Student Bios

Tom Clark
MPA1
II - International Development
University of Exeter, 2012
Politics, B.A.
Kenilworth, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
After graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Exeter (U.K.), Tom spent the next two years working for grassroots NGOs in the Philippines and Madagascar. He then moved to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, initially supporting a technical assistance project to improve fiscal governance in fragile states, and subsequently project-managing ODI’s Agricultural Development and Policy research programme. During this time, Tom also studied part-time for a graduate diploma in economics at Birkbeck College, University of London. After graduating from the MPA, Tom aspires to work in the design and delivery of humanitarian aid for organisations such as the U.N. and the Red Cross.
Michelle Conway
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
Columbia University, 2013
Urban Studies, B.A.
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Michelle is a proud New Jersey native, born and raised in Scotch Plains. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in urban studies. After college, she realized her lifelong dream of moving to New Orleans. She began her career as an AmeriCorps member at New Orleans area Habitat for Humanity, where she managed the organization’s neighborhood revitalization initiatives. In 2015, she took on a position in the office of New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu as a policy researcher focused on topics as varied as murder reduction, healthcare access and affordable housing. She most recently served as Mayor Landrieu’s director of boards and commissions, overseeing the mayor’s appointments to key policy-making bodies in the city. She hopes to continue her career in public service in her home state. Michelle is an avid yogi, adventurous eater and dedicated home cook. She began her studies at WWS after a summer of traveling to Zambia, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Caroline Corcoran
MPA1
I - International Relations
University of Texas-Austin, 2014
French/Government/History, B.A.
Plano, Texas
A native of Plano, Texas, Caroline earned a Bachelor of Arts in government, history, and French at the University of Texas at Austin, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. As an undergraduate, she spent semesters studying in Dakar, Paris and Washington, D.C. After graduation, Caroline spent more than three years in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. She designed, monitored and evaluated conflict prevention and conflict resolution programs. She also served as member of the bureau’s peace process and mediation support team, providing U.S. diplomats with analytic and technical support to bring conflict parties to the negotiating table, work through mediation processes and sustainably implement peace agreements. Caroline spent last year in Iraq as part of the humanitarian response to the military offensives against the Islamic State. She managed an emergency livelihoods project to provide income-generating opportunities to Iraqis living in internally displaced persons camps before transitioning into a role with Nonviolent Peaceforce, an NGO that provides protective presence for threatened civilians and fosters dialogue between conflict parties. Caroline is attending the Woodrow Wilson School as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs fellow and looks forward to a career as a Foreign Service Officer after graduation.
Maria de Lourdes Corona
MPA1
II - International Development
Rice University, 2011; Stanford University, 2013
Environmental Engineering Sciences, B.A.; Civil & Environmental Eng, M.S.
Houston, Texas
Marilú is a civil and environmental engineer who has worked on water quality and distribution projects in California and internationally since graduating from Stanford and Rice. She has had exposure to public sector planning projects that directly affect disadvantaged communities, has assessed emergency conservation and construction projects in response to drought, and has modeled agriculture-related contaminants to inform California’s groundwater policy. Marilú is grateful for, and enthusiastic about, her varied research projects with the National Science Foundation, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice 360° Institute for Global Health, Environmental Defense Fund, and Engineers without Borders. One of her favorite experiences was the evaluation of fogwater harvesting as an alternative water supply for Morocco’s Atlas Mountain communities. Marilú is interested in helping cities make decisions about water resources and infrastructure, applying the growing knowledge of climate change to state and federal water and infrastructure policy, and contributing to sanitation policy in the realm of international development. For example, she is interested in how cities can respond to the growing volatility of water supply and to changing demands on water resources caused by climate and population change. Prior to arriving at Princeton, Marilú spent the summer wrapping up the design for San Francisco’s wastewater treatment plant, riding with Stanford’s equestrian team, biking around Lake Michigan and Chicago, and traveling.
Maia Cotelo
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
University of Mississippi, 2016
Economics/International Studies/Mathematics, B.A.
Oxford, Mississippi
Maia was born in Uruguay, but has spent most of her life in Oxford, Mississippi. Determined to understand how her passion for the Uruguayan national team (Uruguay Noma!!!) persisted over the years while the rest of her Uruguayan national identity faded, she opted to attend the University of Mississippi to partake in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College World Cup Initiative. The initiative’s focus on examining soccer and the world-wide event from multiple angles (e.g., history, sociology, economics) exposed Maia to the beauty of multidisciplinary study and led her to pursue a B.A. in international studies, economics and mathematics. Between her soccer passion projects and studies, she helped found and grow Ole Miss’ Dance Marathon branch, a student organization that has now raised over half a million dollars for the only children’s hospital in Mississippi. After graduation, Maia moved to Washington, D.C., to work for EAB, an education best practice research firm. The past two years, Maia dedicated her time to interviewing secondary and post-secondary education leaders about their top concerns, researching and analyzing existing practices to address those concerns, and presenting the most promising findings to member institutions.
Matthew Cournoyer
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Northeastern University, 2012
Political Science, B.A.
Cranston, Rhode Island
Matt grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and graduated from Northeastern University in Boston. After working on Elizabeth Warren’s successful 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, he served in Senator Warren’s Washington office in several communications positions, most recently as press secretary and speechwriter. A Truman Scholar, Matt’s academic and professional interests are focused on social, economic and urban policy. He lives with his wife Noreen, baby Grace, and pet rabbit Martini. In his free time, Matt enjoys running, board games and watching Boston sports.
Christopher Crawford
PhD
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2012
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, B.S.
East Lansing, Michigan
Chris is a second-year Ph.D. student in the science, technology, and environmental policy (STEP) program, where he is working to illuminate the various trade-offs of biodiversity conservation and inform the policies that are designed to encourage conservation on private lands. He is interested in what changing agricultural land use trends mean for conservation, and harnessing these new opportunities to restore marginal lands to maximize their value for biodiversity, ecosystem services, and people, especially along rivers and streams. He is also interested in the role of restoration and conservation on private lands in building resilience into the mosaic of habitat patches to help species adapt to a changing climate. Before landing in Princeton, Chris worked at Sustainable Conservation, where he collaborated with the horticultural industry to stop the sale of invasive plants and worked with farmers, government agencies, utilities, and environmental organizations to facilitate riparian restoration projects in California’s Central Valley. Chris graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012, and likes riding his bicycle, taking pictures of clouds, and listening to Swedish music.
Ileana Cruz-Marden
MPA2
II - International Development
University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, 2013
Political Science, B.A.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Born in Western Massachusetts, Ileana spent most of her life in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before moving to Washington, D.C. In Washington, she worked at the U.S. Association for UNHCR, a nonprofit partner of the U.N. Refugee Agency on strategies to increase awareness, community engagement, and corporate partnerships to support refugees around the world. Prior to USA for UNHCR, she served as special assistant to Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the U.S. Supreme Court. Ileana began her career at ConPRmetidos, a start-up social enterprise in San Juan that develops public-private partnerships focused on urban resiliency, youth unemployment and diaspora engagement. As a Truman scholar and Gates Millennium scholar, Ileana graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.A. in political science and international relations. Ileana began her studies at the Woodrow Wilson School after a quick visit with family and friends in Puerto Rico.
Julieta Cuéllar
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
University of Texas-Austin, 2012
Government, B.A.
San Antonio, Texas
Julieta grew up all around the state of Texas, with stints in Mexico, Wisconsin and Massachusetts thrown in for good measure. As an undergraduate, she focused on the recent conflicts and transition to democracy in the Balkans, as well as immigration in France, interests which took her to Paris and Belgrade for a semester each. Julieta was also selected to be an Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) fellow, which proved to be one of her most important undergraduate experiences and the beginning of her desire to transition from internationally-focused work to domestic policy. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City, first interning at Freedom House’s Nation in Transit publication, and later working in fundraising at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. While at the Coalition, a global network of museums, memorials and memory organizations, Julieta transitioned into programmatic work which took her around the world and put her in close contact with organizations as diverse as U.S. civil rights museums and associations of families of the disappeared in Algeria. During her time abroad, and especially her five years in New York City, Julieta was drawn to studying cities and envisioning more inclusive and innovative approaches to meeting their evolving needs. This led her to get more involved in grassroots efforts to build a better New York and ultimately pursue graduate studies in domestic urban policy at the Woodrow Wilson School. After graduation, Julieta hopes to work at the local level to make American cities more just, equitable and vibrant, preferably in her home state or close by.
Luciana Debenedetti
MPA1
II - International Development
University of Maryland, College Park, 2011
Government & Politics/French Language & Literature, B.A.
Washington, D.C.
Luciana was born in Argentina and grew up in Maryland. At the University of Maryland, she was involved in the Gemstone Program, Language House, the Help Center peer counseling hotline, and Ashoka U Changemakers. She developed her interest in public affairs as a Humanity in Action fellow, through which she analyzed the legacy of the Solidarity movement on Poland’s civil society and democratic development. After college, she worked at Namati supporting advocacy campaigns on the sustainable development goals and organized legal empowerment conferences and trainings in Uganda, Ghana, Jordan and Argentina. Most recently, Luciana worked within the Latin America and Caribbean division at Chemonics International, where she managed USAID-funded projects in Colombia focused on human rights, economic development and financial inclusion. In her free time, she enjoys taking advantage of the cultural and recreational activities in D.C., exploring coffee shops and traveling. Luciana is interested in urban development and understanding how cities balance economic growth and social inclusion, and looks forward to studying these issues at Princeton.
Joseph DeLaTorre
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
University of California-Los Angeles, 2012
Political Science, B.A.
Whittier, California
A Southern California native, Joe’s interest in policy began during his time living abroad in the Air Force, an interest that turned into a passion during the 2008 housing market crash. Joe left his job in high-rise construction and returned to school to pursue a career in policy. After graduation, Joe moved to Washington, D.C., and interned with Representative Louise Slaughter and the Rules Committee before joining a communications firm. Joe has worked supporting causes, philanthropies and Fortune 100 companies on issues ranging from the opioid epidemic to expanding California’s EITC. After graduating from the MPA program, he intends to work on issues concerning the regulation of markets and labor, seeking to bolster worker protections to battle rising inequality. Joe spent the summer prior to attending WWS visiting family and friends in California, attending outdoor concerts and movies with his wife, and either riding or fixing his vintage motorcycle.
Tyler DeRubio
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
State University of New York-Geneseo, 2014
Economics/English, B.A.
West Babylon, New York
After growing up on Long Island, New York, Tyler attended SUNY Geneseo to pursue a dual bachelor’s degree in economics and English literature. While in school, he volunteered on political campaigns for democrats throughout New York State and interned with the majority leader of the New York State Assembly researching social impact financing. After graduation, he moved to New York City and spent four years at the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget overseeing the finances of NYC Health + Hospitals – the largest municipal hospital system in the country. After graduating from the MPA, Tyler plans to continue working on state and municipal policy issues and is particularly interested in the nuts-and-bolts of government operations and intergovernmental affairs.
Harrison Diamond Pollock
MPA2
IV - Economics and Public Policy
McGill University, 2013
Economics/Political Science, B.A.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Harrison was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Before coming to Princeton, he worked for five years in Uganda, Kenya, and the U.S. with Innovations for Poverty Action. Harrison’s work spanned from helping to promote open data and research transparency to managing evaluations of election debates, anti-vote buying campaigns and vaccination tracking apps. He has also interned with GiveDirectly and volunteered extensively with Engineers without Borders Canada. After graduating from WWS, Harrison hopes to work to help create a culture of evidence-based policy making across the world.
Francisco Diez
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Yale University, 2014
Ethics, Politics & Economics, B.A.
Brooklyn, New York
Francisco was born to Mexican immigrants in upstate New York and spent his adolescence in Minnesota, but calls Brooklyn, New York, home. He studied social policy (especially as it was practiced by the Latin American “Pink Tide”) and egalitarian theory at Yale University. Upon graduation, he found himself in Cape Town, South Africa, teaching himself Portuguese while researching the anti-poverty programs of Mozambique. A passionate democratic socialist, he worked for Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president, first as an organizer, then as a national Latino outreach strategist. Somehow, after all of that, he became TED Conferences’ curation researcher. Last summer, Francisco rooted for Mexico and Argentina in the FIFA World Cup and helped a friend run for State Senate. After the Woo, he hopes to aid movements for equity in all its forms.
Stephanie Dimos
MPA1
I - International Relations
College of William & Mary, 2015
International Relations, B.A.
Indianapolis, Indiana
A Midwesterner at heart, Stephanie was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, before moving to the East Coast to attend the College of William and Mary. While always interested in international affairs and a career in public service, Stephanie found her passion for international aid and development in a social entrepreneurship class that included a field experience in the Dominican Republic. Once she acknowledged the dream of running a coffee shop with directly sourced, sustainably grown coffee was not in the cards at age 20, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she took classes, interned with the United Nations Foundation, and developed a deep love for the city. After graduating in 2015, Stephanie moved back to her favorite city and began working for the National Security Council at the White House, where she served two administrations including heavy involvement in transition efforts to ensure foreign policy efforts continued amidst the changes. After graduating from WWS, she hopes to continue a career in public service with the government or a multilateral organization, focusing on humanitarian assistance implementation and policy. Stephanie loves exercising, spending time outdoors, planning her next travel adventure, and spending time with family and friends.

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