2017 Students

UBC’s third Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs cohort is a dynamic group of students representing a broad range of academic backgrounds, interests, origins, and experiences.

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.

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

Learn more about them in their student profiles below:

Ali Abdullah Bajwa

Born and raised in Pakistan, Ali holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Jiangsu University in China, where he was a CSC scholar. He can speak Urdu, Punjabi, and English fluently and is working on his Mandarin. After completing his undergraduate degree, his interest in national and international political affairs led him to pursue journalism. The ever-growing influence of China in the Asia-Pacific region inspired Ali to continue his studies in China. This  wonderful experience gave him interesting insights into a range of policy issues and it developed within him a desire to understand policy making at the very core. Ali’s graduate thesis focused on methods of improving policy effectiveness with the main emphasis on the relationship between trust and governance. He aims to further supplement his understanding of the core issues involved in policy making through the MPPGA program. Specifically, his focus will be on policy dealing with major international security concerns such as religious extremism.

Bashar Alsaeedi

Born and raised in the small island of Bahrain, Bashar’s interest in international relations stemmed from traveling around the world and witnessing different cultural practices and political dynamics. Since then, he chose UBC to pursue International Relations where he gained insight into U.S. foreign policy, supra-national organizations like the EU, and the economic transformation of the “Asian Tigers”. He also joined UBC’s Go Global Program in Venice, Italy where he was able to practice the Italian language with locals. After graduation, he worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO-ITPO) in Bahrain. While working, he helped with UNIDO Bahrain’s entrepreneurial program through facilitating and managing business counselling sessions, and working with successful Bahraini entrepreneurs. This program helped grow Bahrain’s economy with a focus on empowering women and youth to promote a sustainable economic development. Bashar’s work experience motivated him to pursue the MPPGA program in order to develop effective communication skills and design strategic policies for a better future.

Visit his LinkedIn profile here.

Alex Ash

Alex completed his MA (Hons) in French and Italian at the University of Edinburgh in May 2017. He is now following his passion for sustainable development policy after working as an impact investment intern for Palladium in London, UK, and volunteering in southern Kenya. He is highly motivated and joined the MPPGA program to allow him to solidify his interest in development with the necessary knowledge, skills and practical experience in order to pursue an impactful international career. He believes in the importance of global cooperation and supranational organisations in solving the world’s development problems. Consequently, he hopes to work for such an organisation in the future.

Visit his LinkedIn profile here.

Diego Bastidas Chasing

Diego is originally from Ecuador, where he obtained a law degree with a focus on Human Rights and Constitutional Law. Since graduation, he has been engaged with grassroots communities and workers’ struggles around social justice issues. Among his different projects, he has been part of UNHCR as a Protection Officer, the Labour Ministry of Ecuador as a policy maker to protect vulnerable workers, and a grassroots human rights committee as an activist and lawyer for marginalized groups. He is interested in obtaining technical skills regarding the elaboration of labour policies to improve labour relations in the Ecuadorian context. At the global level, he is interested in studying the relations between China and Ecuador as an alternative experience within South-South cooperation during the last ten years. In the future, he hopes to apply these technical tools and theoretical frameworks either in further academic pursuits or in public administration in his country.

Susanne Beilmann

Susanne graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and French. After completing her undergraduate degree, she moved to Toulouse, France, to improve her French skills. Interested in working with marginalized communities and displaced people, Susanne then moved to Bogota, Colombia, where she spent three years working at a grassroots non-profit organization and in the Regional Public Information Unit of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). She returned to Vancouver in 2015 and began working at a women’s anti-violence organization in the Downtown Eastside. After graduating, Susanne would like to continue working with refugee flows, particularly in the areas of sustainable solutions and displacement caused by climate change. Through the MPPGA program, she aims to gain the skills and tools needed to collaborate with humanitarian organizations and governments to develop and implement policies that adequately address the needs of refugees and host countries.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Ollie Campbell

Born in Zambia and brought up in Botswana and South Africa, Ollie completed a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Hull. He joined the British Army in 2000, and saw operational service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ollie’s time in the military gave him an insight and appreciation of the challenges involved in co-ordinating disparate elements of host nation government departments and security apparatus with international partners, including security forces and NGOs. Ollie has recently completed an MSc in Security Sector Management, where his dissertation focused on the utility of the Chinese foreign aid model, and its application in southern Africa. Possessing an eclectic range of academic interests, Ollie was attracted by the inter-disciplinary nature of the MPPGA. With a strong leadership and leadership development pedigree, and using the practical experience gained on the program, Ollie is interested in developing leadership and management in the public sector.

Adam Cassady

Adam’s interest in public policy is built upon both his academic background in forestry and resource conservation and his professional background in environmental consulting. After graduating with a diploma in Forest Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC, Adam has spent the past five years working across western Canada and southern Chile in various industries including the oil and gas, forestry, as well as commercial and industrial sectors. He has also conducted academic research for UBC and the University of PEI and policy research for an environmental NGO. Adam’s policy interests centre around the intersection of environment and society and his goals in pursuing the MPPGA program are to acquire knowledge of policy tools and analytical skills that can be applied to both domestic and international issues of resource extraction and energy availability, and work toward better communication of policy to the public.

Juliana Craig

Juliana recently completed her BA in Sociology at UBC, which gave her a deep understanding of the complexities of global social issues, sparking her interest in international development. Having grown up in Hong Kong, she has a special connection with South East Asia and has worked primarily in the Philippines on development and community projects. Her last work experience had her travel between Hong Kong and Laos for a fair-trade coffee business, developing strategies that benefit local farmers. Juliana believes the MPPGA is the perfect gateway to a career in sustainable development and fostering social change. She believes the skills gained during this program will enable her to participate in creating lasting change to those in need. Juliana’s interests stem from her philosophy that the best policies are innovative and empowering, not creating dependencies for those concerned but rather enabling them to live out an improved overall quality of life.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Luthfi Dhofier

Director of Communications, 2017-18 MPPGA Executive Council

Luthfi was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he gained insights into human rights and development. Upon obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Luthfi worked at a technology company that provides digital management services to public and private organizations in the U.S and Canada. In 2013, Luthfi co-founded Global Water Rights, a Vancouver based NGO with a mandate to promote water security and environmental sustainability. At Global Water Rights, Luthfi had the opportunity to work and establish connections with water practitioners from all around the world, an experience that solidified his passion in sustainable water management. Through the MPPGA program, Luthfi aspires to explore the policy dynamics of global water management, particularly in the water, agriculture and energy nexus.

Visit his LinkedIn profile here.

John Ede

John joined the MPPGA program because he wants to make a contribution to social and economic development in Nigeria, and Africa at large. He plans to influence government and political action in the formulation and implementation of progressive policies in education, health and public security and law enforcement. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and has worked as a HYSIS Process engineering software attaché with the NNPC refinery Kaduna, Nigeria. He had a 4-year commercial banking career, specifically in Banking Operations with Diamond bank Plc and Access bank Plc. Finally, he worked as the head of global projects at his last job, a position he held for seven years and which focused on managing marine and offshore Petroleum Production Logistics Support services. After completing the MPPGA program, he hopes to work with international organizations focused on developing countries/economies to hone his skills and grow his experience in policy interventions for development.

Huilin Gao

Born and raised in Shanghai, Huilin earned her bachelor’s degrees, majoring in public relations and English from Shanghai International Studies University in 2013. She has since worked as an immigration officer providing public service and shouldering the responsibility of border security. Her interests in trans-Pacific immigration and international security grew out of this job. Through the MPPGA program, she looks forward to enhancing her understanding of these two global issues and contributing to the policy development in immigration industry.

Sara Harb

Director of Events (Social), 2017-18 MPPGA Executive Council

Sara was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, as a third culture individual, allowing her to be exposed to different cultural influences. She speaks English, Arabic and Korean – being trilingual helped her to connect with the region’s locals and understand the surrounding issues on a deeper level. The inequalities and struggles she has witnessed and experienced sparked her ambition to pursue an education in order to create positive change. She graduated from UBC with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Her work experience varies from interning in the public sector at the Korean Consulate to working in the private sector in communications and operations. Upon completion of the MPPGA program, Sara hopes to gain the intellectual knowledge and practical tools to work on tackling global challenges surrounding human rights, gender inequality, refugees’ resettlement and environmental sustainability.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Alfonso Hernandez Delgadillo

Alfonso was born and raised in Mexico, and graduated from the University of Guadalajara with a degree in Administration. He has collaborated with the Government of the State of Jalisco in the development of tools for access to information, monitoring, and evaluation of public policies. His work focused on public policies that promote social welfare, sustainable development, and the use of clean energy. His passion for exploring the world and learning about new cultures has led him to Taiwan, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, among others. Alfonso aims to improve his skills in the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policies, as well as to develop a better capacity to understand and analyze social and environmental issues to contribute to sustainable development.

Sebastián Jarrín Grijalba

Sebastian has developed his interest in policies from civil society organizations perspective. He worked on the Extractive Industries Program with the Research Department of an Ecuadorian Think Tank, Grupo FARO, for six years. During this time, he gained a deeper understanding about the particular challenges of public policies and the extractive industries in Ecuador and Latin America. His regional experience provided him insights to promote collaborative and intercultural analysis of public policies. His main goal in joining the MPPGA program is to learn new ideas, skills, and instruments in order to pursue a transformation of the extractive industries sector and the construction of new paradigms for the relationship between societies and the utilization of natural resources for energy production in Ecuador and across Latin America. Sebastian has a bachelor degree in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and a Licencé en Économie et Gestion from the Université Pierre Mendès-France.

Tovo Jose

Prior to joining the MPPGA program, Tovo spent nearly ten years working in the area of International Development and Disaster Response. With an undergraduate degree in finance from the National Institute of Accounting Science and Business Administration of Madagascar, he pursued a career in administration management for various international NGOs across Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Europe. Born and raised on the southern coast of Madagascar, his interest in public and global affairs emerged throughout his professional journey in different countries and regions. He has extensive experience in leading field office start-ups to sustain international development and emergency programs. In addition, he has occupied advisory roles during major disaster responses including the earthquake in Haiti and humanitarian aid for Syria.

Clare Kim

Director of Finance, 2017-18 MPPGA Executive Council

Prior to MPPGA, Clare graduated from UBC with a degree in Political Science, and has been actively involved in various fields to bridge Asia and Canada. Clare co-founded a cultural campaign in Canada to promote cultural exchange between Korea and Canada for which she was appointed as a civilian Public Diplomat by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013. To pursue her passion for human rights, security, and migration issues in Asia, Clare interned for the Protection team at the UNHCR Korea where she worked closely with NGOs and the Korean Ministry of Justice, and witnessed first-hand the policy challenges of the refugee protection regime in Korea. She was also a locally engaged staff at the Consular and Public Affairs sections of the Canadian Embassy in Seoul where she assisted with the implementation of Canada’s foreign policies in Northeast Asia. She is excited to be back at UBC and hopes to develop essential skills during the MPPGA program to become a positive changemaker in the complex spheres of immigration and foreign policies.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Tommy Koh

Tommy Koh holds a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Johns Hopkins University where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. At Johns Hopkins, Tommy spent two years as the Economic Development Intern for the Office of the President, providing data analysis and budgetary support for the $10 million Homewood Community Partners Initiative.  Tommy values informing policy through research. His research interests lie in the field of Southeast Asian politics, especially at the intersection of ASEAN, labour migration and domestic legitimation. Tommy’s ongoing research with UBC’s Institute of Asian Research examines leveraging front-line, for-profit recruitment agencies to influence migration policy outcomes.  Tommy is a President’s Scholarship recipient from the Singapore Public Service Commission. He previously spent time as a Political Intern with the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and will return to a career in the Singapore Civil Service upon completing the MPPGA program.

Visit his LinkedIn profile here.

Jiaxin Li

Jiaxin completed her bachelor of management degree in public administration at Shanghai Jiaotong University. She has a keen interest in helping the second generation of urban low-income families and marginal groups to gain more educational resources, to be better equipped with knowledge and professional skills, and to eliminate poverty. Jiaxin has extended experience in voluntary activities, such as being a leader of a volunteer teacher team, a member of the Shanghai Bureau of Civil Administration project, and a participant of urban regeneration stations in Taipei. Throughout her studies in the MPPGA program, she aims to become a professionally competent and ethically prepared NGO staff member.

Nicholas Lloyd-Kuizk

Nicholas’ interest in global affairs and public policy can be traced back to his adolescence when he relocated from Canada to the United Arab Emirates. The intense diversity of the international community he encountered there sparked a fascination with global issues and a strong sense of global citizenship. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Kinesiology, Nicholas went on to work as Safety Abroad Officer at the University of Toronto’s Centre for International Experience where he acted at the nexus of university stakeholder interests and the organizational policy response to a volatile global security climate. Nicholas seeks to combine his knowledge of health science, policy, and project management with a sharp set of policy analysis and knowledge translation skills to elevate the public and private discourse around environmental policy and building resilient societies.

Jiayi Luo

Jiayi’s interest in climate change originated in an evaluation report on the impacts of climate change to the economy. The report defines climate change as the biggest and widest-ranging market failure, and calls for timely responses to huge economic losses. The report astonished her and spurred her to look for responses and solutions in order to benefit all countries. To combat climate change, she joined the China Emissions Exchange, the first emissions trading platform in China, as a carbon market analyst after graduating from the world’s first and only master’s program in Carbon Finance. There, she played an integral role in the prophase study of the National Emissions Trading system and in numerous local government-backed projects exploring the future development of the local carbon market. Her goal for the MPPGA program is to become an expert in climate change policy and to provide consulting services to global organizations on climate change once she graduates.

Adedoyin Luwaji

Adedoyin earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Lagos, Nigeria after which she has garnered professional experience spanning human settlement planning and research. She worked as a Consultant at the Regional Office for Africa, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) where she provided substantive input in the structural change and economic development report with a focus on employment, poverty, inequality, productivity, urbanization, and the role of the state and policy in selected African, Asian, and Latin American countries. Prior to that, she was a Programme Management Intern with the Slum Upgrading Unit on the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) of UN-Habitat, and Research Assistant at the University of Lagos. Adedoyin is passionate about Africa’s development and through the MPPGA program, she seeks to unravel the policy inclinations for sustainable urbanization to birth economic, social and environmental benefits. Furthermore, she is inspired to drive the development of an inclusive framework for urban development policies which raises governance potentials, inclusiveness, and productivity.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

To Trieu Hai (Tracy) Ly

Born and raised in Vietnam, Tracy graduated from UBC with a degree in International Relations and Economics. Tracy has served as a communications coordinator intern at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) in Vietnam, working to organize the 20th Terry Fox Run in Vietnam and mobilizing more than 15,000 companies, groups and individuals to participate for the cause of cancer research in Vietnam. This experience has deepened her interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), thereby motivating her to develop an extensive understanding in her Master’s studies. Then, Tracy pursued a new challenge as a sales junior executive at TTC Industrial Zone Joint-stock Company to attract more foreign direct investment into Vietnam. Through the MPPGA program, Tracy aims to acquire the skills and tools needed to become a policy analyst or a senior market strategist who will work towards the development of SMEs in Vietnam and aspire to bridge Canada and Vietnam socially and economically.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Chiamaka Mọgọ

Chiamaka Mọgọ was born and raised in Nigeria. She obtained a Bachelor of Public Administration (Honours), with a minor in Business Administration degree from the University of Ottawa, Canada. During Chiamaka’s undergraduate studies in Public Administration, she gained knowledge and an avid interest in human rights advocacy, policy research, and the role of public policies in shaping the dynamics of societies. Given these interests and also deeming herself to be a global citizen, she has volunteered and worked for organizations in Canada and her native Nigeria that promote community development by tackling some of society’s biggest problems. Some of her most recent past and present professional affiliations include: AFMESI (Nigeria), the Canadian Red Cross, Engage Africa Foundation, Democracy Watch, and the University of Ottawa’s Student Rights Centre (formerly the Centre for Equity and Human Rights). Chiamaka enjoys opportunities to engage with stakeholders on possible ways to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen their communities. In May 2016, she was an invited guest speaker for the African Association of Business Schools’ Connect conference held in Lagos, Nigeria. At the event, she spoke to an audience of university Deans from across the continent on the need to promote educational curricular that touch on using entrepreneurship to reduce inequalities in Africa. Chiamaka has once been named by CIBWE as one of the 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada. In 2017, she was listed in the Top 75 cohort, during RBC’s search for its annual Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award recipients. She is humbled to be a part of UBC’s 2017 MPPGA cohort and believes that this program will strengthen the necessary skills that she must be equipped with in order to provide sound policy research, policy analysis, and policy evaluation advice on a global scale.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Aaron Nelson

Aaron’s passion for affordable housing and income inequality grew from living in Thailand for two years after high school. He completed a BComm (Finance) and BA (Political Science) at the University of Calgary and afterward worked with the City of Calgary as a commercial property assessor. Aaron thereafter joined Avison Young Valuation & Advisory Services, a preeminent commercial appraisal and consultative firm based in Toronto. Aaron, an AACI, completed assignments for organizations like RBC, Norton Rose Fulbright, Bentall Kennedy, and the Government of Canada. Aaron serves with the Appraisal Institute of Canada where he previously acted as Chair of the Calgary chapter. He co-founded Calgarians for Secondary Suites, a grassroots organization promoting the legalization of secondary suites in Calgary. He assisted a Syrian refugee family, via Calgary Catholic Immigration Services, integrate into life in Canada and gained a lifelong friendship. Aaron is determined to combine his passions and the MPPGA program into a career of connecting creative economic and housing policy solutions to those most susceptible to being left behind.

Shaf Noorani

Born and raised in Pakistan, Shaf moved to Canada to pursue an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science, double majoring in Health Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Shaf has two years of professional experience as a social worker and her goal in pursuing the MPPGA program is to acquire the skills needed to focus on health policy issues on a global scale. Her long-term goal is to develop policies that would benefit distinct cultural communities with their socio-economic needs. Shaf is thrilled to see where the MPPGA program will take her!

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Rafael Posada

Rafael graduated from McMaster University with an H. B.A on Justice, Political Philosophy, and Law. He was born in Costa Rica, raised in El Salvador, and moved to Canada eight years ago. This transition has helped him realize the vast differences between the opportunities available in Canada compared to other countries. This is one of the reasons he is pursuing the MPPGA program at UBC—he wants to advocate and implement changes that will give rise to similar opportunities in other countries. After working in different leadership projects in his professional and academic career, he wants to do further research on the influence of leadership on education. Rafael wants to develop a leadership program that is able to teach transferable skills to educators around the globe for the purpose of improving the quality of public education systems in many developing countries.

Please see his LinkedIn profile here.

Atieh Razavi Yekta

Atieh completed her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC in 2017. In the last few years, she worked as a policy research assistant in several public institutions in Tehran, where she conducted extensive research on the effects of geopolitics on Iran’s water crisis and provided policy analysis and advice on the situation. By acknowledging water as a basic human right, she is hoping to partake in international projects that are creating a policy framework for the governance of water in water-vulnerable regions. Her interest in public policy is centered on governance and international security. Her aim is to become a policy researcher focusing on the effects of climate change on human migration and international security. Besides her academic work experience, she has worked with a number of NGOs where she coordinated several large-scale fundraising events, supporting both local and global issues. Atieh is looking forward to seeing where the MPPGA will take her in the next following years!

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Marzia Rizvi

Prior to moving to Canada, Marzia studied and worked in Dubai. She completed her bachelor’s with honors in International Studies, with a focus on International Relations. Her undergraduate thesis was primarily policy based, hence her interest in the MPPGA program. She was actively involved in her university, which included as a member of Student Government as well as the Model United Nations, among others. Through her graduate studies, she aims to explore issues related to sovereignty, under the MPPGA security and governance stream. She believes that the MPPGA program is the right step towards further building her critical analysis skills and provide her with the right tools to formulate policy recommendations in a creative manner. Upon completing her program, she aims to work as a policy analyst.

Daniela Rodriguez

Originally from Colombia, Daniela has lived across Latin America in countries such as Ecuador and Guatemala, which gave her a passion for multiculturalism and travel. Her deep interest in East Asian history, politics, and culture led her to UBC where she graduated with a Major in Asian Area Studies and International Relations. She then worked for three years at a local non-profit organization coordinating non-medical, home support services for seniors of diverse backgrounds, with the goal of helping them live independently and connected to their own communities for as long as possible. She was also involved in organizing yearly tax clinics serving low-income families and individuals, including refugees and other newcomers to Canada. Before entering the MPPGA program, she spent a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing working on her Mandarin proficiency. Through the MPPGA program, Daniela hopes to build on her experiences and the gain the necessary analytical tools to work on evaluating and designing policies geared towards fostering international development.

Ros Seibert

Ros was born and raised in West Virginia. He graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in International Studies, specializing in Intelligence and National Security policy, and received his MA in International Politics from the University of Manchester. Ros then spent nearly five years in Washington, DC working in the United States Senate where he helped handle a range of legislative issues for Senators Rockefeller and Manchin, including foreign policy, defense and national security, trade, and the environment. Ros also spent time as the “bodyman” to Senator Nelson, where he was responsible for driving, maintaining the Senator’s schedule, and staffing him at events on and off Capitol Hill. Through the MPPGA, Ros aims to improve upon the policymaking experience he gained on the Hill and further develop the skills needed to foster positive change in the realms of climate and security policy.

Hadis Siadat

Graduating from York University with a bilingual degree (B.A. with Honours) in International Studies, Hadis combines her knowledge of global issues with a diverse professional background in the private sector, having worked with an immigrant-serving agency in Calgary. This experience led her to various policy-related challenges in the non-profit sector. Her passion for global justice, social welfare, and human rights stems from her upbringing in Iran and moving to Canada at a very young age. Hadis is also fluent in French and Farsi. Pursuing her interests in international organizations, she has volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross and strengthened her research and writing skills through collaboration with a women’s advocacy group in the role of proposal writer. Through pursuing the MPPGA, Hadis aims to approach global policy issues with a multidisciplinary understanding and to help shape future policies that will contribute to promoting human rights, gender equality, and development.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Nicole So

Director of Student Development, 2017-18 MPPGA Executive Council

Nicole received her BA in English Literature and Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies from the University of British Columbia. Nicole has served in multiple leadership positions, such as co-founding a youth advocacy group that promotes cross-cultural and intergenerational understanding in the Chinatown community, providing policy recommendations for the Ministry of International Trade on Chinatown’s intangible cultural heritage, and creating an education advocacy project for underprivileged youth to fight poverty and systemic inequality in Vancouver Downtown Eastside. She was also a part of the Hong Kong Canada Crosscurrents Project, a research project with the University of Toronto, where she examined the cultural and economic effects of the trans-Pacific migration, and analyzed the Chinese Head Tax Data records for the UBC Chinese Canadian Stories project with Stanford University’s Spatial History Lab. Internationally, Nicole has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières, UNHCR, and Save the Children to provide emergency responses to the refugees at the Greek-Macedonian border and support refugees in understanding asylum rights. She is humbled and thrilled to be joining the 2017 cohort in the MPPGA program, where she hopes to work with peers, faculty and organizations to incubate projects and evidence-based policy to address complex, global challenges.

Catherine Tarimo

Catherine is a Tanzanian with a Master of Public Administration from Mzumbe University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Dar es Salaam, both in Tanzania. She has five years’ experience of working directly with the community through health-related projects that she coordinated in different international organizations such as Jhpiego, Africa’s Children Africa’s Future (AC-AF), SOS Children’s Villages, and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). She believes that the MPPGA program will give her a deeper understanding of policy challenges and solutions which will help her succeed as a change maker since she aspires to be a renewable energy specialist in corporations and sustainability advisor in the government. She wants to participate in influencing the formulation of relevant and sustainable policies that will contribute to poverty eradication in Africa, hence bringing a positive impact in her country’s development and other parts of the world.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Darren Touch

Vice President, 2017-18 MPPGA Executive Council

Darren is a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa with a baccalaureate in the Joint Honours Political Science and Public Administration (Co-op) program. Darren’s interest and passion for public policy has led him to diverse roles in the public, private, and non-governmental sector in Canada and abroad. Darren was previously a Junior Policy Associate at the Public Policy Forum. He has also worked with Canada’s Digital Policy Forum, the Government of Canada at Public Works and Government Services Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. Darren’s interest in foreign policy led him to work at the Embassy of the United States of America in Ottawa, the Canadian Chambers of Commerce in Cambodia, and the Embassy of Canada in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China. Within his community, Darren has served as the president of the Cambodian Association of the Ottawa Valley and the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the public administration program at the University of Ottawa.

Misrak Yacob

Misrak received her LLB from Haramaya University in Ethiopia. She joined a Catholic Church organization and served as a Justice and Peace Assistance Coordinator in the Eastern region. After intensive peace building intervention in the area for three years, she went back to school to upgrade her education. She studied human rights at Addis Ababa University, Center for Human Rights. After she received her MA, her interest to contribute to human rights grew tremendously and thus she joined the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission where she served for two years. Misrak’s interest in environmental protection and conservation started during her undergraduate years where she was an active member of an environmental club. She believes that environmental conservation is basic for human survival and development. Thus, she wants to learn more about renewable energy and environmental protection and its influence on the public at national, regional and global levels.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.

Simin Yook

Simin was born in South Korea but grew up in Montreal and was educated in French. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s degree as a specialist in Art History, awarded with honours. During and after her university years, she participated in volunteer works in Haiti, India, Brazil and Ghana, where she witnessed the vicious circle of poverty and discovered her passion for humanitarian assistance. After graduating from university, she built her professional career as a business development specialist at KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency), a South Korean government organization where she finds interests in international trade and policies. She is particularly concerned with human rights and the quality of life that people in developing countries have as well as the inequality of resources around the world. Through the MPPGA program, Simin wishes to deepen her knowledge in international policies and global governance in order to stop world hunger and foster a better world.

Visit her LinkedIn profile here.