Blog Staff

The staff of Brief Policy Perspectives consists of an Executive Editor, three Deputy Editors, and eight Staff Writers.vernon org chart

For the 2019 – 2020 academic year, the staff of Brief Policy Perspectives is:

Executive Editor

IMG_3407Reeve Jacobus is a second-year MPP candidate concentrating on program evaluation. He currently works at the National Governors Association, where he conducts policy analysis and technical assistance on state criminal justice policy. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Reeve graduated cum laude with a degree in philosophy from Birmingham-Southern College. After graduating, he joined the Peace Corps, where he served for two years in northern Uganda as a public health volunteer.



Deputy Editors


Jennifer Hyde is a second-year Master of Public Policy with Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies candidate at the Columbia School. She currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Sociology. Jennifer is a Massachusetts native, where she revived her undergraduate degree in International Affairs from Gordon College. She plans to focus her thesis on sociohistorical applications of the motherhood penalty in post-communist Eastern Europe. Outside of her studies, Jennifer enjoys traveling, reading, and snorkeling with her husband.

memphisKasey Memphis is a second year MPP candidate focusing on health policy. Currently, Kasey is an intern at the Alliance for Health Policy where she assists the policy team with legislative tracking, congressional outreach, and policy research. She graduated magna cum laude from Bridgewater College where she studied political science and communications. After graduation, she interned with local elected officials in her home state of Maryland while working on various election campaigns. She also spent time working in a civil law firm where she helped the firm’s clients maneuver Maryland state agencies. During her free time, she enjoys hiking with her beagle and catching up on the latest political news. 

smithBridget Smith is a first-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) candidate at the Trachtenberg School, concentrating on Homeland Security and Emergency Management. She is also enrolled in the GIS Graduate Certificate Program through the Department of Geography. Originally from Illinois, Bridget graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Immediately after graduation, she served for two years with Teach for America, teaching middle school social studies in Eastern Kentucky. She currently works as a teaching assistant for the Department of Geography and serves as a Duty Officer for the American Red Cross. In addition, she is involved in the training and professional development activities of Arlington County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program affiliated with FEMA. In her free time she enjoys volunteering with local animal rescue organizations, hiking with her dog, and creative writing.

Staff Writers

asgariNiloofar Asgari is a first-year MPA (Masters in Public Administration) candidate at The Trachtenberg School, with interests in non-profit management, policy analysis, and immigration policy. Originally from Indianapolis, she graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Before coming to Trachtenberg, she served as an AmeriCorps Member at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, where she worked to expand resources for immigrant and refugee communities in Indianapolis. When Niloofar isn’t studying, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, catching up on her favorite TV shows, and teaching herself how to cook.


Sydney Hamilton is a first-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School, hoping to focus in issues of nuclear security policy. She currently works as a Systems Engineer at Systems Planning & Analysis, Inc., contracting for the U.S. Navy. Previously, she worked in the district offices of former Congressman Keith Rothfus and former State Representative Bryan Barbin, both of Pennsylvania. Originally from just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, Sydney graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Political Science. When not working or studying, she enjoys reading, playing board games, and catching as much theatre as possible!



Catherine Kaufman is a first-year MPA student and the associate editor of The Washington Quarterly, an international affairs journal hosted by the Elliott School. Prior to editing for TWQ, Catherine worked in DC as a paralegal in international trade. Catherine grew up in northern Virginia and got an honors BA degree in writing, rhetoric, and technical communication from James Madison University, where she served as the managing editor of the James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal and as a university writing tutor and fellow.



ray-tiptonKaid Ray-Tipton is a second-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School, concentrating on criminal justice. He is a program associate at Impact Justice where he works on sexual safety in confinement. Previously, Kaid worked for several elected officials and a voter registration campaign in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the inaugural Brown University Journal of Philosophy, Politics & Economics, Kaid published his work titled, “Latent Effects of Cannabis Legalization: Racial Disproportionality and Disparity in Washington State Drug Convictions, 2000-2015.” He is a graduate of the University of Washington—majoring in sociology with distinction and communications, and minoring in diversity and gender, women, and sexuality studies.

wilsonKim Wilson is a second-year MPP candidate specializing in financial and regulatory policy. She works as Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Feighan Team, a women-run government relations firm serving nonprofit community development organizations. Kim previously worked in the DC office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and as an organizer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Originally from Saint Paul, MN, Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and global studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She enjoys running the Mall, attending group fitness classes, and learning languages in her spare time.


Madison Grady is a first-year MPP candidate concentrating on science, space, and technology policy. Originally from Montana, she graduated magna cum laude from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication. Prior to moving to D.C., Madison was working as a Special Assistant for Public Policy for the Governor of Idaho. She currently works in government affairs at the Investment Company Institute, focusing on financial services, retirement, and tax policy. In her spare time, Madison volunteers with the Washington Urban Debate League, helping local debate programs and judging tournaments.




Olivia Shaffett is a first-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) candidate. Her current interests include social and communications policy. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in history from Louisiana State University. While living in Louisiana, Olivia created an editorial platform, Modern Girls, to support and feature women in business, the arts, and the non-profit sector. After graduation, she worked in management and administration at a local law firm. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the many bookstores, comedy clubs and museums that D.C. has to offer.



Musirah Farrukh is a second-year MPP specializing in Economic Development. She is a Global Initiatives Fellow at the Trachtenberg School, with a keen interest in economic development as a driver for social development. Previously, she has worked in Impact Evaluation in Cambodia and Political Policy Research in Pakistan. Musirah earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan. She also minored in History, and believes firmly in a holistic approach to development, hinging on promoting economic interests of different segments of society. In her free time, she likes to get creative with whatever is available in the pantry, and read modern history, or postmodernist literature.

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