Student Bios

Sanna Ellinore Ahlgren
MPA1
II - International Development
Cambridge University, 2017
Human, Social & Political Sciences, B.A.
Stockholm, Sweden
Born and raised in Stockholm, Ellinore studied French in Paris for a year before starting her undergraduate degree in politics and international relations at the University of Cambridge. She has a keen interest in human rights, and worked with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. She volunteered for three months in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with charity Cambridge Development Initiative, supporting young Tanzanians’ start-up ideas. For the past two years, she has worked in the field of education policy, implementing education projects for governments, including governments of Maldives, Ukraine and Rwanda. In her free-time, Ellinore enjoys rowing and spending time with friends and family.
Spogmay Ahmed
MPA2
II - International Development
George Washington University, 2015
International Affairs, B.A.
Selden, New York
Born and raised in New York, Spogmay studied international affairs and women’s studies at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Upon graduating in 2015, she joined the International Center for Research on Women, where she specialized in policy analysis and advocacy on women’s rights issues in multilateral forums including the United Nations, G7 and G20. She also coordinated the Feminist U.N. Campaign, bringing together civil society, philanthropy, academia and former U.N. staff around a shared agenda for advancing women’s rights and gender equality at the United Nations. This past summer, Spogmay interned with the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Section at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. Spogmay, a Pakistani-American, is passionate about global affairs, human rights and advancing gender-transformative policy change worldwide. She enjoys writing, fashion, desserts and engaging in conversation about race and popular culture.
Elliott Amkraut
MPA1
II - International Development
Arizona State University, 2014
Economics, B.S.
Seattle, Washington
Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Elie graduated with a B.S. in economics from Arizona State University. From there, he moved to rural Nepal to serve as a food security specialist for the U.S. Peace Corps. His work centered on small-scale agricultural projects such as kiwi and fruit tree cultivation. Elie then moved to Kathmandu to take on a volunteer mentorship role for the Peace Corps. He most recently worked as a consultant for the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Kathmandu, where he supported community relations and communications activities for large-scale infrastructure projects.
Margaret Anderson - Davis
MPP
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
MPP
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
MPP
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.
Emily Apple
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
Hunter College, 2014
Political Science, B.A.
Brooklyn, New York
Emily is a born and bred Brooklynite still adjusting to life outside the five boroughs of New York City. Prior to graduate school, she worked on issues of economic security and mobility in the New York City Mayor’s Office focusing on policies and programs in the areas of workforce development, education, and youth development. This past summer, Emily served as a summer manager with Third Sector Capital Partners where she worked on projects with state and local governments seeking to drive positive long-term outcomes for individuals utilizing social services. Emily is a proud graduate of New York City public schools, including the CUNY Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She is an alumna of the NYC Urban Fellows program and the Roosevelt Institute Network. After graduating she hopes to pursue a career helping government at all levels push for more just and equitable social outcomes.
Maya Aronoff
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Princeton University, 2019
Woodrow Wilson School, B.A.
Mason, Michigan
Maya is from Mason, Michigan, and completed her undergraduate coursework at Princeton University. During her time at Princeton she focused her work on issues related to immigration and sexual/interpersonal violence, working with the Organization for Refuge Asylum and Migration, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, and the New York City Anti-Violence Project. She also worked as a residential college adviser and tutor. This past summer she took a breather to spend time with family before coming to the joint MPA/J.D. program as a SINSI scholar. She plans to apply to law school halfway through her SINSI experience, and is determined to be a lawyer--either an immigration attorney or one that works on accountability/advocacy surrounding sexual violence in some form.
Bekmyrza Asanbaev
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Harvard University, 2015
Government, B.A.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Beshka was born and raised in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He studied government and Chinese at Harvard. After graduation, he joined Bridge International Academies, a network of technology-driven primary schools across Africa and Asia, where he worked for three and a half years in private sector education reform in low-resource environments. While at Bridge, he has lived in Boston, Kenya, and India, doing work ranging from instructional design to field prototyping to operations. After Bridge International Academies, he went back to Kyrgyzstan to work at the State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use of the Kyrgyz Republic, focusing on policymaking and project management for energy infrastructure investment projects. In the future, Beshka plans to go back to Kyrgyzstan and do government or international development work. He loves dancing, hiking, and skiing.
Nathan Babb
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Louisiana State University, 2016
Economics, B.A.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Nathan was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and attended his hometown university where he earned a B.A. in economics and minors in mathematics, German, political science, and history. There he conducted research on taxation and fiscal stability policies, paving the way for a role as the economist in the Louisiana Department of Revenue upon graduation. Nathan moved to Washington, D.C., for a research position with the Federal Reserve Board’s Prices and Wages Section where he studied domestic macroeconomic inflation. After a winter spent in Berlin, Germany, working for the Bundestag, Nathan returned to Washington to serve those experiencing homelessness. As a partner with the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church, he served a daily breakfast, helped search for housing, and drafted CVs and helped members of the community apply to jobs. Nathan’s interests lie in macroeconomics, socioeconomic distributions, inequality, and mobility. Nathan enjoys sport climbing, bicycle touring, backpacking, and making a roux for his gumbo.
Kaira Bakkestad-Legare
MPA1
I - International Relations
University of Ottawa, 2017
Conflict Studies & Human Rights, BSS
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Through her academic and professional experience, Kaira has pursued her dual love of natural sciences and international affairs. As a public servant through and through, she has worked on various files in the Government of Canada, including on governance and capacity development for Indigenous communities in her home province of Manitoba. Most recently, as a senior policy officer at Global Affairs Canada, Kaira worked in the Nordic and Polar Relations division to support the development of a new forward-looking international Arctic policy for Canada. Among her most valued professional experiences thus far was the opportunity to travel throughout Canada’s Arctic, engaging with sub-national governments, Indigenous organizations and Northern communities to ensure that their voices were reflected in the policies and programs that directly impact their lives. At the Woodrow Wilson School, Kaira hopes to continue studying policy that explores interdisciplinary issues of global science, technology and the environment, and advocating for more inclusive approaches to policy development.
Jatin Batra
MPA1
II - International Development
Cornell University, 2010; Yale University, 2019
Hotel Administration, B.S.; Business Administration, MBA
Marlboro, New Jersey
Born and raised in suburbia New Jersey, Jatin grew up just 25 miles east of Princeton University. Having a lifetime obsession with food and the magic of hotels, Jatin pursued his bachelor’s degree in hotel management at Cornell University and then threw it away by spending the next three plus years as an investment banker in New York. Feeling dissatisfied with his life choices, he quit his job, packed his bags, and left for Namibia where he served as a community economic development volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps focused on women’s empowerment, capacity building, and government investments. After returning to the United States, with two Namibian kittens in tow (Lily and James), Jatin worked at an immigration nonprofit, volunteered with a financial empowerment nonprofit, a literacy nonprofit, and an education nonprofit. In May 2019, Jatin completed his 2-year MBA from Yale University, during which he worked at a tech accelerator in Kenya, worked on an impact evaluation for a large-scale Sierra Leone electrification project, and co-founded a sustainable clothing start-up in Connecticut that he worked on full-time the summer prior to joining Princeton. Upon graduating from Princeton, Jatin would like to advise foreign governments on adopting supportive policies relating to public-private partnerships with for-profit social enterprises, and separately he would like to foster some kittens.
Mary Batterman
MPP
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.
Toshiro Baum
MPA2
I - International Relations
Johns Hopkins University, 2011
International Studies, B.A.
Seattle, Washington
A native of Seattle, Toshiro (or Toshi) attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where he studied international relations. After graduation, he moved to Morocco where he lived and studied renewable energy policy for over a year on a Fulbright grant. He returned to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the National Democratic Institute on democracy strengthening programs in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2015, Toshi joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as an adviser in USAID’s Asia Bureau. His most recent position was in USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, where he managed stabilization programs in Libya. This past summer, he completed his internship at the National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs. Toshi enjoys running, cooking, and has a one-year old puppy named Evie.
Danielle Beavers
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Stanford University, 2012
Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with Honors, B.A.
Mays Landing, New Jersey
Danielle was born and raised in South Jersey and is proud to return to the land of Wawa. She spent the past 10 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, first at Stanford and then in Oakland, pursuing racial justice advocacy. As the Greenlining Institute's director of diversity and inclusion, she worked to promote job creation for people of color through workforce and supplier diversity initiatives in the banking, environmental, health, technology, insurance, and utility industries in California and at the federal level. Danielle is excited to learn additional strategies to promote agency in marginalized communities and narrow the racial wealth gap while at the Woo. Post grad, she hopes to work in philanthropy or at a regulatory agency to ensure that anchor institutions fully reflect and benefit America's growing majority.

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