Hometown: Sag Harbor, NY (Long Island)
Why did you choose McCourt?
I chose McCourt for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the McCourt community's focus on peer-to-peer learning and the commitment to building a diverse, inclusive, and supportive community stood out as a hallmark of the McCourt experience. The Masters in Policy Management program also aligned exactly with what I was looking for in a graduate program and, after I found it, I had trouble finding anything else that I liked nearly as much.
Georgetown's formidable reputation and the program's location in DC certainly also factored into my decision. Being in the heart of where all of the political action is provides firsthand access to the dynamic landscape of policy formulation and implementation. I knew from the caliber of Georgetown's faculty and the university's standing among policy practitioners that McCourt would not only impart a top-tier education, but open doors to a network of influential figures shaping policy on a global scale.
What professional/ work experience did you have prior to coming to McCourt?
Prior to McCourt, I spent six years working in advocacy and health policy as a nonprofit director for rare and chronic disease populations. I served as the Senior Manager for Advocacy & Outreach at the Hemophilia Federation of America (HFA). In my role at HFA, I led the Public Affairs team's advocacy education efforts, assisted the HFA policy team with federal policy and regulatory measures, and supported HFA member organizations on state advocacy and policy initiatives. Before joining HFA, I was the Director of Engagement and Strategic Innovation for the New York City Hemophilia Chapter and the Coalition Manager for the New York State Bleeding Disorders Coalition.
As an experienced advocate, I was integrally involved in the passage of numerous pieces of legislation, particularly in New York State, including those regarding copay accumulator adjusters, anti-mandatory medication mail order, non-medical switching, pharmacy access, the creation of a Rare Disease Advisory Council, and more. I have been a featured speaker and facilitator on topics such as coalition building, creative methods for advocacy training, storytelling techniques, and ways to connect patient community members and legislators.
What has been the best part of your experience so far? Without a doubt, the best part of my experience at McCourt thus far has been the people that I've gotten to know through Georgetown. The welcoming and collaborative environment fostered by my peers, faculty, and the broader McCourt community inspires camaraderie and lends to dynamic learning atmosphere. Engaging with a diverse cohort of individuals, each bringing unique perspectives and backgrounds, has been an incredible source of learning and growth, both inside and outside the classroom. I've also been grateful for the opportunity to get involved in student organizations like McCourt Policy in Practice (MPiP) and have the privilege to get hands-on policy consulting experience while in school. This year, our group is collaborating with a health care non-profit, SAP Salud, based in Bogota, Colombia. I'm thrilled to be a part of the cohort traveling to Bogota in January for an in-person meeting with the organization.
What internships have you had so far during your time at McCourt? I am a 2023-24 George E. Richmond Foundation Fellow and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University. In my Graduate Research Assistantship, I collaborate with a dynamic team at CHIR to comprehensively analyze the current legal and regulatory landscape that affect consumers' access to dental coverage offered through ACA marketplaces.
Student organization involvement while at McCourt: MPM Consultant for McCourt Policy in Practice (MPiP), Event Manager for LGBTQ+ Policy Initiatives (LPI), 2023-24 Richmond Foundation Fellow, GU Politics
Undergraduate University, degree, and major: Binghamton University, BA in Political Science; BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Law
Outside of graduate school, I love traveling, supporting my favorite soccer teams, and going to the beach. As a new resident, I am also enjoying exploring all that DC has to offer: restaurants, live music, brunch, monuments, happy hours, museums, and more. When I'm not hanging out with family, friends, or my two cats, I am likely searching for the best pint of craft beer that DC has to offer.
Additional policy interests and passions include gender and LGBTQIA+ policy and rights, human rights, youth empowerment, and policies promoting equity and equality.
Reach out to me about: Moving to DC, working while going to graduate school, returning to school after taking time off, attending part-time and full-time, etc.