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.
Deanna Johnson is a first-year master’s student at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She graduated from The George Washington University in 2016 with a B.A. in anthropology and international affairs, concentrating in international development. While at GW, Deanna received a grant to complete her research on the diminishing presence of African-American young adults in Historically Black Churches, focusing on ethnographies in the D.C. metro area. After graduation, Deanna served in Ecuador with the Peace Corps as an English Education Volunteer, where she worked alongside Ecuadorian English teachers at public schools to improve their methodologies and increase teaching efficacy in the classroom. While in Ecuador, Deanna also worked to promote leadership, health, and gender equity amongst teens by collaborating with other volunteers to plan and institute Ecuador’s first-ever national project following the Peace Corps’ Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) and Boys Respecting Others (BRO) initiatives. She also began to study firsthand the ways in which community ideology and social media impact the lives of refugees moving into new countries and communities. During her time at Yale, Deanna plans to study the root causes of displacement, and how the sentiments of the communities receiving displaced individuals affect the rights and well-being of the displaced.Read Full Bio
Jill Capotosto graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and strategic communications. As a Princeton in Asia fellow, she spent two years in Vietnam with TRAFFIC, an international nonprofit combatting wildlife trafficking. As the country communications officer, she worked on a campaign to reduce demand for rhino horn, as well as a program to support sustainable rural livelihoods. Jill has also worked for the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a Vermont-based nonprofit working to build climate resilience in U.S. cities. At Yale, Jill is a joint-degree student with the Jackson Institute and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is focusing on environmental justice, particularly on the relationship between marginalized urban communities and climate change, climate-induced migration, and climate mobility.Read Full Bio
Faraz Salahuddin is an M.A. candidate at the Jackson Institute from Karachi, Pakistan. He is interested in issues of health care access and international development. During his undergraduate studies, Faraz studied economics and history at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. Over the past three and a half years Faraz has been developing a home base in Washington D.C., working as both a health care researcher and data analyst at Advisory Board. In his role, Faraz focused his time researching structural challenges in the U.S. health care system, and then developing analytics platforms to help hospitals and health care providers meet those challenges. At Yale, Faraz intends to continue his work on strengthening health care systems. His ultimate goal is to help governments in low-income countries, like his home country of Pakistan, develop stronger health insurance markets which in turn help make health care affordable for communities that are presently underserved.Read Full Bio
Sophie Kaldor graduated from Sydney University with a B.A. (languages) in 2016, receiving First Class Honors and the University Medal for her joint honors thesis in English and German literature. Sophie’s thesis analyzed the attempt by Romantic poets to escape the limitations of their inherent immanence in describing the transcendent. Sophie believes this paradoxical attempt to gain a ‘view’ from outside one’s self is also pertinent to the field of international governance and cooperation. In 2017, Sophie joined Aon, a global professional services firm, completing their graduate program in Financial Specialties Insurance broking, consulting and strategy. Since 2019, Sophie has worked as a risk analyst within Aon’s Global Risk Consulting division, enabling clients to effectively mitigate asset and liability risks through risk transfer solutions. Her clients ranged across multiple industries, including government, finance and construction. Growing up with relatives who fought on both sides in WWII and grandparents who came to Australia as refugees, Sophie’s background, complemented by her own extensive involvement in faith-based communities, drives her support of democratic ideals. Sophie’s exchange year in 2015 at Ludwig Maximilian Universität, Munich, brought this into sharp focus through her volunteer work with the emerging refugee community. Witnessing the divergent impact of Angela Merkel’s ‘open-doors’ policy first-hand intensified her interest in the tension between globalization and human rights. While at Yale, Sophie hopes to focus on the role of narratives and emotions in issues central to international security, particularly countering polarization and extremism in all its forms.Read Full Bio
Douglas Gledhill graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College in 2014. He majored in international politics and economics with a focus on Brazil and a minor in Chinese. At Middlebury, Douglas explored topics such as economic development, economic reform, comparative democratization, international trade, and Chinese state-owned enterprises. He also interned at the IDB, at a garment manufacturer in Bangladesh, and as a research assistant for the political science department. He is fluent in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese, and is proficient in French. After graduating, Douglas joined a rotational management training program at Amazon.com as a financial analyst. During that time, he did financial forecasting, reporting, and investment analyses in their operations division and helped run five warehouses. Later, he moved to Seattle to work in FP&A for Amazon Web Services Digital. Most recently, Douglas fulfilled a lifelong dream of backpacking the world. In 2017, he traveled through 20 countries in the Americas and in 2018 he traveled through 10 countries in Asia. Douglas is most interested in the intersection of politics, economics, and business. At Yale, he hopes to gain tools to analyze factors that affect the business and investment climate in various countries, with particular interest in Asia and Latin America.Read Full Bio
Before traveling, I worked in corporate finance at Amazon.com. I spent about two years working in operations finance running various warehouses, and about a year doing higher level financial planning and analysis for a branch of AWS in Seattle.
Kathleen Keefe is a joint degree MA-MBA candidate at the Jackson Institute and School of Management. She comes to Yale from the international development sector, where she managed USAID projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that promote land market development and the growth of small and medium enterprises. Kathleen served as a Fulbright English instructor in Khabarovsk, Russia from 2012-2013. Prior to this, she worked in domestic policy evaluation, where she co-authored reports on labor, healthcare, defense, and nutrition programs. Kathleen graduated cum laude from Wellesley College in 2009 with a double major in political science and Russian. At Yale, Kathleen studies policymaking for inclusive economic development, with a focus on approaches that build wealth and equity in communities.Read Full Bio
Among my courses at Jackson, a class on Ethical Choices in Public Leadership with Eric Braverman stands out as truly memorable. This course provided us with frameworks for approaching decisions when there are no easy answers. It pushed us to examine our values and unpack the motivations driving our actions when we are in a position to make choices on behalf of others.
Finally, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the city of New Haven better by volunteering in the community, checking out the rich arts and music scene, and spending time in some of New Haven’s surrounding parks!