Kendall Banks is a second-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) candidate at the Trachtenberg School, concentrating in program evaluation. Originally from the suburbs of New York City, Kendall graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development, and has since held a variety of positions across the public and private sectors, including four years living and working in Latin America. Most recently, she worked as an Analyst Intern at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and is currently working as a teaching assistant for two classes at the Trachtenberg School in addition to her role as Editor-in-Chief. When not studying, she loves to travel, salsa dance, ride horses, and read whatever she can get her hands on!
Jackie Wheeler is a second-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on state and local government. Originally from a small town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, Jackie graduated from the University of Washington in 2013 with a BA in politics, philosophy, and economics. Before moving to Washington, DC for graduate school, she was an Elections Administrator for the Washington Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia, WA. Jackie currently interns at the National Association of Counties (NACo). During her free time, she enjoys rooting for Seattle sports teams, hiking, and visiting family in North Carolina and Washington State.
Timothy Wolf Barham is a second-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate at the Trachtenberg School, concentrating on public-private policy and the interactions between business and government. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Colorado, Timothy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder studying Classics with a focus on philology, ancient history, and law. Before graduate school, Timothy committed three years to the non-profit sector, leading humanitarian projects both domestically and globally in Papua New Guinea, India, Haiti, Ireland, and Mexico. Timothy is interested in the interactions between the public, private, and non-profit sectors, especially regarding international development.
Jae-Marie Ferdinand is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on health policy. She believes every child has the right to achieve their full potential. Jae-Marie is an Academic Pediatrician and Assistant Professor on sabbatical from McGill University (Montreal, Canada). She received her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto. Jae-Marie completed her Pediatric Residency at McGill University and her Neonatology Fellowship at Harvard University and the University of Toronto. She has developed and directed programs to optimize the care for children with complex healthcare needs, and to teach medical trainees the advocacy and clinical skills to care for socially disadvantaged children. This summer, Jae-Marie enjoyed her dream internship at Management Sciences for Health. Jae-Marie is a passionate advocate for all children and families, especially those who are vulnerable.
David Gellman is a second-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School, concentrating in politics, policy, and administration. Originally from Miami, Florida, David graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in government and a minor in Spanish. After college, David served as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and has spent the last three years working in government affairs.
Simone Hall is a second-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on social policy. Born and raised right outside of DC, Simone graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University. She has held positions as an intern in the district office of a U.S. Congresswoman, as a note-taker in FAU’s Student Accessibility Services Office, and as a government affairs assistant at a DC-based small business advocacy organization. Simone currently serves as Policy Specialist at the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools. When she isn’t studying or working, Simone enjoys watching movies and exploring DC’s restaurant scene with her friends.
Miranda Hines is a second-year Master of Public Policy Student (MPP) candidate at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on environmental policy and program evaluation. Originally from Akron, Ohio, Miranda graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017 with a BA in political science and English literature. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, she was a Team Assistant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Columbus, Ohio. She is currently a Teaching Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant for the Trachtenberg School. During her free time, she enjoys baking, riding her bike, and exploring DC’s museums.
Emma Pellerin is a second-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) candidate focusing on education policy and program evaluation. A native of southeastern Connecticut, she graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2012 with a degree in English and Political Science. She joined the 2012 Teach for America-Baltimore corps as a ninth grade English teacher and earned her Master’s degree in secondary education from Johns Hopkins University School of Education in 2014. Since leaving the classroom, Emma has worked as an organizer with Hillary for America and Educators for Excellence. She currently works on the Operations team at LearnZillion and enjoys reading, cooking, and knitting in her spare time.
Eli Richman is a data journalist and Master of Public Policy candidate studying technology and healthcare policy. He works full time making charts and podcasts for Questex’s industry newsletters, covering telecommunications, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and other areas. Richman hails from City Island in New York City and got his Bachelor’s in politics at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He is a proud cat dad, avid board gamer and scooter enthusiast. He is also a recurring co-host on WonkCast, Policy Perspectives’ sister podcast.
Ethan Steakley is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate focusing on urban policy and program evaluation. He graduated with a BA in political science and BS in psychology from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Ethan currently works as a Graduate Intern in the Applied Research department of a nonprofit called Prosperity Now where he assists with research related to asset-building, debt management and innovation. In his free time, he enjoys going to the library, taking his dog for long walks, and traveling to new places.
Jason Cohn is a first-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on education policy and program evaluation. Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Jason graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in economics and public policy. He currently works as a Policy Research Intern at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). In his free time, he enjoys watching and going to sporting events and traveling.
Katie Howell is a first-year MPP candidate at the Trachtenberg School, with an interest in social and urban policy. Originally from Cary, North Carolina, Katie graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017 with a BA in Global Studies. Following graduation and before starting graduate school, Katie moved to Washington, D.C to work with a non-profit managing farmers’ markets around the city.
Thomas J. Rachko, Jr. is a second-year MPA candidate at the George Washington University. He currently serves as a program coordinator in the US Program at Human Rights Watch. Prior to pursuing a degree in public administration at the Trachtenberg School, he completed the 2016-2017 New York City Urban Fellows program at the New York Police Department Office of Management Analysis & Planning. He graduated from the City University of New York Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in 2015 with a B.A. in history.
Stephanie Silver is a second-year MPA candidate at the Trachtenberg School, focusing on urban policy. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Stephanie graduated from Indiana University in 2012 with a BA in journalism and political science. She has held a variety of communications positions across the public and private sectors, and she is currently a communications specialist at Fannie Mae. During her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and rooting for Indiana basketball.
Eleanor Thompson is a first year MPP student with a focus in education. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 with a BAS in Political Science and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She was a Teach for America Corp. member and taught high school Spanish for two years in Charlotte, NC. Upon completion of her MPP degree, Eleanor hopes to pursue a career analyzing and lobbying for legislation that promotes a more equitable education system, particularly for the social and emotional wellbeing of students. In her free time, Eleanor loves to sing with her a cappella group, Word Of Mouth, run in the woods, paint, and read with a good cup of coffee.
Elisa Walker is a third-year Master of Public Policy candidate focusing on social policy. She also works for the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, covering Social Security retirement and solvency policies. She previously worked at the Social Security Administration, where she focused on disability policy and research, and at the National Academy of Social Insurance, where she analyzed Social Security financing and policy options. She has co-authored numerous publications on Social Security, including a comparative study of international privatization efforts (in last year’s Policy Perspectives) and a nationally-representative survey of public opinions on Social Security. Elisa received the Frances Perkins Center’s 2015 Open Door Award, given annually to an emerging leader in social justice and economic security, and a 2016 SSA Commissioner’s Team Award. She holds a BA in sociology and Spanish from the University of Mary Washington.