Student Bios

Anurag Kumar
I - International Relations
Indian Institute of Technology, 2012
Textile Technology, BTech
Delhi, India
Anurag was born and mostly raised in Delhi and its suburbs. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2012. During college, he grew interested in and worked on a range of issues from refugee rights to livelihood generation to environmental sustainability. After graduating, he joined the Parthenon Group, a boutique consulting firm in their Mumbai office where he worked predominantly with private equity and education clients across emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Anurag’s interest in working with the public sector led him to do a brief stint at the firm’s Boston office. Post Boston, he wanted to work more closely with the public sector, and joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. At CHAI, he worked to stabilize malaria treatments and diagnostics’ markets at the global level and with country governments across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to improve access to these commodities. Anurag is an avid traveler always planning the next adventure, likes most things outdoors (especially hiking), and is always keen to learn more about world and Indian history.
Ryan Kuo
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Pennsylvania, 2013
Operations and Information Management/Political Science, B.S./B.A.
San Jose, California
Ryan grew up in San Jose, California, and studied business and political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He comes to the Woodrow Wilson School after four years working for Bain and Company across Southeast Asia where he advised private and state-owned enterprises and investors on corporate strategy, performance improvement, and M&A. During this time, Ryan was also seconded to the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency in Addis Ababa where he managed teams developing commercialization strategies for the wheat, honey and sesame sectors and pilot programs for private distribution of agricultural inputs. Having seen the importance of building well-functioning markets to drive impact, Ryan intends to pursue a career in private sector development upon graduation from WWS. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing tennis, masochistically cheering for Bay Area sports teams, drinking pretentious beer, and making astonishingly salty, unhealthy food.
Elizabeth Lee
I - International Relations
Grinnell College, 1999; University of Minnesota, 2003
English, B.A.; Law, J.D.
San Francisco, California
Liz is a career foreign service officer with the United States Department of State. Most recently, she served as a negotiator and policy advisor for three years at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Liz negotiated myriad regional and thematic issues in the Security Council, ranging from peace operations in Latin America and the Middle East to Women, Peace and Security and LGBTI issues. Previous State Department assignments include the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the Consulate General in Jerusalem, the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane (TDY) and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.
Geesu Lee
I - International Relations
Middlebury College, 2012
Economics, B.A.
Seoul, Korea
Born and raised in South Korea, Geesu decided to move by himself to the United States at fifteen. Since then, he has discovered that travel is one of the greatest sources of personal growth and valuable learning of customs, cultures and languages. During his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College, Geesu actively sought study abroad opportunities in China and Japan where he realized and appreciated the full range of diversity in society. Following his bachelor’s degree, he returned to Korea and was commissioned as an Army officer. During his military service, Geesu served as a U.N. peacekeeper in Lebanon. There he developed a strong passion for peace-building and humanitarian assistance as a future career. Prior to entering the Woodrow Wilson School, he did his internship at the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Seoul office and assisted in establishing military networks in Korea and analyzing political and security issues on the Peninsula. At Princeton, Geesu plans to combine these diverse social and cultural experiences and leverage them positively to help resolve ongoing conflicts around the world.
Amy Li
III - Domestic Policy
Pomona College, 2013
Biology/Politics, B.A.
Chicago, Illinois
Born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, Amy graduated from Pomona College as a QuestBridge scholar in 2013, double majoring in biology and politics. After graduating, her interests in health disparities and public policy led her to the California State Senate where she worked as a fellow for the Committee on Public Safety. Equipped with the valuable exposure she gained as a fellow and a deeper understanding of real world policy making, Amy next set her sights on understanding how evidence-based research and empirical analysis could be better utilized to inform policy decisions. With this goal in mind, in October 2014, she started at Acumen LLC, a health policy consulting firm as a data and policy analyst. She worked on a variety of health-related topics, including projects supporting the premium stabilization programs established by the Affordable Care Act, analyzing the impacts of bundled payment initiatives in Medicare, and comparing the experiences of Medicare-Medicaid enrollees in traditional fee-for-service and managed care plans. After completing the MPA program at WWS, Amy hopes to return to California as a legislative analyst. In her free time, she loves exploring new places, trying new foods and talking politics.
Ella Lipin
I - International Relations
Duke University, 2010
Asian and Middle-Eastern Studies/Political Science, A.B.
Portland, Oregon
Ella is from Portland, Oregon. She recently served in the Obama administration as the Egypt country director in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. She also worked in the speechwriting office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Ella worked at the Council on Foreign Relations and taught English at Al Azhar University in Egypt as a Fulbright fellow.
Abyssinia Lissanu
I - International Relations
Princeton University, 2016
Politics, A.B.
Somerset, Kentucky
Abby is an Ethiopian-American hailing from the South, with an interest in international relations and human rights. She also has a deep love for Spain after a semester spent there abroad, which led her to write a senior thesis on new waves of immigration in the country, thus combining multiple interests. She spent the year before starting the MPA working at an NGO in Costa Rica. Abby’s hobbies are travel, running and reading. After graduation, she plans to pursue a law degree and work in the arena of international law, specifically as related to protections of minority or vulnerable groups.
Elizabeth Litchfield
I - International Relations
University of Chicago, 2008
International Studies/Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, B.A.
Darien, Illinois
Liz joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009. Prior to Princeton, she completed a tour in the political and economic section of U.S. Embassy Algiers where she led a fantastic team of American and Algerian colleagues. Before that, she served on the Libya Desk from 2013 to 2015 as the United States managed political and security challenges in post-revolutionary Libya. Her previous tours were in Amman, Jordan and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Liz grew up in the Chicago suburbs and though she travels the world, her heart is always in Chicago. Following graduation from the Woodrow Wilson School, she will return to the Foreign Service.
Carla López Castañeda
II - International Development
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, 2013
Economics, B.A.
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
Carla was born and raised in Merida, Southeast Mexico. She studied economics in Mexico City and after graduation she joined the Mexican Ministry of Finance to work as an analyst on tax and expenditure policy, developing interest and experience on the relationship between fiscal policy and social policy, especially health policy. Afterwards, she joined the Mexican Institute for Social Security (IMSS), the largest healthcare institution in Latin America and provider to over 70 million people, where she spent three years working as one of the main advisers to the director general on health policy analysis, design and implementation. Her analysis focused on universal health reform and pay-for-performance schemes. She was appointed to lead the implementation of the largest initiative to increase health access and reduce waiting times through clinical operations improvements. She led a team of 35 implementers for national scale-up and experienced the challenges of ensuring successful program implementation. Along with health policy and health economics, Carla recently developed an interest in urban policy and planning, and energy policy, topics she wants to explore at the WWS. She spent the summer traveling through Southeast Asia and with her family in her hometown. After graduate school she plans to return to Mexico to keep working on the development of public policies that contribute to increase the wellbeing of the Mexican citizens.
Paulina Lopez Gonzalez
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, 2015
Economics/Political Science, B.A.
Puebla, Mexico
Paulina grew up in Puebla and moved to Mexico City for college where she became an avid theatre spectator and an amateur runner. She earned a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in political science and she is very interested in policy that aims to tackle gender inequality. She holds a certificate in gender, sexuality and law. Convinced of the importance of interdiscipline, Paulina became a member and spent a year as coordinator of a plural youth group that discusses Mexico’s most pressing issues with experts from various fields. Upon graduation, she spent two and a half years working at the economic research division of the Mexican central bank, contributing to research projects related to the analysis of policies that seek to improve the conditions of Mexican women. Paulina is excited to broaden her scope of the policy-making process at the Woodrow Wilson School, where she also hopes to learn from successful gender equality policies within the United States and around the globe. Upon completion of her graduate studies, Paulina wants to return to Mexico to work in one of the many nonprofit organizations that perform outstanding work fighting for gender equality.
Stefanie Mavronis
III - Domestic Policy
University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 2012
Media and Communication Studies/Political Science, B.A.
Baltimore, Maryland
Stefanie was born and raised in Baltimore. She attended the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) where she was a Walter Sondheim Public Affairs scholar, planned campus-wide events, and lobbied for worker rights on campus and in the city. She graduated with a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in media and communication studies with a minor in Spanish. In 2011, Stefanie made a short documentary film in El Alto and La Paz, Bolivia about the ways art and community media were being used to wrestle with the legacy of colonization. Beginning in 2012, she started producing the Peabody-award winning Marc Steiner Show on NPR affiliate station WEAA 88.9FM focused on important community and political issues. Upon graduation, Stefanie plans to return to Baltimore to focus on grassroots political organizing.
Patrick McDonnell
I - International Relations
University of Notre Dame, 2011
Political Science, B.A.
Chardon, Ohio
Patrick was born and raised in northeast Ohio. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2011, Pat joined the U.S. Army and commissioned as a military intelligence officer. During his time in the military, he deployed both to Europe and Afghanistan where he developed an interest in the intersection of law and policy. This past summer, he concluded a second tour in Europe and took some time off to be with his family. After graduating from the Woodrow Wilson School, Pat hopes to work in the public sector on security issues.
Mary Ana McGlasson
I - International Relations
North Park University, 2001; University of Washington, 2005
Nursing, B.S.; Nursing, M.N.
Mesa, Arizona
Born in Kentucky and moving frequently around the USA as a child, Mary Ana spent most of her teen years in Mesa, Arizona. After obtaining her B.S. in nursing at North Park University in Chicago, she spent two years as a traveling ICU nurse before obtaining her master’s in nursing at the University of Washington to become a family nurse practitioner. After a successful decade as an FNP, Mary Ana began working intermittently with Doctors Without Borders and then transitioned to a full-time career as a humanitarian aid worker with Relief International in 2012. From her first exposure to the Syria crisis in 2012, she remained in the Middle East, managing large-scale humanitarian programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Mary Ana will be joined at Princeton by her beagle, Murphy, and a Turkish street cat named Sebastian.
Margaret Menold
II - International Development
Washington University in St. Louis, 2008
French, B.A.
Centreville, Virginia
Maggie is a native of Virginia and grew up outside of Washington, D.C. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in French language and literature and a minor in drama (highlights included studying abroad in Toulouse, France and many student theater productions). Following a summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival after graduation, she determined an internationally-focused career was her calling and spent two months in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala learning Spanish. Over the past seven years, Maggie worked for the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) with the Regional Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV/STI programs, including serving as coordinator of the USAID-PAHO Umbrella Grant Agreement supporting technical cooperation in maternal and child health, infectious diseases and health systems strengthening in Latin America and the Caribbean. At Princeton, she plans to focus on development economics and gender policy. Outside of work and the classroom, Maggie enjoys biking, camping, yoga, volleyball, performing arts, salsa dance and trying different international cuisines with her husband, Alex.
Mayank Misra
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, 2007; Princeton University, 2014
Law, B.A./LLB (Hons); Public and International Affairs, MPA
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Mayank is a recovering lawyer and policy consultant. He has advised the U.S. State Department on track II diplomacy in the Middle East and the Open Society Foundations on strategic litigation. In India, Mayank was a civil liberties and public interest lawyer in the Indian Supreme Court where he worked on transparency and accountability within the government. In an ill-advised stroke of inspiration, Mayank is now pursuing his Ph.D. studying human rights within a broader ecological framework.