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Kennedy Scholars 2016

Avantika_ChilkotiAvantika Chilkoti  26
 Harvard Kennedy School  MPP

Avantika has spent the past four years reporting for the Financial Times, first in London and then in Mumbai and Jakarta.  She has covered elections in India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, as well as terrorist attacks and economic turmoil in Indonesia.  In 2011 she graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she won a series of academic awards and scholarships for outstanding performance in the Land Economy tripos.  Whilst at Cambridge, Avantika was also editor of the student newspaper, Varsity, and spent three months living in a Tibetan monastery.  At Harvard, Avantika hopes to learn more about US politics in the run up to a divisive presidential election and to gain a deeper understanding of policy issues before returning to a career as a foreign correspondent.

NeilDeaconNeil Deacon  25  
Harvard Law School  LLM

Neil is currently legal advisor to the Lord President of the Court of Session, the senior judge in the Scottish legal system.  In the course of achieving First Class Honours in the LL.B. at the University of Glasgow, he focused on public, human rights and international law, and spent a year at Lund University, Sweden.  After university, Neil interned at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Strasbourg, before qualifying as a solicitor with the Government Legal Service for Scotland.  At Harvard, Neil looks forward to reflecting on his professional experience by focusing on the role of law in government, while also diversifying into more commercially-focused areas.

Emily_MiddletonEmily Middleton  26  
Harvard Kennedy School  MPP

Emily’s concern is with children’s rights and the effective delivery of services nationally and globally, particularly for those in low-income environments. Aged 14, she was one of the youngest Board members of the National Children’s Bureau, and later served on the Department for Education’s Children and Youth Board. As an undergraduate at Wadham College, Oxford, she worked part-time for the National Youth Agency and was youth advisor to the Board of UNICEF UK. For the last four years, Emily has been gaining experience in the private sector with the Boston Consulting Group, including a year working on digital finance topics in Southeast Asia. She now welcomes the International and Global Affairs concentration of the MPP as she seeks to incorporate mobile technology and innovation into the delivery of services on a large scale. Emily is also a prize-winning poet and looks forward to exploring contemporary American poetry at Harvard.


Dr Louwai Muhammed  26  
Harvard Graduate School of Education Ed M

Louwai studied medicine and neuroscience at Cambridge University and graduated with a First Class Honours degree. He then completed his medical training at Oxford University, where he qualified with a prize winning Distinction and over a dozen academic awards. He subsequently became the highest ranked applicant to academic medical training in London and now works as a doctor and as a scientist. He is currently researching cognition with the Queen Square National Centre for Neurology. He is also passionate about education and has won several teaching awards. He set up a nation-wide training course for doctors and was previously an anatomy tutor at Oxford. Louwai also founded an online interactive education platform with his brother that allows him and other British doctors to teach Syrian medical students live from the UK. He will take the Special Studies EdM at Harvard and hopes to learn about education, neuroscience, and entrepreneurship. He plans to complete a PhD in neuroscience on his return to the UK.


Dr John Park  27  
Harvard School of Public Health MPH

John is passionate about tackling gender and health inequalities. Growing up and witnessing gender violence in Scotland’s poorest council estate, he has worked with the UK government to influence policy on sexual violence and has helped build solutions with organizations fighting to tackle gender and health inequalities both nationally and internationally. John has worked in this respect with the World Health Organization and has conducted research for UNICEF on gender policy and child mortality. He has also contributed to international policy research leading to the largest ever health aid package to North Korean women and children. At Harvard. John seeks to develop expertise in public health research and health policy to improve the lives of vulnerable women and children. John is a medical and theology graduate of Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities respectively and studied with numerous scholarships, awards and prizes. He enjoys few things more than playing a round of golf and spending time with his family.


Nikhila Ravi 24  
Harvard GSAS Special Student

Nikhila was educated at her local state comprehensive. She realised her dream of studying at Cambridge, taking a BEng and MEng in bioengineering because of an interest in the interface between engineering and medicine. A Blues cricketer, she captained the university women's team and hit a century in the varsity match at Lord's. On graduation, she decided to explore her interest in technology and managed Code First:Girls for six months, running a national coding competition amongst other things. Simultaneously, she gained valuable experience developing the microscope startup, now discontinued, with which she had won the McKinsey Venture Academy. Realising the power of technology to create large-scale impact, she learnt software development with Founders and Coders and DWYL in London whilst continuing to champion gender-diversity/education initiatives. She will be a Special Student at Harvard, focussing on developing her knowledge of computer science, and welcomes the many opportunites to explore tech startup ideas.


Joshua Simons 22  
Harvard GSAS, PhD Political Thought & its history

Joshua graduated top of his year from St John's College, Cambridge, with a starred First in Politics. He spent (too) much of his time at Cambridge, editing Varsity and The Tab, as well as writing for The Times, Independent and Guardian. He has a keen interest in India's history and politics, having spent his summers researching for a project on bonded labour in South India and learning Hindi.  He has since worked as a Policy Advisor for the Labour Party, including on the European referendum, and for the Institute of Public Policy Research.  Joshua will be a Harvard-Kennedy Scholar, taking a PhD in political thought and its history in the Dept of Government. He will research the way ideas about economics developed in the long nineteenth-century, including thinking about what the consequences of those ideas are for the way we think about politics today.  His aim is to bring historical insight into questions about economic justice and the distribution of national and international wealth.  He hopes to communicate these ideas widely on his return to the UK.



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