PhD Community

Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Public Administration at the Maxwell School bring a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Current students hail from the United States (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah), Canada, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, India, and Korea.

Their academic backgrounds include economics, engineering, English literature, history, and political science. Despite their varied backgrounds, they share an intellectual interest in public administration and policy analysis and a drive to become the top scholars and teachers in their fields.

On the Job Market

 Emily Gutierrez



Emily Gutierrez

Email

Fort Worth, Texas

Baylor University (2011) BBA - Economics, Spanish, & Public Administration.

Baylor University (2014) MS - Economics

Before beginning her graduate studies at Maxwell, Emily was a Teach for America 2011 corps member and a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Her research interests include education, welfare, and inequality policy issues  


Raghav Puri Headshot

 

Raghav Puri

Email

India

St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi (2009), BA (Honours) in Economics

Tsinghua University, Beijing (2010), Exchange Student

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (2011). MPP

Research Interests: Program Evaluation, Social Policy, Development Policy

Raghav has been working with the World Bank in India since 2011. During this period, he worked closely with various state governments in evaluating and improving the implementation of social protection programs such as non-contributory social pensions, health insurance, subsidized food and public works.  He enjoys primary research and has been volunteering as a field investigator for surveys of social protection programs in India with academics and researchers every summer since 2007.


 David Schwegman Headshot 

David Schwegman

Email

Granby, Connecticut

BA (2013), Economics and History

MPA (2015), Public Finance

David's fields of specialization are public finance and social policy, with a focus on state and local tax policy, education policy, and program evaluation.  He works with Robert Bifulco in the Center for Policy 

 Saied Toossi Headshot


 

Saied Toossi

Email  |  LinkedIn

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011), BA in Mathematics & History.

Northern Illinois University (2015), MA in Economics.

Saied is a Ph.D. student in Public Administration, working in the Center for Policy Research with Sarah Hamersma. He has a broad interest in Social Policy and Inequality and Health and Education Policy, specifically as they pertain to children's development. In the past, Saied has engaged in political campaigning, issue advocacy, and mentoring at-risk adolescents.

 Nara Yoon Headshot



 

Nara Yoon

Email

Seoul, Republic of Korea

Yonsei University (2011), BA in Public Administration.

Yonsei University (2013), MPA in Public Administration.

My research interests include strategic management, contracting out, and government performance in the nonprofit sector. My master’s thesis examined the impact of contracting out on garbage collection services in the local governments of Korea. I work with David Van Slyke.


Current PhD Students

Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Public Administration at the Maxwell School bring a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Current students hail from the United States (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah), Canada, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, India, and Korea. Their academic backgrounds include economics, engineering, English literature, history, and political science.  Despite their varied backgrounds, they share an intellectual interest in public administration and policy analysis and a drive to become the top scholars and teachers in their fields.

On the Job Market

Rhea Acuna Headshot

Rhea Acuña 

Email

Westland, Michigan

University of Michigan (2008), BA in Economics

Carnegie Mellon University (2014), MS in Public Policy & Management 

Rhea's research interest emerged from past work experiences with people- and place-based strategies in poverty alleviation.  She aims to further explore this dichotomy and research how interactions between people and place shape poverty.  She will be working with Professors Sarah Hamersma and Katherine Michelmore.

Prior to attending Maxwell, Rhea worked within the economic development and social policy fields in various analytical capacities:  Research Analyst at Reinvestment Fund, Senior Research Analyst at The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland, and Economic Analyst at the State of Michigan's Bureau of Labor Market Information.


 

Catherine Annis Headshot





Catherine Annis 

Email 

Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State University (2016), BS in International Affairs

Florida State University (2018), MPA in Public Administration

Prior to attending Maxwell, Catherine worked on a National Science Foundation project studying Smart City initiatives as a researcher for Florida State University. Catherine also managed the Public Policy Group for the DeVoe Moore Center at Florida State. In 2017, she interned with the Office of Minority Business and Economic Development at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Catherine's research interests include public sector innovation, collaborative governance, and organizational networks. Her work explores the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as tools for citizen engagement, workflow management, and coordination. She is particularly interested in multi-sector collaboration and is currently looking at this issue in the context of veteran community care networks.

Emily Cardon

Emily Cardon

Email

Farmington, Connecticut

Boston College (2008) BA – International Studies.

Syracuse University (2013) MPA – Public Administration.

Prior to her graduate studies at Maxwell, Emily worked for Congressman Jim Himes in Washington, D.C., ultimately serving as Legislative Assistant.  Emily’s research interests focus on health policy. She works with Professor Leonard Lopoo in the Center for Policy Research.

Ziqiao Chen

Ziqiao Chen

Email

Beijing, China

University of Rochester (2014) BA – International Relations and Economics.

University of Pittsburgh (2016) MPA – Policy Research and Analysis.

Ziqiao developed his research interest in energy and environmental policy since he was an intern at the European Parliament. Prior to attending Maxwell, Ziqiao studied in Rochester and Pittsburgh and provided research support for projects on EU’s emissions trading scheme and shale gas policy in China. He is exploring the role of emissions control policy in driving innovations of cleaner and more energy-efficient technology in the industry. Ziqiao works with Professor David Popp.

Yoon-Jung Choi

Yoon-Jung Choi

Email

Bloomington, Indiana

Seoul National University, BA in Political Science (2012)

Indiana University, MPA in Public Financial Administration (2017)

Yoon-Jung's research interests are in the areas of public finance and budgeting, public financial management, and public economics. Within these fields, she focuses on research that involves public debt and taxation. Yoon-Jung will work with Professor John Yinger.

JeeHee Han

Jeehee Han

Email

Seoul, South Korea

Northwestern University (2014), BA - Economics and Sociology.

Columbia University (2016) MA - Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences.

While studying economics and sociology at Northwestern University, Jeehee interned at the US Department of Education for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. She also worked as a research assistant at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development after starting her Master’s program at Columbia University. Now she is a PhD student with concentrations in Social Policy and Public Finance. She is interested in research questions spanning the areas of education, housing and welfare.

Dae Woo Kim

Dae-Woo Kim

Email

Seoul, Republic of Korea

Korea University (2003) BA - Public Administration.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010) - Master of Human Resources & Industrial Relations.

Interests - public management, nonprofit management, human resource management. Dae-Woo works with Professor Soonhee Kim in the Campbell Public Affairs Institute.

Hyoung (Jay) Keun Kwon

Hyoung-Keun (Jay) Kwon

Email

Seoul, Republic of Korea

Swarthmore College, BA in Mathematics (2015)

Seoul National University, Master of Public Administration (2017)

Jay’s fields of interest include public financial management and public management. Prior to joining Maxwell, he worked as a research assistant at the Center for Government Competitiveness at Seoul National University. Jay works with Professor Yilin Hou in the Center for Policy Research.

Qasim Mehdi Headshot

Mohammed Qasim Mehdi 

Email

Lahore, Pakistan

Lahore University of Management Sciences (2014), BA - History

Syracuse University (2017), MPA 

Prior to joining Maxwell, Qasim worked as a book reviewer and as a researcher at LUMS. At Maxwell, his Ph.D. concentration is in climate change, and natural resource and environmental policy. He works under the supervision of Pete Wilcoxen.

Brian Ohl

Brian Ohl

Email

Greene, New York

Ithaca College (2003) BA – Philosophy and History

Cornell University (2005) MPA – Environmental Policy

Prior to attending Maxwell, Brian spent over seven years working at the New York City Office of Management and Budget, most recently as the Assistant Director of the Infrastructure Task Force, where he and his team oversaw/prepared the budgets of a number of agencies/institutions including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the three New York City library systems, and the Department of Cultural Affairs.  His research focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and he works with Peter Wilcoxen and David Popp in the Center for Environmental Policy and Administration.

Hannah Patnaik

 

Hannah Patnaik

Email

Boston University (2014),  Masters in Economics and a Bachelors in both Economics and International Relations

Since then she worked at Boston Biomedical Consultants as a market research analyst, and following that, as a Junior Business Partnerships Consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.  Hannah's research interests include sustainable development and public health policies in developing countries. Outside of academia she loves to travel and read

Jaclyn Petruzzelli

Jaclyn Petruzzelli

Email

Philadelphia, PA

St. Joseph's University (2011), BS – Psychology

College of William & Mary (2013), MPP – Public Policy

Jaclyn's research focuses on organizational social evaluation concepts including organizational reputation. Her dissertation seeks to provide conceptual clarity in that area and to test how those concepts affect the relationship between organizations and stakeholders by drawing on theory and informing management strategies. While completing her dissertation, Jaclyn is working as a Research Assistant for the Congressional Research Service.

Laura Rodriguez Ortiz

Laura Rodriguez Ortiz

Email

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Laura is working with Professor Len Lopoo in the Center for Policy Research. She is a Fulbright scholar from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where she studied Economics in the Pontificia Universidad Católita Madre y Maestra. Before coming to Maxwell to pursue a joint degree in Public Administration and Economics she worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in projects related to poverty reduction in her home country. During her second year in Maxwell she worked for the Say Yes Foundation as a Research Assistant. She is interested in using behavioral economics and quantitative methods to address questions related to education, family welfare and immigration.

Chris Rick

Chris Rick

Email

Waldorf, Maryland

University of Maryland (2009), BA - Economics

City College of New York (2016), MA - Economics

After graduating from UMD, Chris worked as a researcher for Battelle Memorial Institute. He has studied the economic impact of air cargo shipments and co-written various reports for the US Department of Transportation, including Freight Facts and Figures and Transportation Statistics Annual Report. While studying to earn an MA in economics at City College, Chris taught Principles of Microeconomics to undergraduate students. He is interested in how public policy can improve all aspects of urban life. Chris will work with Professor Amy Ellen Schwartz.

Alvaro Salas

Alvaro Salas

Email

Costa Rica

INCAE Business School, (BA – foreign affairs & law; MBA).

Cornell University (2014), MPA

While at Cornell, Alvaro served as a researcher at Cornell University for the Policy Analysis and Management program and the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy.  He was the first Latin American to serve as President of the Cornell Public Affairs Society. He became a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of Presidency and Congress in Washington DC, was inducted into Phi Alpha Alpha national honor society for public affairs and management, and was the recipient of Cornell’s Adams Award for exemplary scholarship and service in the field of public affairs.  He has previous experience as a business development officer in corporate law firm, as a general manager of an insurance company in Panama and as an academic consultant and researcher for the Interamerican Development Bank, Grameen Creative Lab, a major Latin American private equity firm and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York City, Division of Public Administration and Development Management e-government branch assisting the Chief of Staff of the Division.  His work has been published in the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Latin America Report under Innovative Public-Private Partnerships for Inclusive Development in Latin America, the Huffington Post, the Morocco World News, the Cornell Policy Review blog, and in La Nación, a leading newspaper in his home country. Alvaro's research interests include areas such as: i) Civic Participation (deliberative democracy, participatory systems and collaborative governance) ii) E-Government (e-participation and government 2.0 to better understand organizations participatory dynamics).  Alvaro works with Tina Nabatchi and Ines Mergel in PARCC.

Mattie Theobald

Mattie Theobald

Bloomington, Indiana

Hamilton College (2014), MA in Public Policy and Studio Art

Indiana University (2017), MPA in Health Policy and Policy Analysis

Mattie is primarily interested in health policy and related public program evaluation.  Mattie will work with Professors Len Lopoo and Sarah Hamersma.