2012 Second Year M.P.A. Student Bios
Vera grew up in Moscow and immigrated to California the summer before starting high school. She attended UC Berkeley where she majored in International Political Economy and French. As a junior, she spent a year in Paris, working on her French and studying the European Union at Sciences Po. After graduation, she joined Lumni, a Latin-American based start-up that offers income-contingent financing to college students. At Lumni, Vera tried to quantify individual and social benefits of higher education as well as identify factors associated with success in college. Looking to maintain her international focus, she simultaneously worked on the Europe and CIS team at the Global Fund for Women, where she learned about grant making and women’s rights organizing. Before coming to WWS, she researched equity and achievement issues in K – 12 and postsecondary education at an education consulting firm. Outside work she studied Spanish, volunteered with various organizations to promote women’s economic empowerment locally and in West Africa, mentored high-school students, and occasionally performed at belly dance festivals. Last semester, Vera interned with Family Care International, an NGO that promotes women’s health and reproductive rights in Africa. She spent the summer at the UN Office in Burundi researching the challenges of peace consolidation. Vera loves foreign languages, ethnic dance, travel, live music, and all kinds of fruit except for pineapple.
Christened after the Venetian explorer in a small port city on the Gulf, Marco spent his early years in search of adventure along Texas highways and coastlines. This early travel exposed stark social and economic contrasts that activated an interest in government. While at Stanford University, he grew interested in concepts of distributive justice and compared political economies while studying abroad in Argentina, Chile, and at Oxford University. Upon graduation, Marco turned his studies to the institutions of American governance by managing legislative portfolios and working on political campaigns for Members in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. He was selected for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Public Policy Fellowship where he served in two separate Congressional Offices, and subsequently, went on to serve on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Now at Princeton, Marco is the Co-Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Action Committee, Associate Editor of the Journal for Public and International Affairs, a consultant of the Graduate Consulting Group, an active member of the Graduate Student Government, and serves on the Priorities Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community. This past summer he was selected for a competitive business consulting internship program with the National Park Service. He is interested in resource management, public finance, and economic revitalization.
After spending most of her life in the Minnie Apple (Minneapolis, MN), Maggie was excited to experience the Big Apple, at the Regional Plan Association spring semester and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the summer. Prior to joining WWS, Maggie spent two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Community Development department at multifaceted non-profit in southeastern Minnesota. There, she developed new revenue streams, managed development projects and directed communication strategy. Looking forward, Maggie is interested in pursuing a certificate in urban policy & planning at WWS, policy and program evaluation, and real estate finance. Before starting her second year, Maggie spent some quality time underwater with whale sharks in Honduras and around the backyard barbeque with friends and family.
Proud of her Midwest roots, Cara is an outdoor enthusiast and ambitious volunteer. She has participated in tutoring projects for Cleveland public schools and South African townships, post-Katrina cleanup in New Orleans, Philadelphia’s free tax preparation program, and nature conservancy in Utah. She channels her activism and creativity into the Norrie Disease Association, a small nonprofit established to support families affected by the rare genetic disorder. Cara served as an intern for the Health Insurance, Data & Analysis Branch in the Office of Management and Budget this past summer. She intends to use her degree from the Woodrow Wilson School to tackle issues in health insurance policy, income security, and consumer protection (a topic inspired by her work on banking legislation and policy at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia).