The Team

Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky

Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky, a retired Career Minister in the U.S. Foreign Service, is Professor of International Policy and Practice at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He is Senior Fellow of the School’s International Policy … Continue reading


Rory Pulvino

Rory Pulvino is a third-year dual JD/MPP student interested in international development and law. Having worked for a number of years in rural Africa, Rory hopes to continue working in impoverished communities after graduation with a specific interest in strengthening … Continue reading


Lauren Burdette

Originally from Overland Park, Kansas, Lauren Burdette is a 2nd year Masters in Public Policy Student interested in education policy. Before graduate school she worked on numerous political campaigns and taught 7th grade math and science in southwest Chicago for … Continue reading

Aliza Kazmi

Aliza Kazmi graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 with a degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. Before coming to the Ford School, Aliza worked for two years as a secondary teacher in … Continue reading

Winnie Zhou

Winnie is currently a second year MPP student at the Ford School. Coming from China, she is interested in a variety of issues in international development, especially how economic development has improved people’s health outcomes and educational attainment in developing … Continue reading

Matt Ericson

Matt Ericson is a second year graduate student at the School of Natural Resources and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He is interested in public opinion, economic development, and international financial transactions. In addition to his graduate … Continue reading

Corey Ackerman

Corey Ackerman graduated from Denison University with degrees in math and economics and a focus on international development. From 2011-2013 she worked in Madagascar as a Community Health Volunteer with the Peace Corps. She has a strong interest in international … Continue reading

Tabitha Bentley

My name is Tabitha Bentley and I am pursuing a PhD in Education Policy and a Master’s in Public Policy. While my research focuses on teacher commitment in high-need schools, I am also interested in educational policies and structures in … Continue reading

Cyrus Jadun

Cyrus Jadun is a second year MPP interested in economic development and international economic policy. Cyrus graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in Business and Economics. Prior to attending the Ford School, Cyrus was an English teacher, living in … Continue reading

Katie Collins

Katie Collins is a second year MPP student at the Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to graduate school, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine teaching English. She interned this past summer with the State Department in … Continue reading

Kyle Olsen

Kyle Olsen is a Dual JD-MPP student at the University of Michigan. His previous work experience includes teaching high-school Spanish, and an internship with a Chilean government education program. He hopes to examine the relationship between Bolsa Familia and public … Continue reading

Matthew Manning

Matt is a second year MPP student at the Ford School. Previously, he worked at the Department of Interior in the East Asia and Russia branch and served as an English Teacher in Austria through the Fulbright Program. He is … Continue reading

Chanera Pierce

Chanera Y. Pierce is interested in international development, with a special focus on how development largely impacts communities of color. She is a MPP-2 with the Ford School. She enjoys Thai food and wine in her spare time.

Amy Wallace

Amy Wallace graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Business Economics. After graduation she served two years in the Peace Corps in Madagascar as a Community Economic Development Volunteer. In Madagascar she worked with a women’s silk … Continue reading

Sneha Rao

Sneha Rao is currently a student of Public Policy at University of Michigan. She brings a four year strategy consulting experience where she has worked with a wide range of clients from Members of Parliament to Fortune 500 companies. She … Continue reading

Christopher Owens

Christopher Owens (MPP 2016) is from Washington, D.C. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and German, and is interested in international economic policy, particularly in Latin America.

Weiran Zhang

Weiran Zhang graduated from Tsinghua University with a B.A. in law. From 2011-2012 she worked at a law firm in Beijing. There she provided legal services in the area of credit risk control, infrastructure financing and legal assistance. Her primary … Continue reading

Matt McCurdy

Matt is a 3L at University of Michigan Law School pursuing a career in environmental law. His interests in Brazil are broad, but he is especially interested in environmental policy, including energy policies and those related to logging and farming … Continue reading

Mo Torres

Mo Torres is a second year MPP student interested in comparative social policy. As an undergraduate student, he spent a semester studying Portuguese and Afro-Brazilian history and culture in Salvador, Bahia. He is excited to return to Brazil to see … Continue reading

Brendan Hall

Brendan studies at the Ford School and the School of Natural Resources & Environment, and expects to graduate in May of next year. His policy interests are primarily around agriculture and food, particularly where there is a strong connection to … Continue reading

Meg Daupan

I would like to better understand the environmental policies and issues on deforestation in Brazil because it is one of the developing countries that is of interest in my work as a research assistant at the International Forestry Resources and … Continue reading

Amey Sutkowski

Amey Sutkowski is a second year MPP at the Ford School, and is interested in exploring the intersection of private sector development and international aid policies on health outcomes in developing countries. Prior to attending Ford, Amey worked in healthcare … Continue reading

Emily Rutkowski

Emily Rutkowski is a second year JD student at the University of Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University with a dual degree in International Relations and Arabic. Emily is interested in international development, particularly through microfinancing, social entrepreneurship, and … Continue reading

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