Our student ambassadors provide a personal connection to Harris Public Policy. Read about their passion for public policy—and for Harris.

Team Harris is a select group of student ambassadors who share their perspective and experiences at Harris Public Policy. They are representative of the Harris Public Policy student body and passionate about their areas of study as well as their experience at Harris.

Team Harris members are available to meet in person or to talk with prospective students on the phone or online. They also host coffee chats when prospective students visit campus. 

Faraz Ahmed, MSCAPP’18

Faraz Ahmed
Health and Energy Analytics

Faraz’s interest in public policy stems from his personal experience. “Growing up in Pakistan, I saw firsthand the problems I faced when the lights blacked out. Not being able to read books or use a computer (my passions) during a blackout provoked me to change the way the energy sector is operated.”

Saeb Ahsan, MPP’18

Saeb Ahsan
International Policy

Saeb has a passion for growing the field of public policy. “I am interested in helping to grow the brand of public policy programs, particularly as a means of helping civic-minded, high-achieving individuals to identify avenues to learn and become involved in a public policy-making career.”


Peter Biava, MPP’19

Peter Biava
Economic Development

“I want to study the impact of the development of the private sector in emerging economies and learn what policy tools can be used to make that more efficient. It's interesting to me because my parents emigrated to the USA from Colombia during the 1980s, a very dangerous and tumultuous time in Colombia’s history, yet 30 years later, Colombia is now a popular tourist destination and most of the inherent danger in urban areas has subsided.”

Sarah Boyle
Global Conflict Resolution

“I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Harris so far and I want to share my experience with prospective Harris students. I personally valued speaking with current students when I applied and want to be a part of that opportunity for others.”


Himanshu Dave
Economic Policy

“I think Harris has a unique appeal in the way it approaches problems that demand complex thinking.”


Jorge Quintero
Economic Policy

“For me it was very important to contact students already at Harris before accepting to come here. And since I arrived, I have had a great experience that I would like to share with potential students. One of the things that attracted me the most at Harris was its focus on quantitative tools to evaluate policy. But actually getting to know some of the students who were studying here gave me a tangible sense of what students are really like.”

Divyasha Ray
Economic and Energy Policy

“About three years ago I was a successful professional in New Delhi preparing for my public policy education. As I researched policy schools, Harris stood out to me partly because of the data-driven culture, but mostly because of the humility exhibited by the current students I interacted with. I have come to recognize this attribute in Harris students as a characteristic that the Harris culture imbues in its community.”


Vicky Stavropoulos
Economic Development

“Before Harris, I attended the College at the University of Chicago. There, I majored in public policy studies. My most exciting moments were when I crossed the Midway to attend my classes that were held at Harris. It was a thriving intellectual atmosphere where students were open to collaboration and asking hard questions that addressed the most pressing societal challenges. I knew that Harris would be the place where I could both continue my graduate studies and connect with passionate public policy scholars. From learning about research and internship experiences, networking connections, Policy Labs and course work, I was thoroughly engaged from day one.”


Monica Torres, MPP’18

Monica Torres
Environmental Conservation

“I'm very passionate about the link between environmental conservation and poverty alleviation. I'm personally looking forward to developing successful policies towards a more sustainable food system and better support for small and medium producers in the rural areas, while preserving our world's natural resources.”

Madeleine Toups, MPP’18

Madeleine Toups
Health and Educational Policy

“I was not able to come to the admitted student day. Instead, I relied on current students and staff to help me create an admitted student day on the one day I was in the area. Harris was extremely helpful in connecting me with career advisers, academic advisers, giving me a tour of the building, and introducing me to current professors and students. I met with one current student who introduced me to everyone she knew in the Harris Cafe, Student Lounge, and anyone else we passed. This friendly atmosphere was instrumental in my decision to come to Harris. Seeing how easy it was for people in a competitive and stressful environment to make friends at Harris was reassuring and allowed me to envision myself at Harris.”

Maura Welch
Social Policy

“The combination of the class Crime Policy and working as a research assistant with UChicago Urban Labs is the most valuable experience I have had at Harris so far. I worked at Urban Labs part time throughout my first year, and through this experience I was able to work on a couple different projects related to criminal justice and poverty alleviation in Chicago. In the Spring Quarter, I took the class Crime Policy with Jens Ludwig, who is one of the faculty directors at Urban Labs. This class really challenged me and forced me to think critically about how to evaluate policies and programs related to public safety and crime. I was able to directly apply what I was learning in class to my research assistant position at Urban Labs, which was a tremendous experience.”

Xinxin Zhang
Economic Policy

“UChicago is definitely NOT where fun goes to die.”