Class Notes

Since the first class of candidates graduated in 1989, we have welcomed more than 2,700 alumni into our global network. We have launched a new class notes initiative. Tell us where you've been and what you're doing now.

Class of 2016

Adam Cohen, MAS-IA, relocated to San Francisco to work as a deployment specialist for an exciting startup called Parsable.

Zeyuanyu (Zoey) Long, MIA, accepted a position as a customs specialist at Qualcomm Inc. in San Diego.

Class of 2015

Parul Agarwal, MPIA, currently is working in the development economics data group at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Braden Agpoon, MPIA, is an impact evaluation program assistant at Social Impact in Washington, D.C., with responsibilities for conducting impact evaluations of Millennium Challenge Corp. and U.S. Agency for International Development projects in Guatemala, Honduras and Tanzania.

Mark Chesney, MPIA, returned to San Diego to support the job seekers and needs of employers across the county at San Diego Workforce Partnership. 

Henar Hellow, MPIA, is a research analyst at San Diego Workforce Partnership in San Diego.

Jiun-Da Lin, MPIA, is a Ph.D. student at University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Jason Pham, MPIA, received his Series 7 and is now an institutional fixed income broker with a broker/dealer in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Akshay Shankar Bharadwaj, MPIA, currently is working in the business development team at cloud communications provider Twilio in San Francisco.

Lizzy Sung, MPIA, is a coordinator at Booking.com in Taipei, Taiwan.

Class of 2014

Hirokazu Abe, MPIA, is a project manager for the Asian Football Confederation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Steve Astle, MPIA, is working on trade negotiations and compliance for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Fairfax, Va.

Justin Lee, MPIA, is the director of community engagement at Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

Jonathan Shalfi, MPIA, returned to his alma mater to pursue a Ph.D. in political science at UC San Diego.

Class of 2013

Michael Buesa, BA/MIA, relocated from Oakland, Calif., to San Francisco, where he now is a pricing analyst at Credo Mobile. Prior to this position, Buesa served as a projects analyst at Opinion Dynamics Corp. and worked briefly with a startup.

Maura Deignan, MPIA, a William J. Clinton Fellow for Service in India at the American India Foundation, is currently serving as a volunteer for a grassroots child rights organization called Shaishav.

Xu (Monica) Han, MPIA, relocated from Beijing to Paris, working as a program assistant at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization headquarters, with her experience collected from a think tank and a transnational corporation in China.

Chenhao Liu, MPIA, is a junior professional officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Cairo—the only recent GPS graduate serving in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Ruben Lugo Delgado, MAS-IA, is a SelectUSA investment specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Mexico City.

Elena Salazar, MPIA, an integrated marketing manager at Union + Webster, is giving back to San Francisco as a junior board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area. 

Class of 2012

Elena Foukes Lucas, MPIA, leads a Lean In Circle in San Francisco—where women in the energy industry meet up monthly to talk about challenges and victories in the workplace. Because of her involvement, she was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jason Kim, MAS-IA and U.S. Army foreign affairs officer, currently is serving as the country desk officer for Korea and Vietnam at U.S. Army, Pacific in Honolulu.

Nancy Li, MPIA, works on electric grid reliability and continues honing her interest in renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest as a senior management systems analyst at Seattle City Light.

Kurtis Nakamura, BA/MIA, and Judith Li, MPIA ’12, welcomed their first son, Kenshin, and are re-learning work-life balance. Nakamura currently works as an auditor-evaluator for the California State Auditor in the Bay Area.

Class of 2011

Chihiro Fujimoto, MAS-IA, is a financial officer in the capital markets division of the Word Bank in Washington, D.C.

Jamie Schau, MPIA, after a four-year stint in Chile, returned to the U.S. to work as an internships advisor for Latin America programs at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., and will be married in September 2016.

(Daisy) Qiuqing Tai, MPIA, is a Ph.D. student in the department of political science at Yale University.

Class of 2010

Shannon Cummings Morris, MPIA, launched a global food subscription box called Spiced Pantry. She currently resides in Yarmouth, Maine.

Natasha Hanshaw, MPIA, was named chief commercial officer at Strategyzer in Zurich and became engaged in January 2016.

Catherine Harris, MAS-IA, works in international affairs in New York City. Prior to this assignment, she worked at the World Trade Center in San Diego and for the San Diego Association of Governments on cross-border infrastructure projects. She is one of the School's first MAS-IA alums.

Brian Mallis, MPIA, landed a new job as a senior web developer at Sony in San Diego, where he also is buying a house and loving being back near his alma mater—plus working with fellow alum Blake Ellison, MPIA ’11. 

Jessica Megill, MPIA, remains a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service.

Keisuke Nakatsuka, MPIA, is a senior business analyst of digital ventures at Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo.

Blake Tye, MPIA, is a senior manager for technology advocacy at Intel Corp. in San Diego. She previously worked for Qualcomm Inc.

Class of 2009

Jessica Graham, MPIA, developed the Environmental Crime Program for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Since graduating GPS, she has spent the last five years working at the U.S. Department of State spearheading environmental crime issues and most recently working on the President's National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

Class of 2008

Dennis-Michael Broussard, MPIA, executive event producer at Silk Road Productions, received the 2015 Wendell Cutting Humanitarian Award from the San Diego American Red Cross and the 2015 40 Under 40 Award from "San Diego Metro Magazine."

Aaron Jacobson, MPIA, a materials manager at United Technologies in San Diego, and his wife Lan welcomed their baby Amelia on July 25, 2016.

Oliver Petzold, MPIA, now is the assistant director, resource development at The Asia Foundation.

Jordan van Rijn, MPIA, now is a Ph.D candidate in applied and development economics at University of Wisconsin—Madison.  

Class of 2007

Cynthia Davilla, MPIA, works as a general service officer in the General U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, China.

Peter Foo, MPIA, rejoined Chemonics International in Washington D.C., as the program director in the Afghanistan region. Previously, he served as a country director/Asia program manager for Relief International in Pakistan.

Andres Gentry, MPIA, is a senior manager at Grant Thornton in Shanghai. He advises companies on their internal investigations, as well as conducts due diligence investigations on behalf of his clients.

Benjamin Grayson, MPIA, joined UBS Asset Management in December 2015 as a fixed income product specialist in Chicago. 

Brett Hamsik, MPIA, an economic policy adviser at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., received the 2015 Herbert Salzman Award for Excellence in International Economic Performance.

Jay Harriman, MPIA, currently is a senior director at BowerGroupAsia in Bangkok, specializing in public policy and government affairs consulting for Fortune 500 firms.

Renate (Muenich) Kwon, MPIA, as part of her role as program manager of the Southeast Asia Research Group and communications coordinator for the Asian Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University in Durham, N.C.,  works closely with Asia-focused scholars and practitioners from the U.S. and North and Southeast Asia.

Federica Marchesi, MPIA, started with KPMG right after graduating IR/PS, been with the firm ever since and had the chance to move in different offices around the world to develop her career. Now she is happily settled in Washington, D.C.

Nicholas Matcheck, MPIA, a former officer in the Navy, has been invited to serve as a Peace Corps NGO Advising Volunteer in Paraguay.

Renate Meunich, MPIA, formerly worked as a program coordinator for masters of advanced studies in international affairs students in the Global Leadership Institute at GPS.

Chris Moore, MPIA, co-founder of Sim4Act in Berlin, completed a German Chancellor Fellowship and now is helping cities with climate change adaptation.

Stefan Whitney, MPIA, now is serving as a foreign service officer for pollution and climate change at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Class of 2006

Dawn Baker, MPIA, is a business analyst consultant in Wittenberg Weier LLC in Chula Vista, Calif.

Roberta Brodsky Connors, MPIA, is vice president of administration for BayWa r.e. Solar Systems in Murrieta, Calif.

Andrew Curry, MPIA and senior analyst and project manager with the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Seattle, and Melissa Nitsch, MPIA and program analyst for the Federal Aviation Administration in Seattle, welcomed their son Emmett in December 2015.

Micah Fisher-Kirshner, MPIA, as a senior SEO manager, is the head of SEO at Zendesk in Fremont, Calif., and also often presents at marketing conferences.

Melissa Nitsch, MPIA, joined Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the Seattle Field Office's community relations officer.

Heather (Berkman) Rock, MPIA, relocates to the Bay Area in May 2016 to work on climate policy for Chevron, where she also has worked at as an analyst in Houston.

Lys Severtson, MPIA, is finding fulfillment working as an entrepreneur, building a couple of business concepts in San Diego.

Yuko Takagi, MPIA, is deputy director for the Ministry of Finance Japan in Tokyo.

Kim-Yen Nguyen, MPIA, is a global sales and distributor operations manager at Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif.

Jon Yan, MPIA, is a business analyst at Google and living in Millbrae, Calif., where he’s enjoying life in the Bay Area.

Class of 2005

Jeff Burnett, MPIA, is a special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in Rome, Italy. He is currently forward deployed to southern Ethiopia.

Sebastian Cabello, MPIA, is the director of GSMA Latin America. His job consists on bringing together telecom stakeholders from the private and public sector to discuss mobile telecom policy as well as promoting a sustainable environment for the future of the industry. He has been recently meeting with the President of Costa Rica and in public debates with the ICT Ministers of Colombia and Chile.

Bradley H. Kittredge, MPIA, s vice president of product for 23andMe located in Mountain View, Calif.

Tanya Lloyd, MPIA, is an associate investment officer in Mexico with the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private sector arm.

Charles Notzon, MPIA, is an economist at the Denver Service Center for the National Park Service and resides in Lakewood, Colo.

Darren Posey, MPIA, is living in Bujumbura, Burundi serving as the country representative for Burundi & Rwanda for Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

Xin Rong, MPIA, is a market intelligence leader at GE China Growth and Operations in Shanghai.

Kevin Trepa, MPIA, is vice president of tactical sales and marketing at Leupold. He also leads their new tactical Optics Division, bringing an extensive background in global military operations, business leadership and academic achievement to the job.

Class of 2004

Mark Higgins, MPIA, has had a busy start to 2016, acting as chief operating officer at Strategen Consulting in Lafayette, Calif., and launching a clean-tech venture capital fund.

Duc Huynh, MPIA, is a senior analyst in the strategic planning department at Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia.

Bo “Catherine” Peng, MPIA, is a senior associate at Mercer LLC in Toronto, Canada.

Daniel Smyth, MPIA, is an investment director for MGM Innova Capital in Miami, Florida. He invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Colombia, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Sherry Xie, MPIA, is a director of Residential A/C Marketing at Emerson Climate Technologies in Shanghai, China.

Class of 2003

Brian Allemekinders, MPIA, is the deputy director of the Aid Program at Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada, responsible for the operational management of Canada's official Aid Program to Bangladesh.

Molly Gavin, MPIA, is vice president of government affairs and sustainability at Qualcomm Inc. in San Diego.

 

Class of 2002

Erin (White) Fairbanks, MPIA, is enjoying being a mother of three, professional portrait painter and activist for Friends of McMillan Park in Washington, D.C., during the school year and venturing to Portoviejo, Ecuador during the summer.

Kirsten Mao, MPIA, is the founder of ManGo Associates, a head-hunter company in Shanghai, China.

Hidekatsu Take, MPIA, is an executive officer, joint head of the Americas at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in New York.

Yimin Wang, MPIA, is the founder, executive coach and facilitator of Sense Consulting. He also founded Sense Mentoring, a for-profit social enterprise. Yimin is active in charity and collective giving efforts. He is now preparing for his second 50KM charity walk in Shanghai. He completed it last April.

Class of 2001

Chris Pesenti, MPIA, founder and director of RED Sustainable Travel was recently nominated as a finalist in the Innovation category for the prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

Kenichi Takase, MPIA, is a senior manager at TEPCO Fuel & Power Inc. in Tokyo.

Dora Zepeda, MPIA, is a process engineer at British Petroleum in Long Beach, Calif.

Class of 2000

John H. Cunnison, MPIA, is vice president and senior portfolio manager at the Walla Walla, Washington-based Baker Boyer Bank.

Nina Natina, MPIA, is now the director of the Small Business Development Center at CSU Chico.

Xia Ning, MPIA, is an executive director in the head of administration division in BOC International, Hong Kong.

Yimin Wang, MPIA, as CEO of Sense Consulting in Shanghai, represents Lumina Learning, a U.K.-based innovative psychometric developer.

Class of 1999

Samuel Gordon, MPIA, is a partner at Deloitte, where he focuses on providing international tax advice to global financial service firms.

Maria Carne Lee, MPIA, is the vice president of Tradelane Development in China for Panalpina, a provider for logistic services.

Kahori Matsui, MPIA, is the vice president of strategy and business development at SoftBank U.S. in San Francisco.

Betsy (Wiedenmayer) Rogers, MPIA, assistant program manager for Japan Market Expansion Competition, is happily raising her four children in Tokyo, with the youngest two in a local Japanese school.

Class of 1998

Leah (Fenwick) McFarland, MPIA, served as a foreign service political officer in Sao Paulo, Washington and Moscow. Oversaw global program operations for a non-profit organization building financial infrastructure in emerging markets, particularly the Middle East and North Africa. She now develops strategic planning for technology implementation in global anti-money laundering operations at Citigroup.

Class of 1997

Marcy (Honnold) Morrison, MPIA, is living her passion and purpose as founder and CEO of Careers with Wings in La Jolla, Calif.

Mina Hsiao, MPIA, worked at HP Shanghai until 2012.

Jeff Rector, MPIA, is a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in San Diego, serving as a renewable energy project finance attorney at the firm.

 

Class of 1996

John Nylin, MPIA, is a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State in Tokyo, Japan. He currently works as a special assistant to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Since 2001, he has lived in India, Slovenia, Washington, Japan and Afghanistan.

Class of 1995

Luis Fajardo, MPIA, graduated from Oxford University with a Ph.D. in history. He worked in London for a few years at the BBC and is now at the Miami bureau of the BBC.

Takashi Kobanawa, MPIA, after working 20 years as an investment banker, now is managing director of Polaris Capital Group, a private equity firm in Tokyo. 

Class of 1994

Elias Terman, MPIA, who has worked for various Enterprise Software, SaaS and IT Security companies, has accepted a position at Distil Networks as the company's vice president of marketing in San Francisco, Calif.

Class of 1993

Robert Osborn, MPIA, a senior analyst at California Public Utilities Commission in Sacramento, Calif., published a historical novel about Americans in WWII China titled, "Lovers & Comrades" (2015).

Class of 1992

Richard Boly, MPIA, has retired after a diplomatic career and now can devote time to solo cross-country cycling (Washington, D.C.-San Francisco; Miami-Maine); splitting time between paid gigs (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, PeaceTech Lab) and unpaid board/advisory (Mind the Bridge, InnovateEDU, Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs, Ampion, TableTribes); and paying his wife and son back for having dragged them around the world for the last two decades.

Kenneth Tingey, MPIA, is a principal at CIMH Global in Logan, Utah, developing a collaborative network in health and governance in Asia, Central Europe and the Gulf.

Dan Irving, MPIA, vice president of international at WX Brands in Oakland, Calif., is sponsoring a Beer for Books event in Tokyo with Gary Bremermann, MPIA '91, in May 2016.

Class of 1991

Debito Arudou, MPIA, a lecturer at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, had a chapter on Japanese media published in Jeff Kingston, Ed., "Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan.”

Gary Bremermann, MPIA, as representative director of PowerUp Solutions K.K., coaches bilingual professionals on recruiting, marketing and advertising in Tokyo.

Richard Cohen, MPIA, after one-and-a-half-year stints in Tokyo and Singapore, lived in Malaysia for nine years and has been in Thailand since 2006. He joined Recipco Capacity Exchange, the world's first Capacity Exchange, which essentially creates a new asset class derived from companies' capacity. It provides capacity-backed financing at no interest and facilitates non-monetary trade via our own currency, called the Enterprise-backed Credit Obligation.

Roberto Torres, MPIA, is Senior Marketing Manager at Siemens in the Chicago area and recently returned from an awesome vacation in the Riviera Maya.

Marifel Verlohr, MPIA, is now responsible for building Emory's international alumni network through programs that engage alumni worldwide. Marifel and her husband, Ralph '90, MPIA, moved to Atlanta three years ago with their two boys, Maximillian and Alexander. They would enjoy connecting with fellow alumni who live in the area or travel through Atlanta.

Class of 1990

Jason Dedrick, MPIA, was promoted to full professor and is serving as associate dean for research at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.

John Warren, MPIA, released an album of original and Latin American classical guitar music, titled "Serenata de la Sirena," in 2016. Warren currently is the head of George Mason University Press in Washington, D.C.