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Kennedy Scholars 2019

Edward Birkett 28 
Harvard GSAS Special Student

Ed has spent the last four years working in the UK electricity sector, initially as a market consultant and latterly as a developer of large-scale solar and battery storage projects in the UK and Ireland. Ed previously studied Engineering Science at Oxford, where he graduated second in his year. He has first-hand experience of how policy and practice interact in the electricity sector. Policymaking is becoming increasingly complex as the electricity sector decarbonises and new technologies such as electric vehicles emerge. As a Special Student, Ed will take courses in economics and public policy with a focus on energy and the environment, as well as working with the wider energy and climate policy community at Harvard. He hopes this course will build on his academic and professional experience and will set him on the path to making a lasting impact on UK energy policy.

Edward Davenport 25
Economics Doctoral Programme MIT

Edward’s study of economics is motivated by the challenges of international development and questions around how policies, both local and national, can be designed to address these.He aims to research these issues through the lens of behavioural economics. Following a BSc Economics at LSE in 2015, he worked initially in the financial sector in London. He then returned to LSE to complete an MSc Economics in 2018, graduating first in his year and with the highest performance in over 10 years, and has since been working in a research capacity at LSE. Most recently, he has worked on a project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Zambia, that studies the effects that community health workers have had on educational aspirations within rural communities. At MIT, he looks forward to further research and the opportunity to learn from the extraordinary group of scholars at the forefront of development economics.

Gabriel Flynn 28  
Harvard GSAS Special Student

Gabriel will spend a year as a special student before beginning a PhD on ideas of creativity and labour in Anglo-American literature.  He has been a prize-winning student in English and Creative Writing at UEA but were it not for an Access to HE course, his formal education would have ended at 16. He wishes to engage those least likely to access higher education, having run workshops in underprivileged schools and also in HMP Norwich.  At Harvard, Gabriel will explore widely around the relationship between the work of reading, writing and thinking with other types of labour. As our horizons become more digital and virtual, what will be the role of ‘literary labour’? Courses on the philosophy of work, as well as on economic thought, politics and history will sit alongside those taught by novelists and critics. The interdisciplinary approach at Harvard will enrich Gabriel’s vision of how creativity feeds on ordinary working life and also feeds it.

Ashleigh-Paige Fielding   23
Harvard Graduate School of Design M Arch

Ashleigh-Paige’s driving force as an architect is to devolve the boundary between architect and occupier. To that end, she has worked with the homeless, children and evicted social housing residents and for her final-year dissertation and building-design proposal at UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture she tackled challenges regarding social housing policy and design. This received the Bartlett’s dissertation award and a nomination for Blueprint Magazine’s ‘Students to Watch’ 2017. Since graduating, she has worked in London with a design advocate practice for the Mayor, specialising in making housing estates more child-centric and currently works to design and build with children through a pedagogical design process. Beyond academia, she is a member of Part-W, a collective promoting gender parity within the profession and has volunteered within organisations encouraging children from low socio-economic backgrounds into Architecture. At Harvard GSD, she welcomes the fact that social engagement is a primary focus within the faculty and of the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Bea Hannay-Young 23
Harvard GSAS Special Student

Bea’s desire to be a curator comes from a love of objects and the stories they tell. She studied Archaeology at Cambridge, being the first person in her family to attend university. Bea’s experiences at state-school also fostered a desire to make art equal and accessible, and as an undergraduate Bea worked on museum access projects. Arts and Heritage bursaries allowed her to develop an interest in Asia: she has worked as curatorial assistant in Malaysia, and excavated in Japan with the University of Tokyo. Before coming to Harvard, she spent two years studying Mandarin at Chongqing University in China, funded by both the British Council and EU. Bea will be joining Harvard as a Special Student to prepare for a Master’s degree in East Asian Archaeology, studying the region’s history alongside Classical Chinese and Japanese. Besides classes, Bea is looking forward to immersing herself in the extensive East Asian library and art collection at Harvard. 

Aislinn Kelly-Lyth 23
Harvard Law School LLM

Aislinn studied Law at Cambridge, graduating with the highest mark of her cohort and a number of prizes. After graduating, she worked as part of the International Citizen Service for three months in Cambodia, addressing youth unemployment and unsafe labour migration. After returning to the UK she interned at JUSTICE, an all-party law reform and human rights organisation. As a teenager, Aislinn attended a Centre for Talented Youth summer school where she identified the law as a useful tool to effect social change. Her interests lie in labour law and equality, and the Harvard LLM, with its combination of targeted and interdisciplinary courses, provides excellent opportunities in this field. Aislinn particularly hopes to contribute to research on the interplay between human rights and labour movements, and the relationship between technology and economic justice. Upon her return from Harvard, Aislinn intends to become a barrister.

Oluwatoni Oki   25 
Economics Doctoral Programme Harvard

Toni aspires to contribute to economic policymaking in Nigeria and across Africa. His passion for development economics has driven his experiences to-date. Before university, he took a year out to learn French and work with small businesses in Burkina Faso and Senegal. He then went on to graduate top of his year in Economics at Cambridge, with a prize-winning dissertation on petty corruption along roads in West Africa. Following a brief period at Central Bank of Nigeria, Toni joined McKinsey to learn about making change happen in complex organisations. At the end of his graduate programme, determined better to understand the public sector, he moved on to work as an advisor to the Mayor of Freetown in Sierra Leone and, afterwards, as the Special Assistant to one of the Deputy Ministers at Ghana’s Ministry of Finance. Motivated to tackle large, systemic problems, he will enrol in Harvard’s Economics doctoral programme to focus on public finance and unemployment in African countries. 

Jessica Redmond  26
Harvard Kennedy School MPP

Jessica graduated with First class honours from Durham University in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 2014. Since then she has worked at the Bank of England as a policy analyst developing and implementing regulation for the UK financial sector, working most recently on securitisation and other forms of structured finance. Her experience in international policy negotiation and interconnected modern financial markets has driven an interest in the impact of globalisation and international trade on domestic economies and domestic policymaking. She now wishes to pursue this interest further whilst also developing rigorous skills in quantitative and qualitative policy analysis. The MPP at the Kennedy School will deliver this training, both through its core teaching in policy analysis skills and the policy topic focus by HKS on the modern debate regarding globalisation. In her spare time, Jessica writes poetry and short stories, running a London-based creative writers’ group over the last two years.

Dr Sadie Regmi  29
Harvard GSAS Special Student

Sadie qualified in medicine from the University of Manchester and is currently an Academic Clinical Fellow in Public Health at Imperial College London.  She is taking the innovative route of a year studying ethics, philosophy and anthropology, building on her training in epidemiology and public health. Ethics has been a long-standing interest as Sadie joined the Institute for Science Ethics and Innovation in her second year at Manchester, contributing to publications on issues in medical and public health ethics. Her research interests also included incentives for research and development into neglected diseases and novel antimicrobials. Prior to commencing public health specialty training, Sadie was a policy advisor at the Coalition of Epidemic Infectious Diseases (CEPI) in Oslo. Recognising that public health must draw on the arts, humanities and social sciences, she welcomes a year to nurture her deep interdisciplinary interests and build a broad foundation from which to make key public policy decisions in the future.

Josiah Senu 22
Harvard Law School LLM

Josiah studied law at the LSE, where he won several academic prizes and scholarships. Commuting to the LSE from the east of the city he has witnessed stark contrasts in domestic economy and social mobility. Looking beyond the modules of his law degree to examine the interaction between private law and economic inequality, he has become a prize-winning mooter and a published independent researcher. As the only black male in his cohort who was state-educated, Josiah has been actively engaged in encouraging others. He currently sits on the inaugural Alumni Leadership Board of the Sutton Trust, with whom he has advised teachers on supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Harvard LLM offers multiple avenues to study private and commercial law through an economic lens, questioning the impact of international businesses on inequality. It also offers various clinics of relevance. Using this experience, Josiah has his sights set on the commercial bar, mindful of those without privilege whose interests need protecting.

Ateka Tarajia  30  
Harvard Graduate School of Education EdM

Ateka’s commitment to equality of opportunity in education arises directly out of her own experience.  As a child of immigrants to London, she lacked the support and encouragement she saw her younger brother receive at a private school which compensated for the then lack of cultural capital at home.  A re-ignited desire to attend university saw her admitted to Cambridge to read Education. Her current role enables her to raise the aspirations of pupils in an area with a high immigrant population, high crime levels, and where the majority would, like Ateka, be first generation in their families attending university. She welcomes the strong culture of inclusion and diversity at the Ed School and explicit conversations about under-achievement in minority and disadvantaged groups.  The Specialized Studies Master will enable her to build on her particular experiences and be the foundation of a PhD examining the cultural factors which underpin the academic success of Chinese and Indian minority groups in the British education system.

Scholar Profiles
Mutsa Chironga, 2004

I definitely had to pinch myself once or twice during the year!

Mutsa Chironga, 2004

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