Business and Development Fellows Selected
By Michael McLaughlin (MBA’15)
Seventeen Global Social Enterprise and Development (GSED) Fellows for the 2014-2015 academic year were selected earlier this month. Manish Padhiar, one of the fellows in his first year as an MBA/SFS joint degree graduate student is excited to be a GSED Fellow because of “the diversity in thought it will provide. The program facilitates dialogue and interaction between the public and private development spheres and the business world,” he said.
Going into its second year, the program is the result of collaboration between two schools at Georgetown University, the McDonough School of Business and the Global Human Development (GHD) program within the School of Foreign Service (SFS). It is designed to blend a cohort of business students and human development students – this year six MBAs, 10 GHDs, and one MBA/SFS – to develop the fellows’ entrepreneurial skills using both coursework and experiential learning, with a focus on the ways social enterprises or multinational corporations and institutions can move beyond aid, and offer market-based solutions to address needs at the base of the pyramid in developing and emerging economies. In addition to taking classes outside of their respective academic programs, the fellows will participate in a global innovation lab course in which they will prototype solutions to global development challenges. Before they graduate, they must also be proficient in a second language, in addition to completing the Global Social Enterprise Practicum.
David Houlihan, a first year MBA student and new GSED Fellow, said he left the education nonprofit world to grow his potential for making greater impact. He believes GSED will propel him toward that goal by providing a combination of coursework that will help him develop his understanding of creating social impact, and providing a group of peers that bring unique experiences and perspectives.
The skills the fellows will develop by assessing business proposals and strategies based on social impact will be an asset, especially as the private sector continues to initiate projects with positive social and environmental objectives. A graduating MBA student and a member of last year’s GSED Fellow class, Shreeshant Prabhakaran, said, “The program has complimented the rigorous business training I have received with a more holistic view as to how enterprises from start-ups to multinationals should interact beneficially with their stakeholders and communities.” Mr. Prabhakaran will pursue a career in private equity in sub-Saharan Africa upon graduation, after spending last summer at Afig, a fund management company focused on private equity in Africa.
Anne Devine, a graduating GSED Fellow from the Global Human Development Program within SFS, highlighted how her experience as a fellow has broadened her perspective on the international development problems she dealt with in her work before coming to school. She expects to continue her career in international development upon graduation equipped with more robust problem-solving skills gained through the GSED program.
The 2014-2015 GSED Fellows are:
Jessica Bluestein, GHD ’15
Jessica Bluestein graduated from Middlebury College where she majored in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America. Upon graduation, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil and studied the intersections of religion and development, focusing on the Pentecostal church and the socioeconomic consequences of conversion. After her Fulbright year, Jessica stayed in Brazil to work for Mobile Metrix, a start-up market research company that combines community-based research and data analysis with social initiatives in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Recife, Brazil. In addition to her experiences in Brazil, Jessica has worked with an international NGO in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua on youth empowerment and community-based health and education projects. Currently, she is a Master’s candidate in Global Human Development at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Wei-ti Chen, GHD ’15
Wei-ti Chen received a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration from National Taiwan University. He also studied abroad in Spain and Turkey. Wei-ti has volunteered in a community development program in India and interned with an NGO that contributes to the education of refugee children on the Thai-Burma border. Upon graduation, Wei-ti worked in the Taiwan Technical Mission in Guatemala with a project developing the bamboo industry in Guatemala. His efforts facilitated communication among the Guatemalan and Taiwanese government agencies, and the small businesses dedicated to the production of bamboo product. He also negotiated and drafted a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the project between the Taiwanese Embassy and the Ministry of Agriculture in Guatemala. Wei-ti’s interests include agriculture, business development and government affairs. He speaks Chinese and Spanish.
Terrell Clifford, MBA-MPP’15
Terrell is a dual MBA-MPP student interested in international strategy and development. Prior to coming to Georgetown, he attended Howard University where he earned his Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in management. After graduating, Terrell worked as a Graduate Analyst at UBS Investment Bank, followed by a yearlong term of service with AmeriCorps. Outside of being a GSED Fellow, Terrell is also a member of McDonough’s Graduate Investment Fund as well as the McCourt School’s student led and operated Georgetown Public Policy Review.
Bethel Deresu, MBA’15
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Bethel came to the United States at the age of eight. She grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and obtained a bachelor’s degree from The University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. She has approximately five years of cross-industry and cross-cultural experience in organizational management, client management, business development, and financial services.
Mary Dominic, GHD ’15
Mary Dominic studied Economics and Commerce at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai where she received a BA in the Economics Honors Program. Following graduation, she was selected to be a fellow at the Teach for India program where she taught full time in a low income school in Mumbai for two years. Her experience in the classroom and interactions with students’ parents deeply shaped her desire to remain in the international development field. While serving as a Fellow she co-founded a Teach for India Be the Change Program (BTCP) to provide exposure to extra-curricular activities, such as dance and art, to students. Mary has also volunteered in a rural school in Sikkim where she taught English to 5th graders. Her interests include education, health and NGO management.
Amna Fatani, GHD’15
Amna Fatani received her B.Sc in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Saudi Arabia. Since graduating, Amna worked in the human resource field, first with a revolutionary local media startup and progressing to HR manager for a private aviation group. In late 2009, Amna founded a grassroots youth organization whose aim was to get young people together to help them develop intellectually and professionally with the goal of improving their status in the workforce. Amna has been involved in social and political activism, in particular advocating for minority rights in the region. She was recognized in Arabian Women’s Magazine as one of the top 30 most inspirational women in the Middle East in 2010. Amna speaks fluent Arabic and is currently studying Spanish.
David Houlihan, MBA’15
David Houlihan received a B.A. in International Relations at New York University. After graduating, he joined Teach for America, teaching special education for two years, then transitioned to an operations role at the Success Charter Network, designing and implementing systems for opening new high-performing schools. Most recently, David was the Director of Operations at Coney Island Prep, a middle school that ranked in the top 6% of schools in New York City. After dedicating seven years to the New York City education system, David decided to get his MBA at Georgetown to develop new skills that will help him broaden his impact. David is a Global Social Enterprise Initiative Student Leader, presently working with the National Restaurant Association to support member organizations implementing the Affordable Care Act.
Sz-Yi (Alan) Huang, MBA’15
Alan Huang received a B.S. in Business Administration at the Chang Gung University in Taiwan. After graduating, he worked in banking and financial services as financial consultant advising people on financial and investment decision before started his MBA the McDonough School of Business. Since the financial crisis of 2008, he realized how important it is for individuals and families to have financial stability and sustainability in order to control their future and realize their potential. Alan’s goal is to leverage his financial expertise and business knowledge to enable financial security for families or social enterprises that need it. He believes with the combination of the MBA and the Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellows (GSEDF) training, he can become part of the investment vehicle that not only is committed to fund and grow the social sector, but also enable effective funding models so social organizations can grow and scale.
Pitchaya Indravudh, GHD ’15
Pitchaya Indravudh’s interest in international development stems from growing up between the U.S. and Thailand. As an undergraduate at the University of California Los Angeles, she majored in Political Science and International Development Studies, and interned with USAID, the Department of State’s mission in Thailand and Relief International. Following graduation, Pitchaya joined the Peace Corps as an NGO Development Volunteer in South Africa and worked with a rural women’s crisis center on issues related to gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS and migration. After her service, she conducted a research study with the University of Pretoria’s Centre for the Study of AIDS on gender violence and access to services. She currently is a Research Assistant at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration.
Anne Johnson, GHD ’15
Anne Johnson arrives at Georgetown from IREX, a DC-based international non-profit, where she coordinated new business development and supported youth, gender, conflict and education programs in China, Iraq, and across the former Soviet Union. Based in Beijing prior to joining IREX, Anne coordinated PR for the UNDP’s Northeast Asian regional economic and political cooperation mechanism, the Greater Tumen Initiative, and advised US undergraduates studying with IES Abroad at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Anne has also collaborated with the anti-human trafficking unit at the International Organization for Migration’s Mission in Tajikistan through a University of Minnesota Law School human rights fellowship. Originally from rural northern Wisconsin, Anne holds a BA in International Studies and Anthropology from Macalester College, and has also studied in China, Croatia, and the Netherlands. At GHD, Anne’s key interests for further study center on mainstreaming gender in development, post-conflict transitions, and harnessing the potential of the private sector to expand sustainable development.
Nicho Liu, MBA’15
Nicho Liu comes from China with a B.A. in Economics, and M.A. in Business Law. After graduation, Nicho joined an international engineering company, mainly responsible for business development and execution of mass transport projects in the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, and Middle Asia. Before MSB, Nicho was the project manager of three railway vehicle projects in Iran, and has initiated several social responsibility plans there. After his years of work in developing countries, Nicho was proud to see how new infrastructure helps improve locals’ lives. However, it was really hard to figure out what was the best next step to further improve life standards, and what an individual company could offer most efficiently and sustainably. Nicho believes that there would be a huge demand for social enterprise back in China in the future. He joins the fellows program with a focus on private sector’s deeper engagement in social development, and also wishes to share his vision and past experience with his fellows.
Jason Noah, GHD ’15
Jason Noah received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Tulane University in 2008. After graduation, Jason worked for Morgan Stanley’s fixed income trading desk, during which he traveled to Mumbai, India to develop a new support team in 2011. Jason relocated to Buenos Aires in 2012 to work for RATT Argentina, an organization that strives to eradicate human trafficking. Upon his return to the US, Jason worked for CSIS’s Project on Prosperity and Development, concentrating on private sector-led development. As a Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellow, Jason is excited to focus on the intersection between his financial experience and development interests. Having lived on four continents and visited sixty countries, Jason looks forward to continued work in the international arena.
Manish Padhiar, MBA/GHD’16
Manish Padhiar is a student of business, international relations, and life. His background includes genetics research, consulting, and the Peace Corps. He is interested in international capital flows, and private sector development in frontier markets. Manish is an avid fan of afro-beat and hip-life.
Alexandra Scott, GHD ’15
Alexandra Scott graduated with a B.S. in International Health from Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies in 2010. She returns to the Hilltop as a Global Human Development student to pursue her passion in global health and international development. Prior to joining the GHD program, Alexandra served as a Princeton in Asia Fellow in Lao PDR providing technical support to an international NGO implementing social marketing and social franchising programs for health. After completing the fellowship, Alexandra joined a DC-based global health company as a Research Associate supporting implementation of research, knowledge management and capacity building activities around costing, and economic analysis for HIV programs around the globe. She has completed study abroad programs in Thailand, Tanzania and Spain and traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia.
Peace Uzoamaka Ugochukwu, GHD ’15
Prior to joining the Global Human Development program, Peace Uzoamaka Ugochukwu worked in the public affairs section of the United States Embassy in Nigeria. At the State Department, she worked with a team that informed Nigerians about U.S. public diplomacy policies in Nigeria and improved understanding between both countries. She also evaluated public affairs programs for their effectiveness in reaching Nigerians, especially women and children. She worked closely with senior staff on developments regarding U.S. strategic policies on education and media in Nigeria. Peace graduated from the American University in 2011. Her interest includes social enterprise, public-private partnerships and emerging markets.
Trent Van Alfen, MBA’15
Trent Van Alfen became interested in international development while serving in the Dominican Republic for two years as a missionary for his church. During his summers as an undergraduate, he started a school peer-support program as a volunteer in Uganda and managed a research site in South Africa for a field experiment studying ethnic identification. Upon graduating from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in International Relations, he taught middle school Spanish in the DC region with Teach for America. He is now active in leadership positions in the Global Social Enterprise Initiative, Net Impact, and the Social Impact Internship Fund. He hopes to one day create and manage a social enterprise of his own.
Sebastian Videla, GHD ’15
Sebastian Videla joins the Global Human Development program with a special interest in social enterprise, public-private partnerships and education. He was born and raised in Santiago, Chile and graduated from Universidad Adolfo Ibañez with a degree in Law. His passion for development and social entrepreneurship began when he co-founded CreceChile in 2005, an NGO with a special focus in development and adult education. Through CreceChile Sebastian has worked in the Human Resources area and also as the Executive Director for the past three years. The model has been expanded to Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Sebastian has also been involved in other social enterprise projects in Chile, including through Aconcagua Summit, an NGO that promotes meetings of social entrepreneurs of Latin America. In 2011, Sebastian was one of the winners of Acción Jóven, a competitive national fellowship program run by Andres Bello University and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) that supports the work of exceptional young social entrepreneurs around the world.