Student Bios

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 a Banneker/Key Scholar and participated in the Gemstone Honors Program, Language House, 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, Luciana 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 in 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 around 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 the NGO 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 also interned with GiveDirectly in Kenya and this past summer with Engineers without Borders Canada in Côte d'Ivoire, helping to map the impact investment ecosystem in the country. After graduating from WWS, Harrison hopes to work to help create a culture of evidence-based policymaking 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.
Alli C. Divine
MPA1
I - International Relations
Northwestern University, 2016
Political Science/International Studies, B.A.
Madison, Wisconsin
Alli was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She attended Northwestern University where her studies focused on the Syrian conflict, the political economy of the Arab Gulf states, and Arabic. After graduating in 2016, she joined the dean’s office in Northwestern’s Qatar campus where she helped develop and improve programs to connect students between the sister campuses. After a year in Qatar, she joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a junior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program. Alli is excited to return to the Woodrow Wilson School after spending the summer of 2015 at the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute.
Isabel DoCampo
MPA2
II - International Development
College of William & Mary, 2015
International Relations, B.A.
Westfield, New Jersey
An NJ native, Isabel focuses her studies on gender and health policy. She returns to WWS after a summer split between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Lima, Peru, where she managed a portfolio of monitoring and evaluation projects for Root Capital, an agricultural investment fund. Prior to graduate school, Isabel lived in Chicago, conducting policy research on global food security and maternal/child health for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and fundraising for a local sexual assault advocacy organization. She has also worked in Cochabamba, Bolivia, researching HIV testing behaviors among local youth. An avid singer, amateur guitarist, and aspiring Kristen Wiig impersonator, Isabel graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in international relations and a minor in public health from the College of William & Mary in 2015.
Jessie Durrett
MPA2
I - International Relations
Occidental College, 2013
Diplomacy and World Affairs, B.A.
Nevada City, California
Jessie is from northern California, having grown up both in the Bay Area and in small-town Nevada City. After studying in Latin America, conducting independent research, and interning at the U.S. House of Representatives and at the United Nations, Jessie graduated from Occidental College with a Bachelor of Arts in diplomacy and world affairs and a minor in Spanish. Before starting at the Woodrow Wilson School, she spent four years working for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an initiative hosted at the United Nations Foundation that works to improve household energy access. Jessie is studying international relations at the Woodrow Wilson School, but she is also passionate about politics and the interaction between domestic and foreign policy. For her graduate summer internship, Jessie worked in the political/economic section of the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos. She plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys spending time outdoors. After completing graduate school, Jessie aspires to contribute directly to multilateral diplomacy and policymaking at the intersection of security and development.
Katherine Elgin
PhD
Princeton University, 2013
Politics, A.B.
The Plains, Virginia
Katherine is a Ph.D. candidate in security studies interested in grand strategy, civil-military affairs, alliance dynamics and national security decision-making processes. Her dissertation examines the Sino-Russian relationship. Before commencing her graduate studies at the Woodrow Wilson School, Katherine worked at the Foreign Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. There, she focused on U.S. grand strategy and global political trends, contributing to several books and projects. While in D.C., Katherine also worked with a defense research firm. Katherine speaks Swedish, Russian and French. She grew up on a family farm near Middleburg, Virginia, and enjoys photography, tennis and traveling.
Anna Engwerda-Smith
MPP
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Western Australia, 2003; Australian National University, 2012
English/History, B.A.; International Policy, MPP
Albany, Western Australia, Australia
Anna has come to Princeton from Canberra, Australia's political capital, after five years at the Prime Minister's department. Most recently, she led a team that advised the Prime Minister and the Cabinet's Expenditure Review Committee on the federal budget and proposals in domestic policy areas representing two-thirds of federal government spending. She has also worked on infrastructure investment and financing, competition policy, banking regulation, communications policy and the G20, with previous roles at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives and other federal, state and international agencies. Upon graduating, she hopes to continue pursuing her interests in corporate governance, public finance and policy areas in which governments, firms and markets can partner to build value and improve social outcomes. Outside of work, Anna is passionate about the outdoors, being active, design, and food.
Alex Entz
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Northwestern University, 2014
Economics, B.A.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Alex grew up detasseling corn and hunting pheasant in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He graduated from Northwestern University with honors in economics in 2014, where he minored in creative writing and math. After graduating, he traded mortgage-backed securities on the Markets Desk of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He then received an Education Pioneers Fellowship to work in the Strategy Department of the City Colleges of Chicago, where he focused on budget and enrollment strategy. Next, Alex was selected to be a Public Interest Fellow in Washington, D.C., where he analyzed U.S. sanctions policy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and worked as a speechwriter for the president of the Hudson Institute. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, City Journal, Real Clear Energy, The National Interest, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Hill, Providence Magazine, the Daily Signal, and Liberty Street Economics. Alex plans to use his time at Princeton to study the intersection between U.S. macroeconomic policy and foreign policy.
Stephanie Epner
MPP
I - International Relations
Vanderbilt University, 2008
Communication Studies, B.A.
Haworth, New Jersey
Stephanie was born and raised in Haworth, New Jersey, a small town just outside New York City. After spending some time in the private sector, she joined the Obama Administration, serving as chief speechwriter to the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and, from 2013-2017, as speechwriter and communications advisor to the secretary of state. During her tenure at the State Department, Stephanie drafted the secretary’s speeches, op-eds, and talking points on the full range of U.S. foreign policy challenges, accompanied the secretary on official travel to more than 50 countries, and managed the secretary’s public engagement on climate change and other environmental issues. Most recently, she was an adjunct professor at the George Washington University and a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she advised former Secretary of State John Kerry, Carnegie’s visiting distinguished statesman, on a range of projects. Stephanie is interested in the intersection of climate change and broader global security issues and hopes to use her time at the Woodrow Wilson School to expand her understanding of the climate-security nexus.
Johnathan Falcone
MPA2
I - International Relations
Yale University, 2011
Economics, B.A.
Flemington, New Jersey
John is a native of the beautiful Garden State and currently serves as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy. After graduating from Yale University in 2011, he became an investment banker in Barclays Capital’s Financial Institutions Group. Seeking an opportunity to serve, John chose to trade the congested city streets for the open ocean, and earned his commission as a Naval officer in 2013. He has deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, Horn of Africa and Western Pacific onboard USS GONZALEZ (DDG 66) and USS JOHN S MCCAIN (DDG 56). During the 2018 summer - between his first and second year of study - John interned at United Nations Headquarters in New York City at the Operations Crisis Centre as a political analyst. As a U.S. Navy Fleet Scholar Education Program fellow, John will return to an operational sea-going command after his studies at Princeton. In his free time, John enjoys playing lacrosse, spending time with his wife and college sweetheart, Tara, and hiking with their dog, Ruger.
Maura Farrell
MPA2
IV - Economics and Public Policy
American University, 2013
Economics/International Studies, B.S.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Maura is an MPA candidate focused on the intersection of economic policies, business practices, and social impact. After graduating from American University with a B.S. in economics and international studies, she worked in impact evaluation at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., and at Innovations for Poverty Action in Bangladesh. At IPA, she managed a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of payroll digitization in the garment sector on financial inclusion. She has spent nearly four years in India and Bangladesh and is fluent in Bengali. Prior to joining the Woodrow Wilson School, Maura spent the summer studying Spanish and interning with a fintech startup in Medellin, Colombia. She interned with Impacto Social Consultores, an impact evaluation firm in Mexico City, during the summer between the first and second years of her MPA.

Pages