Student Bios

Lindsay Wylie
IV - Economics and Public Policy
American University, 2016
Applied Mathematics/International Studies, B.S./B.A.
Medford, New Jersey
Lindsay was born and raised in the town of Medford, New Jersey. She moved to Washington, D.C., to attend American University and study mathematics and international studies with a focus on environmental policy. After Hurricane Sandy devastated her home state, Lindsay became even more passionate about pursuing a career in fighting the threat of climate change. During her time in D.C., she participated in a scholarship program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and an internship at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She spent a semester studying the European Union in Brussels, Belgium. Lindsay worked on the Political Affairs team at the Environmental Defense Fund after graduating, putting her quantitative skills to work as a financial analyst.
Gur Yalon
I - International Relations
IDC Herzliya, 2016
Government, B.A.
Tel-Aviv, Israel
Gur was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He is an IDC Herzliya cum laude graduate, holding a B.A. from the honors track for strategy-planning and decision-making in Government. Upon his graduation, he co-founded ACT.IL, a civil online community that aims to build bridges between Israelis, their Middle-Eastern neighbors, and international audiences. Gur served a compulsory draft for three years in the I.D.F as an infantry unit combat-fighter and commander. Prior to his army service, he volunteered for a gap-year program where he devoted a year for strengthening new immigrants’ communities in Israel through formal & non-formal education while tutoring high-risk adolescents. Gur was a competitive sailor and coach representing Israel, and is an overall die-hard sports fan.
Rachel Young
Lewis & Clark College, 2011; University of California-Berkeley, 2017
Environmental Studies, B.A.; Public Policy, MPP
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Rachel is a student in the science, technology and environmental policy (STEP) Ph.D. program. Her research intersects climate science and labor economics to understand the effect of climate-related disasters on the economy. Her recent work examines the long-run impact of hurricanes on labor and health outcomes. Before starting at Princeton, Rachel was a full-time research assistant at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment for Jesse Rothstein, professor of economics and public policy at UC Berkeley. She completed her MPP at the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP), UC Berkeley, in 2017. She began her research career as a policy analyst for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, in Washington, where she evaluated national energy efficiency legislation. Rachel holds a B.A. in environmental studies from Lewis & Clark College. During her college years, she worked as a climate activist with the Sierra Student Coalition and In her free time, Rachel enjoys trail running and crocheting.
Álvaro Zapatel Malpartida
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Boston College, 2011
Economics, B.A.
Lima, Peru
Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Álvaro earned a B.A. in economics and a minor in international studies from Boston College. Since graduation, he has worked as an economist, public servant, university professor and journalist. Accordingly, his passion for public service led him to actively participate in Peruvian politics. In 2009, Álvaro co-founded an NGO focused on vulnerable teenagers’ social-emotional development. Realizing the impact of working in policy and politics, in 2012 he began to work first in the private sector as a journalist at Semana Económica, a Peruvian business and economics magazine, and as a strategic planning consultant at APOYO Consultoría’s Public Administration Practice. Later, Álvaro ran for mayor, becoming the youngest candidate in his district’s history, and with that experience, in 2016 his party appointed him as the presidential campaign manager for Lima. After running for office, he started to work at the Ministry of Education of Peru leading projects to improve public schools’ management. In parallel, he also taught courses in economics and communications at the University of Lima. In the summer of 2018, Álvaro worked at the World Bank’s Global Education Practice, and was part of the TEACH Program Team, where he analyzed data from pilot projects in Uruguay, Mozambique, Pakistan and Philippines. Álvaro plans to work in professional fields related to the public sector international development after graduation. He expects that the MPA program will help him to expand his knowledge about public policy and merge it with his experience in politics. Álvaro enjoys reading a good book, movies, running, playing and watching soccer.
Zachary Zappone
III - Domestic Policy
Georgetown University, 2013
American Studies, B.A.
Spokane, Washington
Zack was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. He attended Georgetown University where he majored in American studies and developed an interest in educational inequality. He worked with high-poverty communities in Washington, D.C, and Sacramento, California, before moving back to eastern Washington to be a middle school teacher where he created several civic engagement programs for students. Prior to starting at the Woo, Zack was a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Colombia. He worked on Safe Routes to School, pedestrian plane and bike lanes at the Seattle Department of Transportation for his summer internship. He is an avid fan of young adult fiction and enjoys traveling, hiking, and bowling.
Mitik Zegeye
II - International Development
College of Wooster, 2014
International Relations, B.A.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mitik is from the Horn of Africa nation of Ethiopia and grew up in Addis Ababa, its capital city. She holds a B.A. in international relations from the College of Wooster in Ohio. While at Wooster, she engaged in various research, internship and fellowship opportunities, one of which was taking part in the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship program. As a PPIA fellow, Mitik spent the summer of 2013 at the Woodrow Wilson School’s Junior Summer Institute where she was exposed to concepts related to public policy analysis. Upon graduation from Wooster, she spent some time at the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development following which she returned home to work for the Ethiopian federal government at the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). Through her work at ATA, Mitik engaged in strategy development, program design and policy analysis across the agricultural value chain. She also developed a newfound appreciation for coffee and teff, both of which originate from Ethiopia. Mitik hopes to continue working on agricultural development and climate change issues after WWS. She spent the summer after her first year at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with their Agriculture Development team, working on private sector development opportunities in the livestock sector.
David Zikusoka
I - International Relations
Harvard University, 2006
History, A.B.
Princeton Junction, New Jersey
Dave hails from Princeton Junction, New Jersey, an unincorporated community largely known for being a train stop on the way to Princeton. He is currently a Battlespace Awareness Portfolio Analysis contractor with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). He previously worked at OSD as a political appointee in the roles of special assistant for Battlespace Awareness and special assistant for Global Force Planning. Prior to his Pentagon experience, Dave worked for Vice President Joe Biden as his senior advisor for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Non-proliferation and, earlier, as special assistant to the national security advisor to the vice president. During his time in government, Dave has worked on everything from space warfare and Guantanamo transfers to basing agreements and artificial intelligence. He graduated from Harvard University in 2006 with an A.B. in History. In his free-time, he pretends at being a D.J., music blogger, chef, and cyclist.