Students from Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy will tackle issues affecting the refugee, LGBTQ+, low-income, and incarcerated communities thanks to an award from the Baker Center for Leadership & Governance.

Baker Innovation Award Winners 2018

The winners of the 2018 Baker Innovation Award are:

Caroline Cragin (MPP ‘19) will launch the only community-based mediation program in Washington, DC, that supports the successful re-entry of incarcerated individuals into society and reduces recidivism.

Juan Pablo Delgado Miranda (MPP ‘19) will build an interactive digital platform to enable LGBTQ+ persons in Mexico to report crimes and discrimination, providing civil society organizations with the needed information to more effectively advocate for human rights.

Ben Mindes (MPP ‘19) will pilot a citizen election observation effort of the Washington, DC 2018 mayoral elections that demonstrates the power of collecting representative data about the quality of election administration in D.C. and serves as a potential model for other electoral jurisdictions in the United States.

Peter Nouhan (MPP ‘19) will promote the use of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Washington, DC, by building an easy-to-access web service with a calculator to determine EITC eligibility and approximate returns, a free tax-prep finder, and an interactive heat map so nonprofits can target resources more effectively to those who need them.

Megan Reichert (MPP ‘19) will develop a comprehensive training program of group clinics and one-on-one services to help refugees in Northern VA transition to higher skilled jobs after they no longer qualify for assistance from national resettlement agencies.

The Baker Innovation Award, launched earlier this year, challenges and empowers students to pursue bold solutions to a pressing social, political, or policy issue.

Over the next year, these “Baker Innovators” will receive $20,000 in funding to develop, incubate, and refine their solutions. Along the way, the Baker Center will provide the Innovators with customized leadership training and skill-building workshops, access to exclusive peer discussions, and expert advice to tackle their chosen solutions more effectively.

"With trust in most major institutions at all-time lows, we want to position our students to become the trusted leaders of tomorrow,” said Victoria Canavor, director of the Baker Center. “With this award, these five students don't have to wait to begin having a positive impact– they can start today."

Restoring Faith in Institutions, Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders

A center at Georgetown within the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy, the Baker Center for Leadership & Governance brings together stakeholders from government, business, nonprofits, education, and faith-based institutions to tackle social, political, and policy challenges and begin the important work of restoring faith in our institutions.

Created thanks to the generosity of Patricia and Jon Baker (C’64), the Baker Center serves as a conduit between society’s core institutions to promote civil dialogue and debate, spur creative thinking and imagination, and inspire a new generation of leadership.