Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Alumni Developments Archive

January 2016

  • Selvin Akkus (research assistant, 2003–2005) has always felt like she is part of the CGD family and is now happy to be adding a new member. She and Michael Clemens were the first (or one of the first) CGD couples to get married, and now they are expecting their first kid in April. They are thrilled to be expanding the CGD family.
  • Denizhan Duran, (research assistant, 2011–2013) former global health policy research assistant, is currently working as a technical advisor for health insurance with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 
  • Jessica Gottlieb (program coordinator, 2005–2006) is still an assistant professor at Texas A&M University’s Bush School, but in the last year has published two articles from her dissertation on challenges to democracy in Mali here and here.  She is also expecting her second child in summer 2016. 
  • Nabil Hashmi (research assistant, 2013–2014) has been working in Philadelphia as a web developer for Comcast, which has been a great learning experience. Philly is a wonderful city, and it has been a lot of fun getting to know it better.
  • Robin Kraft (program coordinator and research assistant, 2007–2010) moved on from Global Forest Watch, leaving CGD’s FORMA project in WRI’s capable hands. He also co-founded — and then shut down — a satellite analytics startup and is about to start his first “normal” job since he left CGD in 2009. He’ll be leading an engineering team at Planet Labs. He also got engaged!
  • Marlaine Lockheed (visiting fellow, 2005–2009) recently published the article The Experience of Middle–Income Countries Participating in PISA 2000–2015. She also presented this at the World Conference in Incheon, Korea, last spring.
  • Annie Malknecht (executive assistant to the president, 2011–2012) just started a new job in New York acting as the philanthropy manager for the Chobani Foundation and the Tent Foundation, a personal philanthropic endeavor from Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of Chobani. 
  • Sonal Shah (director of programs and operations, 2001–2003) has been running the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University since February 2014.  The Beek Center is focused on 21st-century solutions that can exponentially improve lives. This year the Center released the second report in its “Outcomes Series” called Smarter Government for Social Impact:  A New Mindset for Better Outcomes. The next paper will focus on the role of data and technology.
  • Andrew Stober (media relations and publications associate, 2001–2004) left his position as chief of staff in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office on Transportation and Utilities to run as an independent candidate for Philadelphia City Council. While ultimately unsuccessful, he had a great time running for office and managed to shake up Philadelphia politics. In January, he joined the University City District (UCD) as the vice president for planning and economic development.
  • Sandy Stonesifer (program coordinator, special assistant to the president, 2010) worked first on the global health team for Ruth Levine and then as Nancy’s interim special assistant for a few months before she left for the ONE Campaign. Since then she moved on to a political appointee position at USAID (running their advisory committee) before leaving to get her Master’s degree and start her own organization development consulting practice — — helping organizations become healthier and more effective. She also got married this year and had two fellow CGD alums in attendance. 
  • Ross Thuotte (research assistant, 2010–2012) was promoted to international affairs associate in October at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  Among other things, their team (International Affairs and Strategy) helps to formulate and execute the Bank’s international strategy and outreach. 

August 2015

  • Catherine An (media relations manager, 2013–2014) is a newly minted communications officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Samuel Bazzi (research assistant, 2011) graduated with a PhD in Economics from UC–San Diego in 2013 and began as an assistant professor in the department of economics at Boston University.
  • Danielle Bloom (née Kuczynski, global health program coordinator, 2010–2011) has joined Results for Development as a program officer. She will continue work on health financing and universal coverage supporting the Joint Learning Network and other initiatives.
  • Alex Denny (rethink intern, 2009–10) is working on a tech start up focused on telemedicine services for Spanish speakers in the United States (mhealth, to use the old i-dev parlance). On the side, he leads a research project for Georgetown University and big union partners focused on how technology will affect workers in the near future. He lives in NYC and would love to host any visiting CGDers!
  • Amy Quinn Diallo (global health intern, 2012) is the health systems team leader for USAID/Malawi.
  • Laura Drachsler (web intern, 2010) has been working as a graphic designer for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human rights for four and a half years, and she is getting married this October.
  • Sarah Dykstra (research assistant, 2011–2014) is heading to Wharton’s Health Care Management and Economics PhD program.
  • Kaci Farrell (policy outreach assistant, 2009–2011) recently accepted the role of program officer, global policy and advocacy, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon (research assistant, 2014) has some recently published work, two interviews for her work on INDC, and a blog on her experience at the UNFCCC conference in Bonn. She was accepted to University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability for a masters of science, and starts this fall.
  • Peter Gardner (special assistant to the president, 2008–2009) graduated from Yale's School of Management last spring (three weeks before getting married!) and is now a director in the strategic communications division at the Glover Park Group here in Washington. 
  • Lauren Konopacz (communications intern, 2009) is currently doing a short-term contract with Plan International in Dublin, Ireland, working on various elements of program support.
  • John May (visiting fellow, 2012) works at PRB. Apart from project work at PRB, his main research project is to edit a book on the demographic dividend in sub-Saharan Africa, with co-editor Dr. Hans Groth of St. Gallen Universität in Switzerland.  They expect the book to be published toward the end of the second quarter of 2016.
  • Molly McGregor (policy outreach assistant, 2014) has joined the ranks of several other CGD alums at World Resources Institute, where she works as the research coordinator in the president’s office.
  • Christian Meyer (research associate, 2012–2013) is working towards his PhD in economics at the European University Institute in Florence and is a consultant at the World Bank Poverty Global Practice.
  • Sneha Raghavan (research assistant, 2013–2014) started a job as an online marketing manager at Whereoware LLC, working on digital marketing campaigns and analytics. She also got married this August.
  • David Roodman (senior fellow, 2002–2013) is a senior advisor for the Open Philanthropy Project which is a collaboration between the foundation Good Ventures and the nonprofit GiveWell, and is a funder of CGD. They’re based in San Francisco, so he is working from home in Capitol Hill.
  • Matthew Schneider (consultant, 2011–2012) is heading back to the University of Washington in Seattle to attain his PhD in global health: metrics and implementation science, after two and a half years working as a cost technical advisor at the Global Health Bureau's Office of HIV/AIDS at USAID. If you find yourself in the great Pacific Northwest, make sure to look him up.
  • Marla Spivack (program coordinator, 2012–2014) just completed her first year as an associate at IDinsight, where she’s been based in Lusaka, Zambia, and working on a project with the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health. She will be relocating to Hyderabad this summer to work with IDinsight's office in India.
  • Kate Vyborny (program coordinator, 2006–2008) just finished her first year as a postdoc at Duke’s department of economics.
  • Scott Weathers (intern, 2014) graduated from American University this spring and is coming back to DC to work as a Global Health Corps global policy fellow at IntraHealth International.

January 2015

  • Joselyn DiPetta, former CGD intern (2006), gave a recent TED Talk, “The Missing Piece in the Gender Equality Puzzle.”
  • Denizhan Duran, former research assistant (2011–13), was recently promoted to program manager for health financing at the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Lilongwe, Malawi. 
  • Dan Hammer, former research assistant (2008–10), is on leave from his PhD at UC Berkeley to serve as a presidential innovation fellow.  He works with NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to make satellite imagery more open and accessible.  Dan and Robin Kraft (also a CGD alum) successfully launched Global Forest Watch at the World Resources Institute, where Dan is the Chief Data Scientist.  The project started at CGD under the guidance of David Wheeler, and has become the go-to source for near real-time information on forest loss.
  • Lauren Konopacz, communications intern (2009), just finished up her master’s—an MSc in Development Practice from Trinity College Dublin—and is embarking full time in the job hunt.
  • Sarah Lucas, former senior associate for outreach and policy (2001–2007), is now at the Hewlett Foundations’ Global Development and Population program, after six and a half years at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In this role she has the great pleasure of working again with amazing CGD alum, Ruth Levine. She is managing a portfolio of grants aimed at ensuring that global development policies—both in developing and donor nations—are informed by the best available information and evidence.
  • Hrushikesh Mallick, former visiting fellow (2010–2011), is working as an associate professor, at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Trivandrum, Kerala, India.
  • Sue Nichols, former director of finance and operations (2002–2006), remains the COO at the Phillips Collection and encourages everyone to plan a visit to see the upcoming Man Ray Human Equations:  A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare exhibition, which will be on view from February 7 through May 10, 2015.
  • Jenny Ottenhoff, former global health policy outreach associate (2011–2014), has joined PEPFAR as a public affairs advisor.
  • Liza Reynolds, former special assistant and program associate for Europe (2011–2013), is in her second year at Columbia Business School where she is focusing her MBA studies on health care and social impact work. Liza spent her summer internship at Deloitte doing strategy consulting for health care clients, and she'll be returning to the firm full time next year in New York. Outside of the classroom, she has enjoyed traveling and exploring the world and has plans for a backpacking trip through Chilean Patagonia and a study tour of Indonesia in the spring. 
  • Juliette Seban, former Intern (2007–2008), received a PhD in economics at the Sorbonne University in Paris while working at the J-PAL Europe Office. She came back to the States two years ago to work as a research and evaluation advisor at the International Rescue Committee based in New York.
  • Kate Vyborny, former program coordinator to the president (2006–2008), finished a DPhil in economics at Oxford and has started a postdoc in the economics department at Duke.

July 2014

  • Jessica Brinton, former media relations coordinator (2010-12), is now a policy outreach associate at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Veronica Gonzalez Stuva, former research assistant (2009-11), recently completed her Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Michigan and is now working as a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Dan Hammer, former research assistant (2008-10), and Robin Kraft, former program coordinator (2007-10), who worked at CGD’s Forest Monitoring for Action (FORMA) Initiative, are co-founders of the World Resources Institute’s new Data Lab which aims to leverage big data and scalable analysis for environmental applications.
  • Cathy Kaplan, former communications intern (2013), is now a special assistant to the assistant administrator at USAID.
  • Christian Meyer, former research associate (2012-14), is now a consultant at the World Bank Development Research Group on a policy research report focused on shared prosperity.
  • Sonal Shah, former director of programs and operations (2001-03), is the executive director for Georgetown University’s new Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, which launched in February 2014.
  • Connie Veillette, former senior fellow and director of the Rethinking US Development Policy program (2012-13), is now senior fellow for Global Food Security and Aid Effectiveness at the new Lugar Center, which was founded by former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar.

December 2013

  • Former program coordinator Christina Droggitis (2009-2011) recently completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at George Washington University and is now a policy analyst at USAID.
  • Former policy outreach assistant Kaci Farrell (2009-2011) recently completed her Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the University of Chicago and is now an associate program officer of global development programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Former program manager Gargee Ghosh (2003-2004) has been appointed as a member of President Obama’s Global Development Council. 
  • Former constituent relations coordinator Aaron Hoffmeyer (2009-2011) is now a platform operations analyst at Twitter, Inc.
  • Former communications intern Lauren Konopacz (2008) is currently in Rio de Janiero, conducting research on livelihood systems and conservation as development for her Master’s program in Development Practice from Trinity College in Dublin.
  • Former director of institutional advancement Sarah Marchal Murray (2007-2013) is now senior vice president of development and communications at the END Fund in New York City.
  • Former policy outreach assistant Chris Molitoris (2011-2012) and former communications intern Alli Blount (2012) recently announced their engagement.  Best wishes to the happy couple!
  • Former research intern Amaka Okechukwu (2012) recently founded , a non-profit organization that serves as a community platform for business, politics, and economics ideas throughout Africa.
  • Former financial services research intern Alexandra Rock (2011-2012) is now a project manager at the Federal Reserve Board.
  • Former research assistant Bilal Siddiqi (2005-2006) is now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.
  • Former research assistant Ross Thuotte (2010-2012) was recently promoted to senior economic and financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Senior fellow emeritus David Wheeler recently published his own action/mystery thriller e-book, Drone Strike, which features young Americans and Iraqis who are thrown together by two drone strikes in 2008 (author’s note: all characters are fictional, including himself—he uses the pen name Nathan Mosby).

June 2013

  • Former research assistant Alicia Bannon has joined the Brennan Center for Justice as an attorney, where she works on ensuring fair and impartial courts at the state and federal level. She and her husband Omar also recently welcomed their new baby girl, Abby, into the world.
  • Former program associate Brian Deese has moved from the White House National Economic Council to become deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Former program coordinator Jessica Gottlieb, after receiving her PhD at Stanford University, has accepted a job as an assistant professor at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. She and her husband, Jean-Baptiste, welcomed a new  daughter, Claire Diane Charlot, to the world in May.
  • Former policy analyst Julie Walz is now working at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a policy team led by (yet another!) former CGD policy analyst, Gargee Ghosh.
  • Staci Warden, co-author of the CGD report, Joining the Fight Against Global Poverty: A Menu for Corporate Engagement, has been  appointed  executive director of the Milken Institute’s DC-based Center for Financial Markets.
  • Former post-doctoral fellow Jeremy Weinstein has received the Annual Karl Deutsch career award from the International Studies Association, which recognizes scholars under 40 who have made significant contributions to the study of international relations and peace research.

January 2013

  • Former communications intern Lauren Aitken is now a program associate and social media coordinator at the Meridian International Center. She works with former events manager Heather Haines, who is the director of Meridian's public programs.
  • Former media relations coordinator Jessica Brinton lives in Nairobi, Kenya, working as a program coordinator at the African Population and Health Research Center.
  • Former policy analyst Gargee Ghosh recently joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Policy & Advocacy Department as a Director of Policy Analysis and Financing. She also just welcomed her second child in to the world (congratulations, Gargee and Andrew)!
  • Former program coordinator Danielle Kuczynski manages a Clinton Health Access Initiative Sustainable Health Financing Program, which operates across five countries in Africa.
  • Former program coordinator Ayah Mahgoub recently moved back to Washington after completing her MPA/ID from Harvard University. She is now working at the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa team in Sustainable Development Network as a development policy specialist.
  • Former executive assistant Annie Malknecht is now a research associate at the Center for American Progress’ Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative, working alongside former policy analyst Casey Dunning (who is a senior policy analyst at CAP).
  • Former senior fellow and chief economist for USAID Steve Radelet has joined the Georgetown Human Development Program as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Development.
  • Former research consultant Matt Schneider is now working for the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO), doing monitoring and evaluation in health informatics.

October 2012

  • Former executive assistant to the president Dana Alsen is a first-year PhD student at the University of Alabama, focusing on American history with an emphasis on Southern Environmental history. She is also a recipient of the University of Alabama’s Graduate Council Fellowship.
  • Former communications intern Alexandra Beizan-Diaz is now a project coordinator at Thomson Reuters.
  • Former research assistant Rachel Block is currently pursuing her JD at the University of Chicago Law School, where she is also a research assistant to Judge Richard Posner and working in the Chicago Journal of International Law.
  • Former senior fellow Steve Radelet, now Chief Economist of USAID, was recently awarded a 2012 Global Generation Award, an exclusive award by the Millennium Challenge Network that honors global leaders who champion sustainable international development.
  • Former program coordinator Steven Rosenzweig recently wed Jennifer Lynn Breckheimer this summer. Congratulations, Steve!
  • Former program coordinator and special assistant to the president Sandy Stonesifer was recently appointed as Executive Director of the Advisory Council for Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) at USAID.
  • Former HIV/AIDS Monitor policy analyst David Wendt got married this summer in Vermont. Congratulations, David!

July 2012

  • Kaci Farrell, former policy outreach assistant, is living in Kampala, Uganda this summer interning at USAID’s Office of Economic Growth.
  • Molly Kinder, former senior policy analyst, is moving across the big pond this summer to work with former research fellow Ben Leo’s policy team in ONE’s London office as the new Food Security and Europe policy director.
  • Ayah Mahgoub, former program coordinator to the president, graduated in May 2012 from the Harvard Kennedy School with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/International Development.
  • Arvind Nair, former research assistant, recently released, “Evaluating the Case for Cash Transfers of Resource Revenues in Sierra Leone,” a background paper for CGD’s Oil-to-Cash Initiative.
  • Cindy Prieto, former program coordinator, will be leaving Washington, DC to pursue her MBA at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
  • Ross Thuotte, former research assistant, is now a systems analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Milan Vaishnav, former special assistant to the president and senior visiting associate, is now an associate in the South Asia Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

April 2012

  • Lindsay Coshatt, former assistant to the president, will be graduating in May from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a master’s degree in education policy and management.
  • Former program coordinator Jessica Gottlieb will be a pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law) this fall, and will be receiving her PhD in political science from Stanford in 2013. She also got married last June in her husband’s hometown of Poitiers, France.
  • Former director of the Rethinking US Foreign Assistance Initiative Sheila Herrling is now Vice President of Policy and Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She also recently became a mother, for the fourth time! Congratulations, Sheila!
  • Former senior policy analyst Molly Kinder was recently awarded the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
  • Former director of the HIV/AIDS Monitor and senior program associate Nandini Oomman moved to Hanoi, Vietnam with her family and is now working as an independent global health consultant.
  • Former research assistant Martina Tonizzo recently moved from Washington, DC to Manila, Philippines, to work in the Young Professionals Program at the Asian Development Bank.

February 2012

  • Former research assistant Samuel Bazzi and former post-doctoral fellow (and current non-resident fellow) Christopher Blattman completed their long-running project entitled “Economic Shocks and Conflict: The (Absence of) Evidence from Commodity Prices” in November 2011.
  • Former policy analyst Wren Elhai, currently a Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department, relocated to Russia in January 2012 to work in Moscow’s US Embassy and Consular Services.
  • Former program coordinator to the president Ayah Mahgoub is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration/International Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, which she is anticipated to complete later this year.
  • Former research assistant and senior visiting associate Kevin Ummel got married in December 2011. Congratulations, Kevin!

November 2011

  • Former research assistant Selvin Akkus is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics at the New York University’s Stern School of Business.
  • Former research assistant Rikhil Bhavnani began an assistant professorship in the Department of Political Science in the University of Wisconsin-Madison in August 2011, making him CGD’s first research assistant to become a full-time university professor.
  • Former program associate Brian Deese was featured in The New Republic’s list of Washington, DC’s "most powerful, least famous people" in October 2011.
  • Former senior associate Greg Michaelidis is now director of Speechwriting for the US Department of Homeland Security and chief speechwriter of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
  • Former research/special assistant Lauren Young returned from a trip to Haiti in October 2011, where she used MINUSTAH as a case study to survey how host citizens in a host country form opinions towards peacekeepers (Download PDF results here).