Student Bios

Michelle Conway
MPA1
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.
Amy Coppernoll
MPA2
I - International Relations
University of Southern California, 2012
International Relations, B.A.
New York, New York
After spending three years coordinating Human Rights Watch’s advocacy at the United Nations, Amy is excited to develop her national security expertise and quantitative background to pivot toward a career in the U.S. federal government post-graduation. A New York City native, Amy traded the East Coast for Los Angeles, graduating from the University of Southern California School of International Relations, where she was a Michael Sullivan Award recipient. An Arabic language buff interested in vulnerable populations, primarily refugees, she studied in Morocco through a Critical Language Scholarship, and in Egypt and South Africa. Amy completed internships with the U.S. Department of State in Rwanda and Relief International in Egypt, which spurred her passion for public service, civil-military relations, and the nexus between human rights, humanitarian assistance, and counterterrorism response.
Christopher Crawford
PhD
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2012
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, B.S.
East Lansing, Michigan
Chris comes to Princeton after three and a half delightful years working at Sustainable Conservation, an environmental nonprofit in San Francisco. He worked on Sustainable Conservation’s PlantRight initiative, collaborating with plant scientists, environmental groups and the horticultural industry to stop the sale of invasive plants in California. Along with PlantRight, he worked to provide incentives for riparian restoration in California’s Central Valley, leading a cost-benefit analysis to help inform restoration along the Mokelumne River. A Michigan native, Chris attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating in 2012 after studying ecology & evolutionary biology and physics. Among other things, he enjoys riding his bicycle, taking pictures of clouds, cooking vegetarian stir fries and listening to Swedish music. An avid traveler, he spent much of the summer finding environmental inspiration while road-tripping coast to coast. After graduating, Chris hopes to collaboratively improve the implementation of biodiversity conservation in developing countries.
Ileana Cruz-Marden
MPA1
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
MPA1
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.
Martín Elías De Simone
MPA2
II - International Development
Universidad de San Andrés, 2013
Political Science, B.A.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Martín was born and raised in Avellaneda, a city in the south of Buenos Aires, in Argentina. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Universidad de San Andrés (summa cum laude), where he was granted a full scholarship. Since 2012, he has been working in different areas of the federal government. He started researching on policy evaluation at the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP) of Argentina, part of the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers, where he was chosen among more than 700 candidates. Before coming to Princeton, he served for three years at the federal Ministry of Security of Argentina. In 2016, he was appointed as director of articulation between the security and the education systems. Martín has worked mainly on policies against organized crime, domestic violence, use of force, police education, etc. He did research about organized crime and citizen security polices for several civil society organizations, and he writes for different national mass media. After completing his MPA, Martin intends to build a career focusing on improving citizen security policies.
Sebastian Devlin-Foltz
MPA2
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Occidental College, 2012
Diplomacy and World Affairs/Economics, B.A.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Sebi grew up in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. before attending Occidental College in Los Angeles. There, he studied economics and international affairs while running track and cross country for, coincidentally, another team wearing black and orange. He then moved to D.C. proper to work first at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and then at the Federal Reserve Board. At the Fed his work focused on household finance, survey administration and trends in economic inequality. At WWS he would like to supplement this experience with practical training in policy administration in preparation for a career in community economic development. In his free time Sebi can be found trail running, experimenting in the kitchen, seeing live music and drinking odd beers.
Harrison Diamond Pollock
MPA1
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.
Kevin DiFalco
MPP
I - International Relations
University of Colorado-Boulder, 2004; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2014
Aerospace Engineering Sciences, B.S.; Aeronautical Science, M.S.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Major Kevin “Gator” DiFalco is an Air Force officer and fighter pilot. He was most recently the assistant director of operations for the 16th Weapons Squadron at the United States Air Force Weapons School. He was commissioned in 2004 as a graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since then, he has served as an instructor at the United States Air Force Weapons School, joint operational planning expert, joint/coalition integration expert, and as a scheduler for the largest and most complex flying operation in Air Combat Command. He was recently an Air Force nominee for the NASA Astronaut Class of 2017. With 297 combat hours and 1,800 total hours flying the F-16, Gator has supported contingency and deterrence operations in Southwest Asia, Europe, Africa and on the Korean Peninsula as a weapons officer, mission commander, flight leader and Combined Air Operations Center liaison. Following graduation from the Woodrow Wilson School, he plans to continue his service in leadership roles throughout the Air Force. Gator spent his summer finishing his duties at Nellis Air Force Base and visiting family while traveling to Princeton with his wife and three kids.
Isabel DoCampo
MPA1
II - International Development
College of William & Mary, 2015
International Relations, B.A.
Westfield, New Jersey
As an MPA student at the Woodrow Wilson School, Isabel is excited to study female empowerment as a pathway to global health and development. She returns home to New Jersey after two years in Chicago, where she produced policy research and communications on global food security, agricultural development, and maternal/child health for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and fundraised for a local sexual assault advocacy organization. Prior to that, Isabel worked in Cochabamba, Bolivia, researching HIV testing behaviors among local youth. An avid singer, amateur guitarist, and aspiring Kristen Wiig impersonator, she 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.
Brian Dougherty
MPP
III - Domestic Policy
University of Kansas, 1991; National University, 2010
Communications/Political Science, BGS; Creative Writing, MFA
Atlanta, Georgia
In 1997, Brian founded a college-in-prison nonprofit organization now known as the National Prisoner Education Foundation. Since then, a little more than 2,000 prisoners have earned college degrees while serving their time in lockups throughout the country. The overwhelming majority of these nontraditional students have since secured either pardons, expungements, security bonding to hold white collar jobs, and/or early releases. Brian plans to return to the Foundation upon graduation from the Woo, and he plans to extend its outreach into international markets like Uganda, the U.K. and Canada.
Jessie Durrett
MPA1
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 almost 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 is also passionate about politics and the interaction between domestic and foreign policy. She plays ultimate Frisbee competitively and enjoys spending time outdoors. After completing graduate school, Jessie aspires to contribute directly to multilateral diplomacy and policy making at the intersection of security and development.
Nathan Eckstein
MPA2
I - International Relations
Princeton University, 2016
Public and International Affairs, A.B.
Chicago, Illinois
Hailing from Chicago, Nathan graduated cum laude with an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School and a certificate in Latin American studies. He is a member of the 2016 cohort of the Scholar in the Nation’s Service Initiative, hoping to pursue foreign service within and beyond his fellowship. Proficient in Spanish, many of his undergraduate interests were related to the utility of diplomacy in reframing U.S.-Latin America partnerships. Nathan spent the last two summers serving U.S. Embassies in South America: in 2016, he interned in Embassy Santiago’s political section under his SINSI fellowship, and in 2015, he worked in Embassy La Paz’s public affairs section. Nathan is also a photographer and a dancer, having done ballet since age five.
Karina Edouard
MPA2
III - Domestic Policy
Manhattanville College, 2014
International Studies, B.A.
Nyack, New York
A native (upstate) New Yorker and second-generation Haitian immigrant, Karina is oft-kept awake at night thinking about race relations, immigration and Haiti’s economic development. While at Manhattanville College, she studied international studies, French, and economics. Karina spent the last year serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer where she helped connect African immigrants in NYC to immigration legal services, language access and economic opportunities. Karina also studied abroad in France where, in addition to traveling and spending leisurely afternoons in cafes, she researched international migration. After graduating from the Woodrow Wilson School, she hopes to build economic and social capacity within immigrant communities. In her spare time, Karina enjoys listening to stand-up comedy, watching poorly produced scary films and playing backgammon.
Johnathan Falcone
MPA1
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. Desperate to escape “the cube”, 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 the USS GONZALEZ (DDG 66) and the USS JOHN S MCCAIN (DDG 56) in support of the Global War on Terror, Freedom of Navigation Operations, and Ballistic Missile Defense. As a U.S. Navy Fleet Scholar Education Program fellow, John will return to an operational sea-going command after his studies at Princeton. He is focusing his studies on the inter-relationship between regional security and economic development. In his free time, John enjoys playing lacrosse, spending time with his wife and college sweetheart, Tara, and hiking with their dog, Ruger. They look forward to a stable residence for 22 months following temporary homes in five states and two countries during their first three years of marriage.

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