Alumni of the Jackson School include graduates of the M.A. and B.A. in Global Affairs, the International Relations M.A. and the International Studies B.A. programs.
Vice President, Regulatory Transformation (US)
Agni currently serves as Vice-President at Bank of Montreal (BMO) Capital Markets in Toronto, Canada, where he is responsible for monitoring, advising, and advocacy on US policies and regulations. Since graduating from Jackson, Agni has worked across the US and Canada at the intersection of public policy, finance, and global affairs, helping financial organizations navigate through major policy developments relevant to the financial sector, while also engaging with key policymakers and corporate leaders to advocate on key financial topics
Prior to Jackson, Agni’s global policy experience included working with Global Affairs Canada to advance Sino-Canadian relations with the Canadian consulate in Shanghai, China. He then worked with the Government of Alberta to advance Alberta’s market access to Asian economies, strengthen Alberta’s immigration policy framework, and augment Alberta’s sustainable energy program by contributing to policy development in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
At Jackson, Agni undertook a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum focusing on global diplomacy, finance and economics, leadership, grand strategy, and courses on Asian economies such as China and India. He briefly interned for the Brookings Institution where he advanced the foreign policy department’s Asia-oriented research and engagement efforts.Read Full Bio
Amb. Barbara Woodward
British Ambassador to China
Dame Barbara Woodward (MA ’90) is the first female British Ambassador to China, a position she has held for five years. Our interview with Amb. Woodward was conducted in February 2020. Beginning in late January, China implemented several phases of a lockdown due to COVID-19. She says that the real key to dealing with the pandemic is preparation; socially responsible behavior including isolation and protecting vulnerable members of the community and planning for the long term. She cited US Admiral John Stockdale’s ‘Stockdale Paradox’ developed during his experience in Vietnam: “You must never confuse faith that will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be”.
She had the following career advice for Jackson students and prospective students:
Yale generously awarded me a full scholarship and, in my second year, I was a Bates Fellow at Jonathan Edwards College. Through that got a deeper understanding of Yale itself and I made lasting friendships.
Joshua W. Walker
President and CEO of the Japan Society
Joshua W. Walker currently serves as the President and CEO of the Japan Society. Dr. Walker brings more than two decades of international business diplomacy to this role, most recently serving as Global Head of Strategic Initiatives and Japan in the Office of the President at Eurasia Group the world’s leading political risk consultancy.
Previous to that role he was CEO and president of the USA Pavilion of the 2017 World Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan; founding dean of the APCO Institute; senior vice president of global programs at APCO Worldwide, a leading global strategic communications firm and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Before joining the private sector, he worked in numerous roles at various US government agencies, including the State Department and the Defense Department.
Joshua earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond, a master’s degree from Yale University, and a doctorate from Princeton University.Read Full Bio
Michael Kolton is a China specialist for the US Army and currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. Michael is the de facto army attaché at the American Institute in Taiwan, directing multiple projects in collaboration with US and Taiwan partners on national defense and disaster management affairs.
Michael has been a US Army officer for nearly 15 years, first serving as an infantry officer and then as a foreign area officer. As an army officer, Michael has lived and worked in Beijing, Taipei, Baghdad, and Kunar Province, Afghanistan. As an infantry officer, Michael directed operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped community leaders improve essential services as well as security.
Michael holds an MA in Global Affairs from Yale University, an MA in Economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a BS in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Michael is also a former East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellow and Kathryn Davis Peace Fellow at Middlebury College, Vermont.Read Full Bio
Kat Devlin is a research associate at the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, where she focuses on international public opinion, quantitative research methods and Asia. In this role Kat has written on numerous topics, including global views of China, cybersecurity issues in Japan, public opinion in India and foreign language learning in Europe. Kat’s research has been covered in international news outlets such as the BBC, Axios, Forbes, Agence France-Presse and Reuters. She has presented to numerous audiences of academics and policymakers, including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations staff, the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S.-China Business Council.
She earned her Master’s degree from Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, with concentrations in quantitative research and Chinese studies. During her time at Yale, Kat acted as a Teaching Fellow for courses on the Chinese economy and applied quantitative research methods. She also served as the Managing Editor for Articles of the Yale Journal of International Affairs. Upon graduation, Kat earned the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace at Middlebury College where she completed an intensive Mandarin language program. Previously, Kat served as a Fulbright grantee in Malaysia, teaching English at a public high school in Johor. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science, magna cum laude, from Villanova University. Kat is proficient in Mandarin.Read Full Bio
At my current job with Pew Research Center I present unbiased research without any partisan bent, and having methodologically sound data on hand bolsters the research to a more diverse audience in a way that more ideological think tanks miss out on. While it is impossible to expect to learn about all the available tools for statistical analysis in grad school, Jackson provided me with enough of a foundation that I can adopt newer methods as they become available and have coherent discussions of a method’s efficacy with technical experts.
To balance that with my regional interests, I acted as a Teaching Fellow for Steve Roach’s course, “The Next China,” on the Chinese economy and used my summer to do a Mandarin immersion program in southern China. On top of that, if my class had a final paper/project with a flexible subject I always chose an Asia-based topic with some sort of quantitative component when possible. This ensured I stayed engaged in my areas of interest but also helped when I had to send writing samples or code samples to potential employers.
With some of the more technical aspects of economics and statistics, being a TF required that I explain complicated topics in a way that was accessible without sacrificing precision. That skill translates directly in my day-to-day at work now, too, since most audiences I talk with are not quantitative researchers.
Finally, I am very thankful that I got to work with professors like Steve and JT. They went above and beyond in terms of mentoring, talking through any anxieties I had about the class or impending graduation, and just being overall great people to know outside the classroom.
Corey Pattison is a young professional in the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict, and Violence team. Since 2013, he has served as an advisor to the World Bank on its reengagement in Myanmar and its support to the national peace process, and currently, on its relief and recovery efforts in Rakhine State. His work is focused on the intersection of development and peace building, and he is a lead author of the first joint UN-World Bank flagship study, “Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches for Preventing Violent Conflict.” Pattison is currently pursuing a PhD in political science at Georgetown University and holds a masters in international relations from Yale University. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Program and his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, and the Oxford Monitor of Forced Displacement.Read Full Bio
I think we made some minor, but not insignificant progress, in some areas—I was part of several meetings at the local level that was the first between government and representatives of ethnic armed groups, following decades of civil war, and that was very exciting. But in other areas, like Rakhine State, the situation has continued to deteriorate, and this has been profoundly disappointing and challenging.
I hope that the YPP will help facilitate opportunities to learn about areas across the institution that I might not otherwise have—technical subjects, regions, exposure to senior management, etc.
Lawule Shumane is an analyst with Dalberg Global Development Advisory in South Africa. She holds an MA in Global Affairs from Yale University.
As an economics scholar, Shumane’s interests lie at the nexus of politics and economics – understanding how governments, globally, can better service their populations, thus, gradually reducing citizen deprivation. Professionally, Shumane has been actively involved in South Africa’s civic society as she worked for a non-profit labor research organization where she published articles on the behavior of South African multinationals in other African countries regarding their Community Social Responsibility and Environmental practices, as well as a study of CEO remuneration for listed companies in South Africa. Additionally, she worked for UCT’s Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, assisting in the research, development and implementation of their inaugural Leading in Public Life Programme.
Shumane completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT).Read Full Bio