Alumni

As a practice-oriented program, Emory MDP intentionally emphasizes job-readiness, and provides career development support during the two years of the program and after graduation. The Laney Graduate School provide a range of professional development services as well. 

Emory MDP has thus far graduated 140 alums, 92% of whom are currently employed, mostly in development-related fields. The large majority of those who are not employed are enrolled in other advanced degree programs. This network serves as an invaluable resource to current MDP students, providing mentorship, internship opportunities, networking contacts, job leads, and enduring friendship. 

This chart depicts the distribution of MDP alumni across type of employer type. About half of our alumni serve in the non-profit sector with large and small NGOs, others are with development contractors or consulting firms, government and public agencies, and universities. Several also serve in the private sector (in areas such as data analytics/visualization, global outreach/strategy, and corporate social responsibility). 

In the organizations they serve, our alumni have rapidly advanced in their careers, demonstrating the value of the skills experiences acquired through Emory MDP.

The following are some examples of entry-level positions which Emory MDP graduates have moved into:

  • Technical Advisor, Trachoma Control, The Carter Center, South Sudan (class of 2020)
  • Program Associate, Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, USAID (class of 2020)
  • Program Manager, Precourt Institute of Energy, Stanford University (class of 2020)
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, & Learning Specialist, Habitat for Humanity Int’l (class of 2020)
  • Private-Public Partnership Associate, CDC Foundation (class of 2020)
  • Advocacy & Government Relation Officer, Churches for Middle East Peace (class of 2020)
  • Social & Environmental Responsibility Analyst, Dell Technologies (class of 2019)
  • Disaster Recovery Specialist, ICF International (class of 2019)
  • Senior Social Researcher, Ministry of Justice, UK (class of 2019)
  • Data Visualization Analyst, DevTech Systems (class of 2019)

Meet some of our talented and impressive recent graduates:

alumniedits_fionax250.jpgFiona Cooper, MDP ‘20

Programme and Insight Coordinator,
Sported

 

Fiona works as a Programme and Insight Coordinator for Sported. Sported is a UK-wide charity that supports community sport clubs and youth groups across the country that deliver Sport for Development. She is currently working on a disability inclusion project in Scotland and supporting the U.K. insights team in developing new research on the impact of grass-roots sports in local communities. Fiona also consults internationally for sports for development organisations, and she coaches the University of St Andrews women’s rugby team. Her consultancy positions currently include work with ChildFund International developing a global women’s sports for development leadership forum in South East Asia and expanding monitoring and evaluation processes for Atlanta Youth Rugby.

 

“The MDP course taught me the importance of delivering international development programmes that support people without perpetuating neo-colonial systems. It challenged my assumptions that international development organisations only serve the interests of communities they work within and heightened my critical thinking of the development sector as a whole. Most importantly, MDP provided me with unique practical experiences which cemented my passion for sports for development and laid the foundations for how I approach my work.”

alumniedits_Ian.jpgIan Hamilton, MDP ‘20

Advancement Associate,
CDC Foundation

 

As the Advancement Associate for Public-Private Partnerships, Ian manages the federal subaward portfolio at the CDC Foundation in order to unleash the power of collaboration between CDC and philanthropies, private entities and individuals to protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit and the sole entity created by Congress to mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s critical health protection work. Additionally, Ian contributes to multi-sector fundraising efforts for infectious, non-infectious diseases and global health projects.

 

"The MDP program strengthened my critical lens to better elucidate the realities of what is happening at each development scale, how they impact another and implement solutions utilizing a human-centered design. During the program's two years, I honed my philanthropic skills at graduate assistantships with Emory College's Advancement and Alumni Association as well as The Carter Center's Office of Estate & Gift Planning. These experiences cemented my passion for driving public health work through strategic organization and management tools."

alumniedits_marinangeles.jpgMarinangeles Gutiérrez Rivera, MDP ‘19

Disaster Recovery Specialist,
ICF International

 

Marinangeles is a digital nomad, working within the Disaster Management division of the global consulting firm ICF International. As a Specialist, she works to help state and local governments navigate the federal funding landscape to get the relief they need throughout the disaster lifecycle. Currently, she focuses on disaster mitigation, working hand-in-hand with state and local governments to provide forward-thinking risk-mitigation services that produce solutions that analyze, reduce, and insure against risk. She develops state and local action plans, outlines impacts to critical services, coordinates community participation, and assists in grant administration through the development of policies and procedures for several programs. These have included green infrastructure, voluntary buyouts and acquisitions, resilience planning, and strengthening critical services.

 

“As I entered Emory, I was fresh on my way to transitioning out from advertising. The MDP Program shaped my historical understanding of the various theories and approaches applied by the development sector - which I carry with me everyday professionally and personally. Perhaps, more importantly, it reinforced my learnings by providing me invaluable, active practice with a variety of organizations and projects. These experiences ultimately helped me narrow my future in disaster recovery and mitigation, with the hope of responding to and reducing global displacement.”

alumniedits_katie.jpg

Katie Pons, MDP ‘19

Program Associate for Knowledge Managment and Technology,
Women's Learning Partnership (WLP)

 

Katie is based in Washington, D.C., and works as a Program Associate for Knowledge Management and Technology at Women's Learning Partnership (WLP). WLP is a partnership of autonomous feminist organizations located throughout the Global South that promote women's leadership, civic engagement, and human rights. Katie liaises with partner organizations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to assist with the coordination of WLP programs. She manages WLP's archives to help preserve feminist history and supports information gathering and knowledge-sharing across the organization.

 

"The MDP program helped me gain both technical skills and a better theoretical understanding of the development sector. In addition to the hard skills gained around M&E, qualitative data analysis, and statistics, I was also taught to critically examine and challenge traditional development paradigms. The practice-oriented approach of the program offered me invaluable experiences through summer field practicums, an Atlanta-based internship, and special projects to apply what I was learning to real-world settings."

alumniedits_Sidra.jpgSidra Khalid, MDP ‘18

Research Manager,
Research and Development Solutions (RADS)

 

Sidra is working in Islamabad, Pakistan as a Research Manager with Research and Development Solutions (RADS), a research organization that works on improving public health through research and Monitoring and Evaluation. She is managing two projects related to economic empowerment with RADS’ implementing partner, Akhter Hameed Khan Resource Center. Sidra is working on research related to women’s economic empowerment, studying how providing women with income-generation opportunities affects health outcomes, women’s autonomy and decision-making, and gender relations within the household. She works directly within the community while also supporting the organization in grant writing and setting up effective Monitoring and Evaluation systems.

 

“MDP prepared me to handle all the uncertainties that come with working in the field at the grassroots level. I’ve experienced firsthand how there can be a disconnect between what a project’s objectives are and what a community’s needs actually are – and my role is to help bridge this gap. I have been able to apply my critical thinking skills to tackle issues that arise in the field and improve our Monitoring and Evaluation systems so that we are actually tracking the right things and learning and improving from our findings.”

alumniedits_Bethany.jpgBethany Sikes, MDP ‘18

Senior Researcher,
Jigsaw Consult

 

Bethany works as a Senior Research at Jigsaw Consult, a British social enterprise working in the international development and humanitarian sectors. In this role Bethany engages in research, evaluation and strategy projects focused on four main areas: education and learning, refugees and forced migration, faith and religion, and digital technologies. Bethany is engaged in a number of projects, both as a project manager and researcher. Her role includes designing methodological approaches and data collection tools, conducting and supervising data collection, training enumerators, data cleaning and analysis and presentation of research findings.

 

“The MDP course equipped me well for this role by giving me theoretical and practical experience with a wide range of research methods and approaches to analysis. In only my second week at Jigsaw I was on a research trip in Nigeria conducting key informant interviews and focus groups, and I felt  well prepared from my hands-on research experience in practicums and research projects during MDP to rise to the challenge!"

alumniedits_Tim-2.jpgTimothy Rupnarain, MDP ‘18

Program Officer,
International Republican Institute (IRI)

 

Tim works with the International Republican Institute to promote democracy, rights, and governance. In particular, he has been focused on supporting coalition building of civil society organizations, engaging marginalized communities including ethnic and sexual minorities, expanding cultural activism through the arts, and increasing youth political participation in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Tim currently leads IRI's Bangladesh portfolio and Asia regional polling project, which uses predictive analytics to investigate youth attitudes towards political participation and the underlying factors that contribute to lack of youth engagement. In addition,Tim represents the Asia Division in liaising with IRI's Center for Global Impact, an in-house hub of technical resources and research specialists, to provide input on youth programming across the organization. 

                   

 "MDP equipped me with the ability to work with different kinds of people, from government officials and politicians to community members, and with the appreciation that it takes time and effort to develop rapport with marginalized communities and build coalitions across diverse constituencies."  

alumniedits_sam.jpgSamantha Friedlander, MDP ‘18

Senior Policy Associate to the Executive Director,
Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), MIT

 

Sam works at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT. J-PAL supports researchers that conduct randomized evaluations of poverty alleviation programs globally—and then makes that research accessible to policymakers, government officials, practitioners, researchers, and the public. Sam works on special projects with the Executive Director, including an initiative seeking to use already existing administrative data in decision-making. She also supports education-focused evidence-informed policy materials and works on a research initiative supporting government innovation. In her communications role, she supports products such as white papers, annual reports, and blogs.


MDP taught me that what people need isn’t always reflected in policy-makers’ plans, which in turn doesn’t always dictate what happens on the ground. As a result, I wanted to help strengthen the connections between evidence produced by research and policies dictating the actions of practitioners, which is J-PAL’s exact mission. MDP definitely highlighted that gap in the process and gave me tools to work in such a demanding environment.

alumniedits_tara.jpg

Tarangini Saxena, MDP ‘17

Microenterprise Program Coordinator
International Rescue Committee

 

At the International Rescue Committee (IRC) Atlanta, Tarangini coordinates the micro-enterprise arm of economic empowerment programming. In facilitating refugee ownership of small business, she supports refugees and asylees in navigating U.S. business regulations, accessing affordable financing, as well as assessing community needs and the role of small business in addressing them. She is currently working across local networks to equip stakeholders to better engage with refugee-owned businesses, often considered exemplar institutions for their contributions to interdependent and resilient economies.


The MDP program equipped me with both ‘big picture' and 'little picture’ skills – challenging me not only to design programs with deep contextual knowledge but also a commitment to long-term viability and net positive impact. The program also gave me many contrasting field opportunities to practice these skills, which helped me better understand how to communicate and manage change across scale and difference.

alumniedits_gaby.jpg

 Gabriela Artasanchez, MDP ‘17

  Program Coordinator,
  TechnoServe Mexico

 

As a Program Coordinator, Gabriela oversees the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Inclusive Agriculture program for TechnoServe Mexico. This program integrates smallholder farmers into formal markets. In her work, she supports farmers that have been historically abused by intermediaries with agronomic and business training to improve their ability to deal directly with end buyers. She is responsible for reporting to donors and other stakeholders the program's progress and performance. 


The MDP program was crucial for me as I transitioned from a finance background to the development field. I learned to navigate real life experiences in the non-profit sector. I did my second internship at TechnoServe and I was hired after my internship. MDP helped to create this opportunity as Emory students worked with TechnoServe before me.”

alumniedits_tyrell.jpgTyrell Kahan, MDP ‘16

Livestock Research Advisor,
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

 

Tyrell serves as a Livestock Research Advisor within the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security at USAID. As the lead US government agency for the Feed the Future Initiative, USAID works with ten other governmental agencies to end hunger, poverty, and malnutrition globally. Tyrell manages multiple livestock research partnerships with universities and international agricultural research organizations that work to develop and scale evidence-based solutions to agricultural and food security challenges. He also provides technical assistance on food security programming and strategy development related to livestock production, the consumption of animal source foods, and accelerating the impacts of agricultural research.

 

“MDP greatly enhanced my skills as a systems thinker. The curriculum gave me the training needed to translate my veterinary expertise, which focuses on body systems, into a more generally applicable skill set that helps me to assess, intervene (i.e. treat), and monitor changes within social and organizational systems. Systems thinking is absolutely critical to my work in the development sector.”

Where They Work

The list below provides a sampling of employers of Emory MDP graduates.

Non-Governmental Organizations 
Research Centers
Consulting/Contracting Firms
United Nations
US Government
Emory University