Student Bios

Samantha BonenClark
MPA1
I - International Relations
University of Florida, 2014
Spanish, B.A.
Ocala, Florida
Samantha was born in Virginia, but grew up in Ocala, Florida, a town known for being the racehorse capital of the world. She swam middle distance freestyle for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for two years before transferring to the University of Florida (UF). At UF, Sam studied abroad in Nicaragua, spent a summer in Mexico City with the Department of State’s Economic Section, and graduated with a major in Spanish and a minor in Latin American studies. Since graduating, she has served with the AmeriCorps program, City Year, in Miami, Florida, worked in program management with the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and completed a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Campinas, Brazil.
Alexander Brockwehl
MPA2
I - International Relations
Union College, 2011
Political Science/Spanish, B.A.
Guilford, Connecticut
Alex grew up near New Haven, Connecticut, home to the best pizza this side of the Atlantic. After studying abroad in Mexico and developing a passion for political theory, he graduated from Union College in 2011 with a degree in political science and Spanish. After graduating, he worked for a year with a nonprofit in rural Ecuador, managing a high school scholarship program and assisting a few small-scale social enterprises, including a local artisans’ group and women’s cooperative. For the next four years, he worked for Freedom House, a democracy and human rights NGO, where he supported civil society organizations throughout Latin America to advocate before international human rights bodies and inform domestic policymakers about threats and challenges to political rights and civil liberties. He also contributed frequently to the Freedom House blog and conducted field research on topics such as indigenous rights in Peru and mass social protests in Chile. After graduating, Alex hopes to continue advancing human rights, whether by working in a policy role within government or conducting research or advocacy in the nonprofit sector. A cellist in his early years, Alex decided to forgo his initial aspirations to emulate Yo-Yo Ma in favor of sports like soccer and skiing. He spent the summer before grad school with his family in Greece and friends in Tanzania.
Alessandra Brown
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
Georgetown University, 2009
International Business/Marketing, B.S.
Houston, Texas
Alessandra was born and raised in Houston, Texas and graduated with a degree in marketing and international business from Georgetown University. She most recently resided in Sacramento, California, where she served as a budget analyst with the Department of Finance, overseeing critical public safety infrastructure projects. Before joining Finance, she worked on environmental and land use policy with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, interned with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and organized communities around energy issues in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio. She spent the summer before grad school visiting family in California and Texas. After graduating from the MPA program, Alessandra hopes to continue her career in public service in government, and work on policy that assists in the development of sustainable and equitable cities.
Chloe Brown
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
Williams College, 2010
Arabic Studies/Religion, B.A.
Santa Barbara, California
Chloe grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and graduated from Williams College with a degree in Arabic studies and religion. While at Williams, her work focused on representations of violence and national identity in popular culture, and her language study took her to programs in Egypt and Yemen. After graduating, Chloe moved to New York, where she worked as a playwright and arts administrator. As a writer, her work has been produced at venues across the city, and her play about the Manhattan Project, “Obedient Steel,” was a finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill. Chloe also spent several years as co-artistic director of Tugboat Collective, and literary manager of UglyRhino Productions, before joining Theatre Communications Group, a national arts-service nonprofit focused on issues of equity and diversity, funding, and governance in the field. She is excited to broaden her interest in community engagement by focusing her studies on urban policy and planning at the Woodrow Wilson School. In her free time, Chloe enjoys podcasts, cooking, and the good parts of the internet.
Patrick Brown
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
University of Notre Dame, 2011
Economics/Political Science, B.A.
Redmond, Washington
Patrick grew up outside of Seattle and attended college at the University of Notre Dame, where he was station manager of the fine arts radio station and a member of the marching band. After graduating cum laude, he moved to Washington, D.C., spending four years at Catholic Charities USA, one of the nation’s largest social service networks. While on CCUSA’s government affairs and communications staff, he served as a liaison with Notre Dame in the creation of a research center that identifies and conducts impact evaluations of innovative, effective, and scalable anti-poverty programs. He has written for National Review, First Things, The Washington Times, Public Discourse, and The Federalist, and in his free time enjoys watching baseball with his wife and son.
Jennifer Bulley
MPA1
II - International Development
Washington and Lee University, 2014
Economics, B.A.
Cumming, Georgia
Jenny was born in California but spent most of her life in a small town in northern Georgia. She left home to attend Washington and Lee University where she graduated with a major in economics and a minor in human capability and poverty studies. Throughout her undergraduate experience, her pursuit of serving the disenfranchised led her to internships and study abroad in the Navajo Nation, Ghana, Bologna, Greenland and across the United States, doing projects ranging from economic valuation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site to grassroots youth development. After graduating, Jenny served for two years in Peace Corps Senegal as a community economic development volunteer, where she worked with local cashew farmers and processors to better develop the cashew value chain and improve their business practices. Jenny loves all things outdoors from hiking to climbing to paddling and all things in between. After completing the Camino de Santiago Trail, sections of the AT, and the Annapurna Circuit Trek, she dreams of completing one long distance trek on each continent (except Antarctica).
Jordan Burns
MPA1
I - International Relations
University of Colorado-Boulder, 2015
Civil Engineering, B.S.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jordan was raised in Colorado Springs and studied civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she managed an Engineers Without Borders program in northern Rwanda and interned with the United States Agency for International Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a 2014 recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for public service. Jordan worked as a water resources engineer in Denver before joining the World Bank as a Truman-Albright fellow. She supported the Inspection Panel, the World Bank’s internal accountability mechanism, by handling claims from communities that were negatively impacted by Bank-funded projects and seeking redress on their behalf. As a retired competitive Irish dancer, Jordan stays active by climbing, biking, and getting lost in the mountains whenever she has free time.
Lachlan Carey
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Sydney, 2013
Economics/Government and International Relations, BComm
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Lachlan grew up in Sydney, Australia, and graduated from Sydney University in 2013. His final year was spent writing a thesis on the power dynamics financial institutions exhibit over the policy-making process, focusing on how this influenced Australia’s experience during the global financial crisis. With this in mind, Lachlan spent a year on the campaign trail for Australia’s next treasurer, Joe Hockey, in an attempt to better understand the proverbial sausage making process. Somewhat disheartened by partisan politics, he moved into the public service as a policy analyst with the Australian Treasury. The majority of the next three and a half years was spent providing policy advice to the treasurer and conducting macroeconomic research on the relationship between Australia and its largest trading partner, China. This researched was focused on the mounting financial risks in China’s economy and how this relates to their development prospects vis-à-vis the dreaded “middle income trap”. Additionally, as China became more and more of a scapegoat for economic problems in elections overseas, Lachlan developed an interest in the relative importance of trade versus technology in the declining labor share of income, rising inequality, stagnating productivity and rising political populism. Following graduation from the Woodrow Wilson School, Lachlan hopes to help develop policy solutions that minimize further negative implications arising from these trends. Meanwhile, when he’s not worried about the fate of humanity, Lachlan is most likely to be either in a cinema, listening to a podcast or at a music festival somewhere. He’s a pretty enthusiastic traveler and always ready to change plans for a new adventure.
Mariella Castaldi
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
Oberlin College, 2011
Latin American Studies/Politics, B.A.
Santa Rosa, California
Mari is from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has also lived in Illinois, where she was born; Ohio, where she studied at Oberlin College and worked organizing migrant farmworkers; and Nicaragua, where she studied and worked after graduation. She then returned to Oakland, California to promote economic justice as a legal advocate at the East Bay Community Law Center. In her time at the Law Center, Mari spearheaded research, policy advocacy and community organizing around the reform California’s criminal fines and fees system. Going forward, she hopes to continue to work against the criminalization of poverty. In her spare time, Mari loves cooking, singing in choirs, and hanging out with her dog, Tess.
Juan Pablo Castro
MPP
II - International Development
University of Florida, 2008
Economics/Political Science, B.A.
Bogotá, Colombia
Juan Pablo grew up in both Colombia and the United States, and graduated with a degree in economics and political science from the University of Florida. He joins the Woodrow Wilson School after working for several years on crisis-response programs funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He has led the design, management and implementation of projects aimed at building stability and local governance, fostering civic engagement, supporting reintegration processes and countering the influence of violent extremist groups in different parts of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Juan Pablo also led the design of programmatic and operational frameworks that enabled USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) to deliver assistance throughout Syria from Turkey for the first non-humanitarian USAID program responding to the Syrian crisis. He is looking forward to challenging his own notions of what successful and responsible crisis-response interventions are with the Woo community. Despite lacking both musical talents and cooking abilities, Juan Pablo is an avid consumer of emerging music and food from around the world. Thus, he is eager to see what Princeton and its vicinity have to offer. Upon graduation, he plans to continue working in addressing both violence and conflict; however, from what angle and where remains to be determined.
Erin Cheese
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Creighton University, 2015
Applied Physical Analysis/Energy Science, B.S.
Omaha, Nebraska
A Nebraska native, Erin graduated from Creighton University with a B.S. in applied physical analysis and energy science. Prior to attending Princeton, she was a Science and Technology Policy fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative in Washington, D.C. Erin managed the National Community Solar Partnership and the Solar in Your Community Challenge to expand access to low and moderate income households and nonprofits across the country. Fair warning: she talks about solar a lot. This past summer, Erin road tripped across the Midwest to visit her sisters followed by camping in Montreal. After graduation, Erin would like to become a leader in renewable energy policymaking.
Emily Chen
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Princeton University, 2017
Civil and Environmental Engineering, BSE
Denville, New Jersey
Emily grew up in a small town in New Jersey with her parents and two older sisters. A member of the 2017 SINSI cohort, she graduated from Princeton University with a civil and environmental engineering degree and certificates in German language and culture and geological engineering. Emily spent the summer of 2016 as a Princeton Brazil Global fellow, researching the effect of air quality on respiratory and cardiovascular health at the University of São Paulo Medical School. During the previous summer, she interned at the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport, and Regional Planning where she compiled regional data on renewable energy for the biannual report and assisted the director of the Energy Monitoring division. As an undergraduate, Emily worked on several environmental initiatives, including organizing a Princeton contingent to the People’s Climate March and a campus energy savings competition. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, cooking and traveling.
Shehab Chowdhury
MPA2
II - International Development
Baruch College, 2014
Economics/Political Science, B.A.
Brooklyn, New York
Shehab is a Brooklynite, born and raised. He attended Baruch College, CUNY where he studied economics and political science. Most recently, he served as a Community Engagement Fellow at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF where he fostered global citizenship through community engagement programs focused on nutrition, well-being and empowering youth. With his work on grassroots advocacy for UNICEF in the United States, and his storytelling instincts, Shehab worked on building bridges to make Americans empathize with situations children face around the world. Prior to that, he worked on an innovation project through the CUNY-UNICEF Design Challenge and served as a Colin Powell Fellow at the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. He is also a district committee facilitator in District 39’s Participatory Budgeting in Brooklyn. Shehab enjoys writing short stories, eating pizza, exploring cities and unreasonable ideas.
Kevan Christensen
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Stanford University, 2010
Earth Systems/International Relations, B.S./B.A.
Tempe, Arizona
Kevan grew up in the sunny suburbs of Tempe, Arizona, and earned degrees in earth systems and international relations from Stanford University, where he developed a passion for issues around sustainable international development. After graduating, he worked at the U.S. Department of State on global hunger and food security policy. Eager to travel and see development challenges first-hand, he then worked in Bangladesh on a Fulbright scholarship, conducting research on how vulnerable communities are adapting to climate change. For the next four years, he lived in Kenya and worked at the social enterprise One Acre Fund, supporting the testing and implementation of innovative ideas to help smallholder farmers increase their harvests and incomes. In addition to the MPA at WWS, Kevan will be pursuing a J.D. at Stanford Law School. With the joint degrees, he plans to focus on international human rights policy and how improved governance and the rule of law can reduce conflict and facilitate inclusive economic development.
Edwin Coleman
MPA2
II - International Development
Duke University, 2011
International Comparative Studies, B.A.
Camden, New Jersey
An unabashed native of Camden, New Jersey, Edwin picked up the use of “y’all” during his time at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina where he earned a B.A. in international comparative studies. During his undergraduate years, Edwin spent two summers in Kenya working on girls’ education issues, and a semester in Strasbourg, France, studying French and international politics. He then moved to Cape Town, South Africa for a yearlong fellowship to conduct education policy research focused on disadvantaged township communities. Soon after his return, Edwin began 27 months of service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco working on youth development projects. He also spent a year and a half as a federal investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before enrolling at Princeton. He hopes to use his time as an MPA student to refocus his academic and professional pursuits on international issues. Edwin occasionally enjoys writing and performing slam poetry, riding roller coasters, cooking breakfast food, and he is usually the first and last person on the dance floor.

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