Student Bios

Patrick Farrell
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Pittsburgh, 2015
Chinese/Economics/Politcal Science, B.A./B.S.
Summerfield, North Carolina
Pat was born in New York and grew up in North Carolina. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in economics, Chinese, and political science and also holds a certificate in business and economics from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. After graduation, he worked as a junior fellow in the Southeast Asia and Chinese Economy programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and for New York University’s Stern School of Business as a research assistant for projects involving banking, monetary policy and social networks. Most recently, he worked in Myanmar as a government relations consultant. Pat is interested in trade policy, development and diplomacy, and enjoys studying languages, reading and running.
Travis Frederick
PhD
The Ohio State University, 2014; Georgia Institute of Technology, 2017
International Studies, B.A.; International Affairs, M.S.
Fairfield, Ohio
Travis is a first-generation college student from Fairfield, Ohio. Prior to attending the Woodrow Wilson School, he worked for the Behavioral Modeling and Computational Social Science lab at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on issues ranging from measuring deception and cohesion in online video games to modeling Soviet theories of information warfare. His experiences in public service include working in the Policy Management Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the Executive Office of the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Travis has conducted field research in Cambodia, Argentina, South Africa and Russia. However, despite his informative fieldwork and research experience, he still considers receiving top marks at the seventh-grade state science fair to be his most prominent achievement in research to date. Travis’ current research interests include international security policy, civil-military relationships, and linking micro-cognitive processes to macro-social phenomena.
Xiangwen Fu
PhD
Peking University, 2015; Peking University, 2018
Environmental Science, B.S.; Environmental Science, M.S.
Beijing, China
Xiangwen was born and raised in Beijing, China. Prior to arriving at Princeton, he earned a master’s degree at Peking University with a focus on urban air pollutant dispersion. His previous research mainly dealt with characterizing the distribution of traffic-related air pollutant in complex urban terrain by developing and using atmospheric models. Xiangwen plans to continue his work on urban air pollution in China, and is interested in assessing the implications of environmental policies on urban air quality, energy use and human health.
Joelle Gamble
MPA2
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of California-Los Angeles, 2012
International Development Studies, B.A.
Riverside, California
Joelle is a native Californian, hailing from Riverside. She spent most of her life in the Golden State, receiving her B.A. in international development studies from UCLA in 2012. She has held research and programmatic internships in the UCLA Department of Economics and U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions Los Angeles. For five years, she worked in New York at the Roosevelt Institute. She served as the national director for the Roosevelt Institute’s network, a 40-state youth policy organization, for the three years prior to coming to Woodrow Wilson. This past summer, she interned at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington.
Varsha Gandikota
MPA2
II - International Development
Lady Shri Ram College, 2015
Mathematics, BSc
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Varsha was born and raised in Hyderabad, India. In 2012, she founded The Orange Leaf, an organization with a mission to engage students in public service. The initiative, whose work has been presented at the office of the Indian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva currently engages volunteers across the country. Varsha studied mathematics at Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi University and upon graduation, joined Kepler Cannon, a boutique strategy consulting firm. Her work spanned projects in Hong Kong and New York with a focus on insurance and retirement funds. Prior to Woodrow Wilson, she interned with the state government of Andhra Pradesh as a part of the Economic Development Board, an advisory committee to the chief minister. This past summer, she worked at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Istanbul, Turkey. Varsha hopes to work at the intersection of gender, political participation and education and is seeking ways to employ her art in her work.
Curtis Goos
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
University of Iowa, 2014
French/International Studies, B.A.
Treynor, Iowa
Curtis pivoted from his family’s farming tradition to explore the world beyond the fields of his native southwest Iowa. Fascinated by stories of social reinvention across cultural boundaries, he completed his studies in French literature at the University of Iowa with a focus on immigration in the post-colonial Francophone world. This interest led him to the foot of the French Pyrenees where he spent a year teaching English conversation and translation at the Université de Pau et de Pays de l’Adour. He continued to build on this classroom experience as a Peace Corps education volunteer in the terraced hills of southern Rwanda. There, he taught English, literature, and computer science to students and faculty while spending his free time tending his garden with his cat. At Princeton, Curtis hopes to develop the analytical tools necessary to examine cities’ policies aimed at attracting and supporting immigrant residents as well as better understand the social and economic impact of immigrant communities throughout the American Midwest.
Gokul Gopalan Ramachandran
MPA1
IV - Economics and Public Policy
National Institute of Technology, Calicut, 2010
Electronic & Communication Engineering, BTech
Palakkad, Kerala, India
Gokul is from the state of Kerala, in the southern tip of India, nestled between the lush green mountains and the Arabian sea. After graduating as an engineer, he pursued his passion for public service by joining the prestigious Indian Administrative Service, the topmost civil service of the country. He underwent two years of training at the National Civil Services College where topics of study ranged from NPV analysis to navigating the chilly waters of the Ganges. After that, Gokul had worked extensively in the difficult, hilly districts of Kerala, as a deputy chief executive and then as a chief executive. His efforts led to substantial improvements in the education and employability of forest-dwelling tribes, last mile connectivity of Government services and settlement of land rights. Gokul enjoys a game of football in his free time and loves long distance running. He also hopes to improve his tennis and learn cooking while at Princeton. Gokul’s wife, Anjali is a Ph.D. in engineering and loves synthesizing nanomaterials for energy storage when she is not singing old Hindi songs. After graduation, Gokul will join the Government of Kerala as the head of department of the Tribal Affairs ministry.
Yashna Gungadurdoss
MPA1
II - International Development
Cornell University, 2015
Economics/Psychology, B.A.
Vacoas, Mauritius
Yashna was born and raised in Mauritius. She left her home country to attend Cornell University, where she earned a double degree in economics and psychology. During that time, she also undertook internships in the field of social impact bonds with Instiglio in Colombia and impact investment with IIX in Singapore. After graduating in 2015, Yashna joined the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, which uses psychometric credit scores to advance financial inclusion in developing countries. She initially led the company’s marketing initiatives and thereafter moved to India to spearhead projects with financial institutions in Mumbai. She more recently grew very interested in the field of education and after her MPA, she wishes to gain experience that will prepare her to join the Mauritian government and contribute to education-related policy in the longer term. Yashna loves Latin dance, yoga, meditation, good food, languages and travel. She, in fact, spent the summer before Princeton exploring Europe!
Rohit Gupta
MPP
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi 2004
Electrical Engineering, BTech
Punjab, India
Rohit grew up in Punjab and graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi with a major in electrical engineering. After briefly working in different technology based research roles, he felt his calling lay in public services. He was selected as an Indian Administrative Services officer in 2006. He has worked as district magistrate, which is the head of District Government in India, in six different districts. As district magistrate, he was responsible for direct supervision of more than twenty government departments, maintaining law and order in jurisdiction, and coordinating with multiple agencies to ensure the holistic development of district. He has also served as municipal commissioner of Jodhpur, a city of million plus population in Rajasthan. He passionately believes in promoting and executing policies that protect the environment along with economic development. He likes to spend his time outdoors; and he is always looking for a new book to read and a reason to travel.
Jasmine Haddaway
MPA1
II - International Development
University of Florida, 2018
International Studies, B.A.
Orlando, Florida
Jasmine was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, and received her bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in women’s studies from the University of Florida (go Gators!). She is passionate about using gender equity and sustainable international development as tools of diplomacy, utilizing advocacy and capacity building to empower the communities she serves. Her past experiences include interning at the White House, serving as a Planned Parenthood Global Youth Advocacy Fellow, participating in the 2018 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and implementing sustainable development initiatives in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, with P4H Global. In addition, Jasmine has conducted research that measures the impact of women’s engagement in agriculture through her work on the USAID Feed the Future Livestock Innovation Lab and compiled a qualitative history of the West African Ebola outbreak with the Ebola 100 Project. Jasmine is a 2018 Rangel Fellow with the U.S. Department of State and is eager to continue building relationships with communities to create social change through a career in the Foreign Service. Jasmine’s interest include scouting out cheap international flights, eating brunch, hiking, hanging out in art museums, and exploring new places.
Carlton Haelig
PhD
Rutgers University, 2013; George Mason University, 2017
History/Political Science, B.A.; International Security, M.A.
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Carlton is a first-year Ph.D. student in the security studies program who focuses on military innovation, grand strategy and civil-military relations. He is interested in the impact of the contemporary security environment on the nature of military innovation and adaptation, particularly in militaries with mixed-intensity security priorities. Prior to Princeton, Carlton was the director of research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law where his work drew upon international security and public policy research to develop and advocate on behalf of solutions to national security issues, which arise as a result of the changing character of warfare. Carlton holds a master’s degree in international security from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, where he double-majored in political science and history. He was born and raised only half an hour from Princeton in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and – having suffered through Northern Virginia’s lack of quality pork roll and pizza for far too long – is happy to be back in Central New Jersey.
Artin Haghshenas
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Rutgers University, 2015
Political Science, B.A.
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Artin was born and raised in New Jersey where she also received her undergraduate degree in political science from Rutgers University. During her time at Rutgers, she was an undergraduate associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, where she explored state and national politics through research, education and public service, linking the study of politics with its day-to-day practice. She spent the last three years working as an adviser to United States Senator Bob Menendez, where she provided strategic direction to New Jersey’s senior senator and managed a portfolio with a focus on health care, women’s rights and education. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA), the state’s only statewide organization working to create a culture that addresses the impact and prevalence of sexual violence. Artin is a second-degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, enjoys running (half) marathons and is an avid traveler. After graduating from the Woodrow Wilson School, Artin hopes to continue working at the federal level with the goal of improving access and affordability of health services to low-income women.
Aung Hein
MPA2
II - International Development
Earlham College, 2010; University of Kent, 2012
International Studies/Politics, B.A.; International Political Economy, M.A.
Yangon, Myanmar
Currently, Aung is a second-year MPA student in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, concentrating on international development. For the summer 2018, he worked as a graduate intern at Myanmar Development Institute, the Government of Myanmar’s economic think tank. Prior to Princeton University, he was a research coordinator at the Centre for Economic and Social Development for four years. There, he led policy advocacy, research and capacity building activities of the Food Security Policy Project in collaboration with Michigan State University and the International Food Policy Research Institute. Earlier, he was a faculty member at the Pre-Collegiate Program, teaching classes in international political economy and existential philosophy. Aung went back to Myanmar after his undergraduate study at Earlham College, the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in St. Louis, and a graduate degree in international political economy at University of Kent. He plays soccer regularly and loves swimming, rock climbing, and outdoors.
James Holtsnider
MPP
I - International Relations
University of Colorado, 2006
Physics, B.A.
Cresco, Iowa
Jim is a career State Department foreign service officer, most recently assigned to U.S. Mission to Somalia as the management officer to reestablish operations in Mogadishu. He previously served as a general services officer for Tri-Mission Rome; as special assistant in the office of the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources; as a watch officer in the State Department’s Operations Center; as a political advisor at Regional Command East in Bagram, Afghanistan; as Vice-Consul in Tunis, Tunisia; and as a provincial action officer on Provincial Reconstruction Team Ninewa in Mosul, Iraq. Before joining the Foreign Service, Jim served for six years in the United States Marine Corps. He earned an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Colorado. Jim is married and has two children.
J. Thomas Huelskoetter
MPA1
III - Domestic Policy
Kenyon College, 2012
Political Science, B.A.
Madison, Virginia
Thomas was born in New Orleans, but grew up in Alabama and Virginia before heading north to Kenyon College, where he studied abroad in Strasbourg, France. Prior to starting at Princeton, he spent almost five years working as a health policy analyst at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. In this role, Thomas was deeply involved in the national campaign to save the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid from Congressional repeal legislation, and later helped write CAP’s universal health care proposal. Before his time at CAP, he returned to France for a year to teach high school English and further develop his cheese expertise. He also interned with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and with President Obama’s re-election campaign in Virginia. In addition to health policy, Thomas loves trivia, chow chows, and the New Orleans Saints.

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