Biographical Profiles of Current MPP Graduate Students

Margaret Anderson - Davis
III - Domestic Policy
Cambridge University, 2009
History, B.A.
London, United Kingdom
Maisie comes to Princeton after nearly a decade working in politics and policy in her home city of London. From 2014-18, Maisie served as an elected councillor in the London Borough of Southwark, representing the Labour Party. In the second half of her term, she was promoted to a Cabinet position - delivering strategic political leadership for Public Health, Parks & Leisure and Social Regeneration across an inner London borough of 300,000 people. Most recently, Maisie headed up Campaigns & Public Affairs for a high-profile charity - shaping and influencing the public policy environment to better respond to Britain's ageing population. Prior to this, Maisie built her career in policy and public affairs in both the health and financial sectors, as well as being active in local Labour Party politics. An experienced political campaigner, she also volunteered as a Fall Fellow on the 2012 Obama Campaign in Las Vegas. Maisie is passionate about reducing social inequality through good public policy and community-led initiatives. She is honored to be coming to Princeton as a Fulbright Scholar and will be joined by her husband and young daughter. Hailing from a family of professional musicians, Maisie is a trumpeter in her spare time - which has been fairly hard to come by in recent years!
Richard André
III - Domestic Policy
Amherst College, 2009
Political Science/Spanish, B.A.
Queens, New York
Rich is a Queens, New York, native and proud Haitian-American with a passion for immigrants' rights and economic justice. Until recently, he served as deputy director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy, where he worked with mayors, business leaders, and nonprofit organizations to use data to advocate for inclusive immigration policies. Before joining NAE, Rich ran the NYCitizenship program at the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, which provided free citizenship legal services and financial counseling at public libraries citywide. He also launched and led Cities for Action, a national coalition of over 100 mayors and county officials fighting for immigration reform. Rich started his career as a writer and editor for Americas Quarterly magazine. His assignments took him to Cuba, Chile, Colombia, and across the U.S. Rich graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in political science and Spanish. He is fluent in Spanish and French, and conversational in Portuguese. Rich is also an avid soccer fan, and until recently, played on a co-ed team with few wins, but a lot of heart. At Princeton, he is eager to learn from his peers and plans to explore how local government can best address racial and economic inequality.
Emily Andrews
III - Domestic Policy
Oberlin College, 2001; New School University, 2007
Politics, B.A.; International Affairs, M.A.
Washington, D.C.
Emily was born and raised in Massachusetts. Majoring in politics, with a double minor in women studies and African American studies, she graduated Oberlin College in 2001. Bitten by the labor bug early through college activism and a post-graduation year spent working with union members in Mexico City, Emily became a union organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In 2007, hoping to combine her belief in collective action with her passion for international work, Emily completed a master’s degree in international affairs at The New School in New York. After a brief stint as an organizer trainer in Peru and Mexico, Emily returned to the U.S. to work as a senior research analyst for the Teamsters Union, and was part of a small team charged with crafting organizing and campaign strategy in the school bus industry. Her team’s work led to the successful organizing of more than 20,000 school bus employees into the union. She is currently the deputy chief of staff at Community Change, a D.C.-based national nonprofit working to empower low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to fight for progressive policy change. When she’s not bringing it to the man, Emily is working on home construction projects with her partner, Jim, cooking with her three-year-old daughter, Magdalena, or trying to control her unwieldy dog, Potato Chip.
Mary Batterman
II - International Development
Knox College, 2007
Anthropology/Sociology, B.A.
Beloit, Wisconsin
Mary was born and raised in Beloit, Wisconsin, and studied anthropology and sociology at Knox College. After graduating she joined the Peace Corps in 2008, becoming a community development volunteer in rural Tanzania. Mary has been living in Tanzania ever since, working in the field of international development. Her career has focused on private sector development and sustainable livelihoods. Prior to WWS, Mary served as the Tanzania county manager for the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, which invests in medium-sized agribusinesses and renewable energy companies in 22 African countries, including 70 investments in Tanzania. The fund provides matching grants and loans to the businesses, as well as technical assistance, investment advisory and social impact assessment. Upon graduation, Mary plans to continue working in international development with a focus on private sector and agriculture policy development.
Paolo Cernuschi
II - International Development
American University in Dubai, 2004
Business Administration, BBA
Harare, Zimbabwe
Until May 2019, Paolo was country director for the International Rescue Committee in Zimbabwe. Paolo was born in Italy, raised in Zimbabwe, and completed his undergraduate studies in business administration in Dubai. After 14 years of humanitarian aid work in Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Yemen, he is taking a year break to pursue an MPP at the Woodrow Wilson School. His focus during the past few years has been on designing and delivering better evidence-based programs, being more effective in the use of resources, and better bridging the gap between humanitarian and development programming - all to respond to growing needs with fewer resources. He has been a strong supporter of a "cash-first" approach to humanitarian response, most recently in response to the March 2019 cyclone Idai in eastern Zimbabwe. In his spare time, Paolo is an amateur pianist and avid dog trainer; he competes internationally with his border collie, Chip, and sheltie, Stitch, both of whom will be tagging along to Princeton.
Aaron Charlop-Powers
III - Domestic Policy
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2007
Anthropology, B.A.
New York, New York
Aaron was born and raised in the Bronx. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he studied anthropology and spent two summers working for an organization called Carolina for Kibera. Following graduation, Aaron worked internationally for several years: in Ahmedabad, India, on a post-graduate fellowship; in Bangkok, Thailand, as contractor for the World Food Programme; as a staffer at the U.N. Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti, an office run by President Clinton and Dr. Paul Farmer; and at Root Capital, a leading social enterprise that lends working capital to agricultural businesses. Before graduate school, Aaron was the deputy director of Early Diversion and Strategic Projects at the Center for Court Innovation where he was responsible for Project Reset, a post-arrest, pre-arraignment diversion program. Working closely with a team of colleagues, Aaron was instrumental in expanding Project Reset from a pilot in two precincts to a citywide standard for early diversion (in May 2019 the New York City Council funded Project Reset for all of New York City). He rides his bike wherever possible, enjoys delicious food from new places, is a founding member of Families for Safe Streets, a graduate of CORO Leadership New York, and loves spending time with his partner and two young children.
Raul DeLaRosa
III - Domestic Policy
San Jose State University, 2007
Political Science, B.A.
Hollister, California
JR grew up in Hollister, California, where he spent much of his time playing, working and learning outdoors in the surrounding orchards and fields. At a young age, he developed a passion for protecting the environment and ensuring that all people have access to clean water, air, and land. From 2011-18 he served in multiple environmental leadership roles as an appointee of California Governor Jerry Brown. In those various roles, he has enjoyed working on transformative climate change policies, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the energy and transportation sectors in California. Most recently, he has coordinated efforts to measure, plan for, and adapt to climate change impacts, such as wildfires and sea-level rise, throughout the state. In his free time, JR enjoys connecting with family and friends, learning to play songs from the Beatles, and backpacking.
Abu George
I - International Relations
National Law School of India, 2006
Law, LLB
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Born in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Abu was trained in the law but left it for a life in diplomacy after a brief stint as a police officer. He currently serves as the officer on special duty for press relations in the Indian Foreign Ministry in New Delhi where, among other things, he coordinates media engagements on foreign visits of the prime minister. In a decade of being a career diplomat, he has served in Egypt in the the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and evacuated Indian citizens from Iraq amidst ISIS advances in 2014. After graduation, he intends to return to diplomacy. In his free time, Abu likes to read and to run.
Thomas Huntley
I - International Relations
University of Iowa, 1998; American Public University, 2012
Political Science, B.A.; Political Science, M.A.
Iowa City, Iowa
Tom is an active duty Lieutenant Commander and search and rescue helicopter pilot in the United States Coast Guard. Prior to attending the Woodrow Wilson School, Tom served as Deputy Operations Officer at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, where he oversaw all helicopter operations across the 4 million square mile area of responsibility, including managing Arctic deployment operations throughout the Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean. In addition, he was selected as a member of the 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholars class, a program sponsored by the George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Lyndon Johnson presidential centers that focuses on executive leadership, policy development, and decision-making through the lens of presidential experience. Upon completion of the MPP program, Tom will return to the Coast Guard and plans to serve in a policy development and analysis role at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Tom is married to Tia Huntley and they have two children.
Lauren Knight
I - International Relations
University of Melbourne, 2008
Law/Political Science, LLB/B.A.
Sydney, Australia
Lauren is an Australian civil servant with a background in foreign policy, trade and investment. Most recently, she worked at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission facilitating foreign direct investment in the technology sector and managing policy settings for an investment migration program that has attracted over $1 billion in new investment since reform in 2015. Lauren was previously a foreign service officer at Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she worked on international sanctions law and WTO trade negotiations at headquarters in Canberra and undertook a three-year diplomatic posting to Malaysia focusing on Southeast Asia regional architecture, trade and environment issues and international security. Lauren hopes to use her time at Princeton to expand her understanding of international economic challenges and to deepen her quantitative skill set.
Nicholas Lopez
I - International Relations
United States Military Academy, 2008
Latin American Studies, B.S.
Erie, Pennsylvania
Major Nicholas Lopez is an active duty U.S. Army Special Forces Officer. As a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2008, he commissioned as an infantry officer and began Special Forces training in 2012. Over an 11-year career, he has led at various levels within the infantry and Special Forces to include deployments to the Middle East and Latin America. Nick’s most recent assignment was to the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, in the Military Liaison Office. Nick is looking forward to joining the Princeton community and spending time with his amazing wife and two daughters before his next assignment as a foreign area officer.
Matthew Mills
I - International Relations
Florida State University, 2008
Mechanical Engineering, B.S.
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Immediately after receiving his undergraduate education, Matt received a commission as an ensign in the United States Navy. His first assignment was on the USS McClusky homeported in San Diego, California. During his tour, Matt deployed twice to the Eastern Pacific to conduct counter-narcotic and terrorism operations. In 2010, he transferred to the Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command where he began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, which he completed in 2011. He then studied Persian Farsi. From March 2012 to December 2015 he served in multiple leadership positions at a SEAL Team. As a platoon commander, Matt commanded 30 Special Operations personnel in West Africa. In December 2015, he transferred to NSW Special Reconnaissance Team TWO, where he commanded a 67-person formation consisting of over 30 different Navy specialities. During his tenure as a troop commander, Matt oversaw the deployment of his troop to Africa, Europe and South America. Prior to attending the Woodrow Wilson School, Matt oversaw a 500-member command whose primary mandate was generating Special Operations forces capable of conducting Special Reconnaissance operations across the globe.
Anita Pan
I - International Relations
University of British Columbia, 2009
Marketing Co-op & International Business, BComm
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Anita is a foreign service officer with the Canadian Foreign Service. She has worked in Tokyo and Seattle covering a variety of files such as science, technology, and innovation policy, industrial research collaboration, and foreign investment attraction, as well as on Canada's multilateral engagement in the context of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the G7. At Princeton, Anita hopes to further her understanding of U.S. foreign policy towards the Asia Pacific, as well as the intersection of public policy, politics, and international trade strategy. In her spare time, Anita enjoys playing violin and piano, trying new restaurants, visiting waterfalls, and pretending that she knows how to figure skate.
Joshua Portzer
I - International Relations
University of Virginia, 2010; University of Arkansas, 2019
Middle Eastern Languages/Philosophy, B.A.; Operations Management, M.S./M.C.
Atlanta, Georgia
Lieutenant Josh “Minkus” Portzer was born in Hickory, North Carolina. He attended the University of Virginia, graduating with distinction in 2010 with a B.A. in both Middle Eastern languages and philosophy. He was selected for Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training and commissioned an ensign in 2010 through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). After completing advanced training at the P-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron, Patrol Squadron THREE ZERO (VP-30), he reported to Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4), Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, in 2012. There he deployed twice to the C6F EUCOM/AFRICOM Areas of Responsibility (AOR). Josh reported to the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School (MPRWS) in 2015, completing both the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course and a transition to the P-8A Poseidon. During his tenure he was the program manager for the Maritime WTI program, the innovation cross functional team chair, and led the MPRWS’ Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) transition team. In 2018, he deployed on the USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75) to the C6F AOR, earning his Officer of the Deck, Underway (OOD (U)). Most recently, he served on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) as the assistant navigator and Ventilation Production Group superintendent. He additionally served as a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocate and a Casualty Assistance Calls Officer. For his service, Josh has received numerous awards including the Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award, Secretary of the Navy Innovation Award and the Navy Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia, with his wife, Joelle.
Henrietta Smith
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Western Australia, 2012
Economics, Political Science & Law, B.A./LLB
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
Since 2015, Henny has been the 2IC at Australian progressive campaigning organisation GetUp, where her highlight was leading GetUp’s massive field effort in the successful campaign for Marriage Equality. She is a lawyer who previously worked at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and as an associate to Justice Buss of the Western Australia Court of Appeal. She was born and raised in Fremantle, and educated in law, politics and economics at the University of Western Australia. She loves long distance hiking, having completed the Appalachian Trail in 2012. This summer, she and her partner hiked 200 miles of the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico and Colorado.

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