Hear from our graduate students about what being a part of the Jackson community means to them.
Want to know more? Contact our admissions office to be connected with a Jackson student for a one-on-one Skype chat or phone call.
Sei-kashe M’pfunya graduated cum laude from Pomona College in 2021 with a BA in international relations and fine art. While at Pomona, Sei-kashe centered on the nexus of sustainable development, art, and culture. Sei-kashe was a resident assistant, creative director of the African Students Association and founder of the annual Sanbonani! African Film Festival. Sei-kashe’s commitment to bring about public good within sub-Saharan Africa stems from the economic complexities she witnessed as a child in the unrelentingly tenacious and also economically fraught nation of Zimbabwe, her home country. She completed an honors thesis comparatively assessing the sine qua non and impact of cultural development strategies undertaken in case studies of Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe. During her undergraduate tenure, Sei-kashe completed several internships at non-profit organizations including the New York African Film Festival where she executed grant proposals, led intern teams in content creation and public relations and supported event management tasks; Ingressive for Good (Nigeria), where she developed resources and facilitated online events and training sessions to equip young Africans with tech-related skills; and Global Fund for Women, where she conducted concept notes for various projects, managed the Fundamental Film Series platform and helped revamp the organization’s website. At Jackson, she hopes to further expand her knowledge on international development in sub-Saharan Africa. She is particularly interested in refining current philanthropic strategies in the region to better equip non-profit organizations and foundations to scale greater social impact. She looks forward to learning how to leverage the arts and cultural sector for public wellbeing.Read Full Bio
Ashley Towers is a first-year MA student at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She served in the U.S. Army National Guard as Military Police, and is a combat veteran. Ashley graduated summa cum laude from The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina with a BA in intelligence & security studies and criminal justice in 2021. She spent the summer of 2019 abroad in Georgia and Estonia, where she studied foreign policy issues and challenges both nations face regarding cybersecurity, cooperation and coordination with international organizations, and Russian foreign policy interests affecting the larger Black Sea and Baltic Sea regions. She also recently interned in a Congressional Member office, and worked on the foreign affairs portfolio. At Jackson, she hopes to focus on diplomacy, U.S. foreign policy, and international security. As a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellow, Ashley will enter the United States Foreign Service under the U.S. Department of State upon graduation.Read Full Bio
Christopher Kakeung Wong
Christopher Kakeung Wong, born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2018 with a business degree. In college, he developed an interest in public affairs and interned with organizations such as Cathay Pacific and the Competition Commission. He joined the Hong Kong SAR Government upon graduation and was appointed to policymaking roles in the Innovation and Technology Bureau and thereafter Home Affairs Bureau. While in office, he worked on various policies, including support for the Esports industry and subventions to local youth organizations. At Yale, he will focus his studies on US-China relations, as well as the dynamic forces that are forging the future of Hong Kong. He is also keen to integrate impact investing with human rights advocacy and aspires to contribute to public policies in Hong Kong and China, especially in youth, gender and LGBTQIA+ affairs. He is attending Yale as a Kwok scholar.Read Full Bio
Sharanya Rajiv is an MPP in Global Affairs candidate at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She is interested in the intersection of Eurasian geopolitics, natural resource politics, and sustainability. She also advises Hillhouse Analytics, a big-data enabled consulting firm that was founded by Jackson alums. Previously she worked at the New Delhi center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she led research on India’s strategic interests in Eurasia and managed several public and private events as well as track 1.5 dialogues between India and Europe. Prior to Carnegie, Sharanya interned at the Policy Planning and Research Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs. She holds a BA in political science, with honors from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. Sharanya also has native fluency in Hindi and Tamil, and hopes to improve her Russian language skills at Yale.Read Full Bio
Juan Villalobos Toro
Juan Camilo Villalobos was born in Bogota, Colombia. He graduated from Universidad de los Andes with a BA in economics, a BA in government and public affairs, and a minor in state and public law. Juan developed his career at Instiglio, a global leader in results-based financing focusing on developing countries. He worked with over 15 organizations (including USAID, DFID, World Bank, IDB, Botnar Foundation, Village Enterprise, Fundación Bancolombia, and the National Planning Department of Colombia) to improve the impact of their social interventions in more than 10 developing countries, including Colombia, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, and India). He led the technical design for three impact bonds, guided the creation of four data systems to manage performance during implementation (a.k.a. adaptive management systems), supported the strategy process for several clients, and advanced various internal initiatives to support the expansion of Instiglio across continents. At Yale, Juan is using the MPP to explore strategies to strengthen governments and leverage the private sector to advance sustainable development initiatives in Latin America and Africa.Read Full Bio