Duana Blach

Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Why did you choose McCourt? I chose McCourt primarily because of the MIDP Program. I was searching for a School or Program where I could focus on international policy (not focusing in the U.S., but mainly in developing countries), and McCourt offered it through a well-designed, high-quality Program. Other aspects that made me choose the MIDP in McCourt were being in a small cohort and with more experienced classmates. It has been incredible to be surrounded by inspiring people in a healthy and stimulating environment and to create close connections. Another distinguishing aspect is the program’s rigor to develop the hard skills necessary to design and implement top-quality impact evaluation in a very applied way.

What professional/ work experience did you have prior to coming to McCourt? I worked in Education for about 5 years. I was a teacher in Ensina Brasil (part of the Teach for All network) in a vulnerable public school in Brazil, and then started working with education policy. I worked as a consultant and project manager in projects with state governments to plan and implement education policies. I also worked closely with Brazil’s Minister of Education, developing studies to help understand the education scene and creating recommendations. Before that, I worked in the private sector, with project management, innovation, and data analysis.

What has been the best part of your experience so far? So far, the best parts of my experience are the connections I made, the key hard skills I developed, and living in DC. I made great friends from all over the world, met inspiring people, and have been learning from them. It is incredible how much we can learn in a few months and how applicable the content is. Moreover, DC is an incredible city, full of life, beautiful and international. I feel welcome here, it has become home.

Undergraduate University, degree, and major: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Economics

Hobbies/ Interests: I’m very interested in Education Policy – from planning to implementing. I love traveling, cooking, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

Reach out to me about: Education Policy, Development Policy, moving to DC with family, Latin America, first-generation student, impostor syndrome applicant