OUTSTANDING ALUMNI
East Asia    South & Southeast Asia    Middle East & Eurasia    Central Asia & Africa    The Americas   


ALEJANDRO BECERRA FAJARDO

"I received my B.A in Economics with a minor in History and my M.A. in Economics from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. When I was in the middle of my thesis, my advisor offered me a job as a research assistant in Fedesarrollo, which is one of Latin America’s top think tanks, and has been very influential in the most important issues of the public policy debate in Colombia. One of my main achievements in Fedesarrollo was that the final documents of my research projects were published by well renowned institutions, such as the IDB and the Colombian Central Bank. After finishing my studies at USC, I returned to Fedesarrollo, where I am a Junior Researcher in projects that analyze the pension system in Colombia. I am leading a consulting project to estimate the future fiscal cost that the Colombian government will incur if it extends the coverage of the pension system. One valuable aspect about IPPAM is that it provided me with the analytical and managerial skills needed in managing programs. Additionally, something I really appreciated from my experience in IPPAM was that I had to share my time with people from different cultures. That enriched me professionally and, above all, personally because we could look at problems and things from different perspectives. The quality of the education is impressive. IPPAM is part of the Price School, which is a top Public Policy school in the U.S. Furthermore, something that is highly recommendable of IPPAM is the human quality of its administrative staff headed by Dr. Mann and Dr. Yu. They are always open to giving you advice and counsel and helping you feel at home.”


TIFFANY HU

Tiffany is presently employed by the Warner Brothers Entertainment as the DVD Operations Manager, responsible for managing the process of communicating with clients and monitoring the process of marketing, licensing, manufacturing, and the distribution of DVDs. Ms. Hu worked full time at Sony Pictures, while getting her degree at IPPAM. Because of her time at Sony, Tiffany was able to share much of her wisdom and her professional experiences with her classmates. Tiffany expressed that IPPAM not only prepared her well for her current career, but also taught her how to work in teams.

Tiffany’s most memorable experiences are the group projects. Assigned groups required her to work with different people with different cultural backgrounds who are competent in various ways. She learned that people possess strengths in different areas. Tiffany also learned to identify different people’s strengths, which she now uses to delegate responsibilities to her staff. Finally, Tiffany would like to encourage the new IPPAM students to “study hard and party hard with an open mind while at IPPAM. Always take the opportunity to work with different people from different backgrounds because IPPAM is an intensive and short program. Let yourself learn and enjoy the experience as much as you can!”


AMUTRA LEVINE

Amutra Levine is currently the Analysis and Control Element (ACE) Chief for a Military Intelligence Battalion. As the ACE chief, she focuses and prioritizes work, supervises interaction between sections, and task organizes the ACE resources to meet analytic demands. She accomplishes the commander's mission by evaluating and tracking requirements, focusing the collection and analysis effort, and reviewing ACE products for quality and timeliness.

IPPAM impacted her by giving her the skills to understand the feelings people have when they are required to raise their game, when they experience change or when they need to be more effective, motivated and enthusiastic. A valuable lesson to be taken away from IPPAM was that life does not have to be one dimensional when dealing with individuals outside of your normal comfort zone. In short, IPPAM pushed her to think outside of the confines of "normal" interaction, to explore new possibilities, and to always think outside the box.


MICHELLE LUM

"Shortly after graduation I began my job at Chemonics International, an international development firm based out of Washington D.C. focused on implementing USAID project around the world. As a manager focused on the Asia Region, I have worked on projects related to private sector development in Bangladesh, global financial services, democracy and governance in Indonesia, anti-trafficking, and most recently a marine and climate support project based in Indonesia. I have had a plethora of opportunities conducting various short term field assignments in Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. I can directly attribute IPPAM's career oriented classes and instructors to my professional growth. The curriculum promotes applicable concepts and functional skills that are easily transferable in the professional world."


JOSEPH STEWART

"I received my B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego in 2008, with minors in Business Administration and Spanish. I have interned in both the Senate and House in the United States Congress, and have worked as a Program Analyst for B3 Solutions, LLC since 2010, servicing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). I manage a unit that oversees non-media information requests between CBP and other U.S. federal government agencies. IPPAM gave me the invaluable experience of working with people from different cultures, backgrounds, and personality types, and coordinating with them to magnify strengths and accommodate complex work schedules and habits. This program taught me important management skills and had a strong focus on learning how to manage groups. My favorite professor in the IPPAM program, Professor Gayla Kraetsch Hartsough, really cared about her students and wanted to help them succeed in their careers. She supports and mentors students long after they leave her classroom. The IPPAM program was able to connect me to former IPPAM and USC alumni, and I had the chance to speak with IPPAM students in other cohorts with similar professional backgrounds and interests as me. The IPPAM cohort itself is one of the strongest aspects of the program, and I would feel comfortable contacting fellow students to seek their insights long after graduation. Students should choose the IPPAM program for their graduate career because the program is unique in the sense that your classmates are similar to you in terms of their career goals, but have a different country context. It is advantageous to learn from government officials about best practices in their country in exchange for learning about American best practices. Normal MPA and MPP programs generally only focus on the United States, but students can learn much from how other countries do business."


KELLY VASSAR

"The program development skills I learned in IPPAM complimented my professional background in education, allowing me to take my career in new directions. Immediately after graduation I accepted a U.S. Government Fellowship that places qualified educators in partnering institutions throughout developing nations. In Myanmar, I developed and implemented an ESP training program for Myanmar’s government ministries and Parliament. In addition, I worked with university instructors and international experts on projects related to reforming the country’s university curriculum. I also contracted with the United Nations in Southeast Asia, and created and executed a short-term workshop for the United Nations Office for Project Services. These experiences opened doors for me to conduct professional workshops in Thailand, China, Myanmar, and throughout Africa and the Middle East. Currently in East Africa, I develop educational training programs for an Institute of Diplomatic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation."