1307 East 60th St.

Chicago, IL 60637

harris.uchicago.edu

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Our Team

Who we are

We are a group of first and second year public policy students at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago who are passionate about climate change and how it affects our cities. We come from a diverse range of backgrounds, from all over the U.S., and the world.

Stephen Crano

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Co-Executive Director

Stephen is an MPP candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy focusing on organizational management and public finance. Prior to attending Harris, Stephen worked at a small nonprofit organization in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he managed multiple teams across a range of service areas, including after school programs, food distributions, and eviction prevention programs. Stephen has been an AmeriCorps VISTA, a Teach For America corps member, and an Education Pioneers Summer Fellow. In the latter position, he worked with Chicago-based Education Systems Center to build workforce development pipelines across Illinois. When he isn’t working on evidence-based policy solutions, Stephen is usually cooking, rock climbing, playing piano, or biking along lake Michigan (weather permitting).

James Doe

Analiese Wagner

Co-Executive Director
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Analiese is an MPP candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Florida. Her primary field of interest is national security policy, with particular focus on counterterrorism and cybersecurity. In her free time, she enjoys reading and listening to podcasts. 

James Doe

Laura Benrey

Director of Operations
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Laura is a 2nd year MPP student at the Harris School of Public Policy.  She grew up in Bogota, Colombia before she moved to the U.S She holds a Bachelors in International Affairs and Human Rights. Prior to Harris, she worked at a refugee resettlement agency in Kentucky. She is interested in working at the nexus of policy and evidence in conflict affected areas and in refugee resettlement. She likes going to the lake front and walking her dog Rue.

Sarah Gill

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Co-Director of Content Development

Sarah is an MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. She earned a Bachelor’s in Economics and Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she was an RA in a Behavioral Neuroscience lab. Her policy interests include Urban Greening, Sustainable Development, Inequality and applications of Behavioral Science

Takahiro Minami

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Co-Director of Content Development

Takahiro is an MPP candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. After he obtained a Bachelor Degree in Law from the University of Tokyo, he worked as an economist at the Bank of Japan. His main research topics were quarterly and long term GDP prediction, accumulated fiscal deficit of the government, and macroeconomic impacts of social welfare policies (especially pension, education, and labor policies). He is interested in Monetary/Fiscal Policy, Urban Development, Social Inequality, and Sustainability.

Salhah Elaneizi

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Salhah is an MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy specializing in energy and international development policy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in French and International Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Over the summer, Salhah interned at the Illinois Commerce Commission, working on economic impact analysis of energy regulation at the state level. She is also President of the Muslim Affairs and Public Policy, a student organization at Harris.

Coordinator of Content Development

Mingxi Xue

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Coordinator of Content Development

Mingxi is a first year MPP student at the Harris School of Public Policy with a focus on data analytics and environment policy. Prior to Harris, Mingxi served as a volunteer teacher at a rural elementary school in Yunnan, China. Thereafter she worked as an analyst at a consulting firm specialized in CSR and ESG in Beijing. This past summer, she worked as an investment analyst intern at a venture capital company, supporting projects in TMT, consumer products and healthcare. Mingxi is also a member of the Graduate Council and Chicago Policy Review.

Lauren Kataja

Coordinator of Content Development
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Lauren is a first year MPP student. Before coming to Harris, Lauren served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Campus Compact Mid Atlantic, where she served as the Program Coordinator for Retriever Essentials, UMBC’s on-campus food pantry. Lauren became passionate about food, economic, and racial justice while studying Environmental Sociology in undergrad, where she conducted thesis research on the political economy implications on food access welfare programs in the US. While at Harris Lauren is excited to strengthen her quantitative research skills, especially in the realm of addressing urban economic and environmental policy issues.

Aman Gupta

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Coordinator of Content Development

Aman is an MPP’21 Candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy, with specific interest in energy and environment policy. Prior to joining Harris, Aman worked at the intersection of climate philanthropy and public policy, at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation in India, wherein he provided tactical and operational support to Shakti’s Climate Policy program.  He holds a B.Tech in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, and a PG Diploma in Liberal Studies as part of the Young India Fellowship (YIF) program at the Ashoka University in India.

Anel Gonzalez-Ruiz

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Director of Logistics and Event Planning

Anel is a second year MPP student at the Harris School of Public Policy focusing on environmental and international policy. Before Harris, she worked at Sidley Austin LLP as a legal assistant in products liability and environmental litigation and as a Spanish-English translator on immigration cases. This past summer, she worked with the U.S. Department of State at Embassy Rome in the Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) section on public outreach projects that are of interest to both Italy and the U.S. At Harris Anel is also involved with the Harris Environment & Energy Association (HEEA) and the Urban Policy Student Association (UPSA).

Kriti Bhardwaj

Coordinator of Logistics and Event Planning
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Kriti is a second year MSESP candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago with a focus on environmental policy and behavioral economics. Prior to Harris, she worked as a consultant in the environmental sector in India, working on varied projects covering city sustainability, urban development, water efficiency and equity and renewable energy integration. She has an MBA in Finance, and a bachelors in Economics from India. At Harris, she is particularly interested in geo-spatial analysis, program evaluation and project management for the field of climate change.

Katie Powell

Coordinator of Logistics and Event Planning
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Katie is an MPP candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy with a focus on health administration and policy. Prior to Harris, Katie worked at a non-profit advocacy organization where she organized stakeholders to make meaningful change on issues like affordable housing, increased access to childcare, and more equitable welfare policies in the state of Minnesota. She has also worked at a food bank and a non-profit public benefits law firm.

Director of PR and Marketting

Virginia Murillo

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Director of Budgeting and Fundraising

Virginia is a second year MPP candidate concentrating on urban policy and municipal finance. Recently, she was a Community Development and Policy Studies Intern with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where she drafted a memo on policies for economically-distressed areas in Cook County and researched opportunities for banks and non-profit hospitals to collaborate in community development activities. Prior to joining Harris, Virginia worked as a Transportation Planner for the Transportation Agency for Monterey County in California. There she administered the County’s bus funding programs, and she served as project manager for the development of a regional 28-mile trail. At Harris, she also serves as Director of Finance for the Urban Policy Student Association.

Ersilia Melchiorre

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Coordinator of Budgeting and Fundraising

Ersilia is an MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. A Chicago native, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies from Loyola University Chicago where she spent two years at the Rome, Italy campus studying second language acquisition in elementary age children.Ersilia has spent the last two years working as a middle school history humanities teacher for Success Academy Charter Schools in Harlem, NYC and is making a career pivot to focus on climate policy, impact investing, and urban resilience projects.

Smrithi Sharma

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 Smrithi is an MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Prior to attending Harris, she was working with a nonprofit in India centered around strengthening Citizen Participation in a Democracy. She is also a Teach for India Alum who served as a full time teacher for a period of 2 years in a low-income private school in India, an experience that inspired her to pursue a career in the development sector and now she aims to work in the Policy sphere in the Education sector.

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A’ndre Gonawela

Coordinator of PR & Marketing

A’ndre is a first year MPP candidate at the University of Chicago’s Harris School, and just recently graduated from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy this past May with his Bachelor’s Degree. During his time at Michigan, A’ndre did research on the usage of Twitter by populist-nationalist politicians, with an emphasis on elections in India, and led a student-run foreign policy think tank. A’ndre’s academic interests lie within foreign policy and national security, and has chosen Harris primarily to strengthen his quantitative and analytical skills. A’ndre is also part of Global Affairs and Public Policy!

Parth Khare

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Coordinator of PR & Marketing

Parth is a second year MSCAPP student with a six year of experience in evidence based research and

analytics. He was formerly working as an economist/data scientist with the Chief Economic Adviser of India to guide policy by leveraging big-data and satellite imagery. His core work is on developing machine learning driven big data solutions for guiding evidence based policy to design a new indices assessing economic activity and spatial growth for emerging economies with the help of census and satellite data.To read more about his work, check his page

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Adam McGriffin

Advisor

Harris Career Development Office

Adam currently lead the Career Development Office for the University of Chicago, Harris Public Policy. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he served as the Global Partnership and Government Relations Manager for Lions Club International, the world's largest service club organization, where his primary focus was on building connections with organizations around the world, including the U.S. Congress, international corporations, governments, and NGO's.