technology, and human rights. Andrés also worked at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, was the representative of several civil society organizations, including Creative Commons Ecuador, and coordinated a sustainability advocacy group that promoted the use of scientific method for solving social concerns. He hopes the MPPGA program will help him advance towards his goal of creating a more interconnected and emphatic civilization.

Brady Fox

Before attending UBC, where he completed a BA in History and International Relations, Brady spent several years bouncing between Japan and China doing a mix of work and language study. During, and following, his undergrad he spent his summers working in Southeast Asia (Cambodia mainly) with various health and community development-focused NGOs. As such, he has developed a strong interest in the relationships between NGOs, government agencies, and foreign investment in Southeast Asia, and, more broadly, an interest in the changing security order of East Asia. His other interests include workshop facilitation, negotiation, and creating creative spaces.

Ivana Litaveez

Ivana received her BA in International Relations, with a minor in Economics, from UBC. She has taken on roles in sponsorship fundraising and event planning for local organizations, including the BC Council for International Cooperation, and now works as a research assistant for the School of Economics at UBC. Her knowledge of English, Spanish, French, Italian and Polish grants her unique insights to foster intercultural understanding and communication, and her experience with marketing and community engagement let her navigating cultural identities and adapt messages to engage her audience. As a critical thinker and a problem solver, Ivana enjoys collaborating with a team to elucidate challenging questions.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Emily Mann

Co-Director of Events (Director of Wellness), 2016-17 MPPGA Executive Council

Emily is thrilled to be back at UBC and in the MPPGA program. Her BA in International Relations provided her with a great introduction to global affairs, with her focus being on the power relationships developed and communication methods used between states and international organizations. Emily hopes to explore those global affairs issues in further detail during her time with the MPPGA program. She would specifically like to concentrate on how online resources effect political communication and the transfer of information within the digital age.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Chad Rickaby

Director of Partner Relations, 2016-17 MPPGA Executive Council

Chad completed a major in Political Science at UBC. Growing up in Port Moody, BC, he witnessed the movement BC made towards implementing greener options. Chad developed a keen interest in helping BC’s local and global society further its efforts to achieve various sustainable development goals. He’s looking forward to starting the MPPGA program and developing the skills needed to be involved in the growing global necessity that is sustainability and energy policy. After completing the program he hopes to be actively involved in this field of work, with a special interest in the potential development of a critical relationship between BC and emerging Asian economies.

Visit his Linkedin profile here.

Fernando Rodríguez

Fernando grew up in Mexico City, but has lived abroad in China, the USA, Australia, and Canada. Most of his professional career was spent in the energy sector, working for Thompson Reuters as a consultant for PEMEX and other government agencies. Fernando is passionate about sustainability, and believes we need to create the right set of policies to deal with market failures, externalities, and distribution. His goal is to help ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for Mexico, and he is looking to the MPPGA program to provide him with the right set of tools and experiences to make that happen.

Raphaël Roman

Raphaël’s interest in environmental awareness and global affairs sprung from his fascination with the biodiversity of the Swiss Alps. His Bachelor in Economics strengthened his belief that nature is closely interlocked with economics, and could notably help to discern quantitative approaches to fossil fuels and deforestation while emphasizing the idea of a “green economy”. By convincing governments, NGOs, and international institutions to foster their actions and strategies in a sustainable manner, we might ensure future generations have equal access to natural wealth. Raphaël’s desire to make a real impact drove him to the MPPGA program. He believes today’s young leaders could be the new catalysts of a substantial shift in the near future.

Visit his LinkedIn profile here.

Sonia Takhar

Sonia came to Canada from her hometown of London, UK, to complete her Bachelors in Politics and Economics at UBC. She has spent the last three years at UBC, fully immersing herself into the city and working part-time for a marketing company. Sonia believes the MPPGA program is the perfect stepping stone into a career with an international diplomacy organization that’s focused on the development of less economically advanced countries through progressive, development research. She hopes to make an impact especially in gender inequality in the developing world and is passionate about social change and poverty alleviation. Sonia is most looking forward to experiencing the field-based learning initiatives that the program offers and is delighted to be gaining sound, practical skills such as policy analysis.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.

Bryan Taylor

Bryan recently completed his assignment with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the Manager of Special Initiatives for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), a partnership between the Governments of Indonesia and Norway that helps tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Before that he served as Country Manager of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Indonesia. Prior to his UN career he worked as a professional engineer in the private sector. The MPPGA program matches Bryan’s mid-career objectives in that its interdisciplinary approach transcends barriers to address emerging 21st century threats and challenges.

Petrina Torgerson

Before beginning the MPPGA program Petrina lived in Mexico City, where she was the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of USAID’s Justice and Security Program, which aimed to reform the Mexican justice system, in coordination with the Mexican government. In 2014 she returned to Vancouver to pursue independent consulting work. Her latest projects include conducting a training impact evaluation of DFTAD’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program in Central America, and an evaluation of UNDP’s Global Human Rights Strengthening Programme. Petrina received her Bachelor’s in Modern European Studies from UBC, and speaks fluent Spanish.

Visit her Linkedin profile here.