Maggie Sullivan

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Current City: Washington, DC

Why did you choose McCourt? After a few years of working with the federal government, I wanted to pursue a degree that offered a strong quantitative foundation, in-demand technical skills like data science, and a connection to the policy world where I was working. Georgetown was one of the few schools in the country that offered a program fully at the intersection of data science and public policy. Plus, Georgetown’s reputation among policy practitioners and location within the country’s capital complemented the curriculum.

What professional/ work experience did you have prior to coming to McCourt? Prior to McCourt, I worked in international development as a contractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development, primarily focused on program management and communications related to democracy and governance as well as the inclusion of marginalized populations. I saw how much data the U.S. Government collects in program implementation and the untapped potential to integrate data science to better understand impacts and enhance programming.

What has been the best part of your experience so far? The best part of the program has definitely been my cohort. We have around 30 people in the program and share most of the same classes the first year. This has been a wonderful way to build a strong sense of community among like-minded students.

What internships have you had so far during your time at McCourt? I have primarily worked with Georgetown’s Massive Data Institute (MDI) I collaborated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to apply my data science and visualizations skills to support the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Biden Administrations Justice40 Initiative. Also with MDI, I am now working with Professor Rebecca Johnson to to create a systematic database of school board meeting deliberations using large-scale video and text data from Youtube.

Student organization involvement while at McCourt: One of the most exciting student organizations I’ve been involved with is the Georgetown Technology Policy Initiative (GTPI), who, along with the Beeck Center, hosted a seminar series on Civic Tech Conversations with practitioners. We discussed topics such as Public Interest Tech; Data Privacy and Ethics; AI, the IoT, and Infrastructure Policies, Digital Innovation and Transformation. This year I am also serving as the Communications Chair for GTPI.

Undergraduate University, degree, and major: Western Kentucky University, Major in International Affairs and Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies

Hobbies/ Interests: In addition to international development, inclusion issues, and tech policy, I’m very interested in how tech and social media plays a part of our daily lives. Outside of the classroom, I love to play volleyball and travel to as many states and countries as possible.

Reach out to me about: I’m happy to speak with any prospective students and can definitely offer insight on the challenges and opportunities of being a newcomer to the data science world and a woman in STEM.