2021 TSPPPA Newsletter

The Trachtenberg Difference: Get a Degree Here, Take It Anywhere

Message from the Director

In Memoriam
Class Notes


Message from the Director



Mary Tschirhart


Dear Alumni,

It is close to a year since I reached out to introduce myself to you as the new school director and thank you for all you do to make the world a better place. Now that I have settled in, I see every day how resilient, diverse and influential the Trachtenberg School community is. This year, sadly due to the pandemic, we did not host our traditional alumni awards event where we share stories about TSPPPA accomplishments. This newsletter highlights a range of achievements, though it cannot do justice to all that our faculty, alumni and current students have done.

In addition to providing a small taste of our activities, I hope this newsletter serves as a reminder of our ongoing invitation to connect with you. Our career services are available to you for a lifetime. We have many ways for you to give back to TSPPPA, for example, as mentors to students, course guest speakers, career panelists and donors. If you have ideas for how to get more involved or just want to share some news, please reach out to me.

With warm wishes for your well-being,

Mary Tschirhart

TSPPPA Director and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Professor in Public Affairs

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TSPPPA Ranks Among Top Graduate Schools

GW Professors Gate





TSPPPA was ranked 19th overall among graduate programs for public affairs in the latest report by U.S. News and World Report of top programs in the country. Nine of the school’s master’s degrees were identified as being among the best. They were the master's in health policy and management, global policy/international, homeland security, nonprofit management, public finance and budgeting, public management and leadership, public policy analysis, social policy and urban policy. Read more about the rankings in GW Today.

Teaching Trials: Professor Brings Vaccine Experience to the Classroom





TSPPPA Professor Bill Adams drew on his own experience as a volunteer in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials to give his Research Methods class an insider’s look at a public health milestone. He was featured in CCAS Spotlight.

Troubled Water: A Student’s Crusade to Solve Puerto Rico’s Crisis






From Hurricane Maria to the COVID crisis, Puerto Rico’s tragedies have been compounded by widespread lack of access to clean water. TSPPPA student Omar Negron-Ocasio has a business plan to change that. Read more about his project in CCAS Spotlight.

Five GW Students Receive CGI U COVID-19 Action Fund Awards


Through the COVID-19 Student Action Fund, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) recognized two TSPPPA students among five seeking to address the pandemic through various projects. The students were profiled in GW Today.



Diana Aguilera is among the TSPPPA students recognized.

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School Kudos

Professor Bill Adams was quoted by Fox5-Washington in the article “Coronavirus vaccines: Some side effects are common and expected, experts say.”He was also quoted by WJLA-ABC7 in the article “GWU professor shares his Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial experience.” 

Professor Nancy Augustine spoke to WAMU-FM’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show for the segment “Navigating the Post-Pandemic Job Market.”

Professor Steve Balla and his graduate students published “Lost in the Flood?: Agency Responsiveness to Mass Comment Campaigns in Administrative Rulemaking” in Regulation & Governance.

Professor Burt S. Barnow co-authored the article “Lessons from the American Federal-State Unemployment Insurance System for a European Unemployment Benefits System” in International Social Security Review.

Professor Lori Brainard won two awards for her co-authored article with S. Zavttaro, “Social Media as Micro-Encounters: Millennial Preferences as Moderators of Digital Value Creation.” International Journal of Public Sector Management. Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 534-552. (2019).

Professor Jennifer Brinkerhoff was quoted by The Nation in the article “Diaspora Organizations Are Stepping Into the Void on Covid-19.” She also received the 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award from International Studies Association section on Ethnicity, Nationalities and Migration Studies.

Professor Leah Brooks was quoted by Washington Business Journal in the article “A divided Congress could mean more shutdowns. And that would damage Greater Washington’s economy.”

Professor David Brunori was quoted by The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier in the article “McMaster called on lawmakers to eliminate income tax for military retirees. Can it happen?

Professor Chris Carrigan co-authored a working paper for the Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State, examining the multiple but sometimes competing pathways by which the use of benefit-cost analysis can help agencies develop better regulations.

Professor Stephanie Cellini presented a keynote address titled, “Urgency & Opportunity: Connecting Research to Policy in 2021,” at The Triangle Economics of Education Workshop, hosted (virtually) by Duke University.

Professor Joseph Cordes spoke to WUSA-CBS9 about whether President-elect Biden voted to tax Social Security benefits when he was a senator.

Regulatory Studies Center Research Professor Bridget Dooling served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team as part of the Office of Management and Budget agency review team.

In addition to two peer-reviewed articles in Regulation and Governance, Regulatory Studies Center Director Susan Dudley authored two bipartisan op-eds in the Wall Street Journal with her frequent collaborator, Professor Sally Katzen.

Professor Jasmine Johnson worked at the Urban Institute  Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy during her sabbatical and is a visiting fellow there.

Professor Nina Kelsey was quoted by Vice in the article “How Joe Biden Could Become an Unlikely Climate Savior.”

Leighton Ku was quoted by HealthDay in the articles “Layoffs and Losses: COVID-19 Leaves U.S. Hospitals in Financial Crisis” and “COVID-19 Now Reaching Into Rural America.”

Professor Diane Lim was quoted by The Chicago Tribune in the article “Mothers are 3 times more likely than fathers to have lost jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘This will set gender equity back quite a bit.”

Professor Peter Linquiti, who is on sabbatical this year, is spending the spring semester as (virtual) visiting faculty at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy where he is completing a textbook for SAGE/CQ Press tentatively titled Rebooting Policy Analysis for a New Era.

Professor Allison Macfarlane was quoted by the Washington Examiner in the article “Daily on Energy: Trump administration gives a little in acknowledging climate change.”

Professor Kathy Newcomer co-authored an article on learning agendas on the IBM Center’s website.

Professor Sanjay Pandey authored the chapter “The Psychological Process View of Bureaucratic Red Tape” in the forthcoming Research Handbook Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

Professor Steve Redburn spoke to Federal News Network’s Federal Drive With Tom Temin in the segment “Private investment could play a role in government modernization.”

Professor Sara Rosenbaum was quoted by Kaiser Health News in “VCU Health halts 30-year campaign that seized patients’ wages, put liens against homes” and by Roll Call in “Ten years into Obamacare, cost and access issues abound.”

Professor Hilary Silver authored “Trump’s assault on the federal government isn’t over” in The Hill

Professor Gregory D. Squires was inducted into the Distinguished Service Honor Roll of the Urban Affairs Association in recognition of his board service, years on the editorial board of The Journal of Urban Affairs, receipt of UAA awards including its Contribution to the Field of Urban Affairs award and other services over several decades.

GW President Emeritus Stephen Joel Trachtenberg authored the article “The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education, by Michael Crow and William Dabars” for Times Higher Education.

Director Mary Tschirhart, with co-author Yinglin Ma, published “Enhancing Self-Efficacy During Community Service: Factors Influencing AmeriCorps’ Members’ Change in Self-Efficacy” in Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

The sixth edition of Professor Michael Worth’s textbook, Nonprofit Management: Principles and Practice, was published in October by Sage Publications.

Professor Lang Kate Yang was elected to the executive board of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management and looks forward to engaging practitioners in the field. 

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In Memoriam

We celebrate the lives and mourn the loss of two faculty members. Michael Wiseman served as a GWIPP professor and instructor of TSPPPA courses. He passed away in March 2020. Jerry Ellig was a research professor at the Regulatory Studies Center and worked with TSPPPA faculty and students on research projects and as an instructor. He passed away in January 2021.


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Class Notes



  • Buenafe Alinio, PhD ’08, retired as deputy director/branch head with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. 
  • Anwar Aridi, MA ’10, PhD ’15, is a senior private sector specialist at the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank. He has been working on innovation policy issues for the Europe and Central Asia department for the last five years.
  • Bidisha Banerji, MPhil ’07, PhD ’13, is teaching public policy and economics in New Delhi. She was recently awarded the “Best Faculty” by the students of the institution. 
  • Jason Briggs, MPP ’13, is a team lead at the State Department's Office of Pakistan Affairs.
  • Libby Chamberlin, MPP ’20, is working for the Oregon State Legislature in the legislative fiscal office. 
  • Hernan Charosky, MPP ’07, coordinated the first presidential debate in Argentina over the last six years. He has been a consultant in Central America, a public official and has proposed transparency and elections laws. He also leads a consensus building program.
  • Katie Cronin, MPA ’14, returned to the United States after two years in Tanzania with Save the Children. She now works in the Strategy and Program Office of USAID's Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean supporting Mexico and Central America.
  • David Gellman, MPA ’21, is director on the board of the Breakthrough Miami Alumni Network. From 2006 to 2010, he served at Breakthrough Miami, a nonprofit that provides academic enrichment opportunities to under-resourced middle and high school students. 
  • Jeff Grant, MPA ’93, is the director, center for consumer information and insurance oversight, for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He leads the No Surprises Act implementation and a health insurance special enrollment period.
  • Cambria Happ, MPA ’16, serves as an executive director for McKenna Management, an association management company in the greater Boston area.
  • Nabil Haque, MA ’11, is an assistant professor of environmental policy in the Department of Environmental Science & Management at North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 
  • Rick Hinkemeyer, MPA ’82, recently published his latest novel, Confessions of the Soul: A Maryland Mystery. He is the author of the Maryland mystery series and the Minnesota mystery series, which has won several novel contests sponsored by the Maryland Writers Association.
  • Seong-Sam Hong, MPA ’97, has been a police officer for 28 years while also teaching in the Police Administration Department of Gachon University, South Korea.
  • David Johnson, MPA ’98, lives in Manasquan, N.J., and works as the vice-president of corporate development for New Jersey Resources.
  • Aaron Koppel, MPA ’20, joined REI Systems as a consultant in its Advisory Services Practice, where he supports the General Services Administration with the adoption of IT policy initiatives.
  • Paula Lettice, MPA ’75, is president of Mount Vernon At Home, one of 260 villages in the United States that provides support and community to seniors who want to remain in their homes.
  • Tara (Fochesato) Lovrich, MPA ’99, is in her 21st year of local government work in New Jersey and has been the township administrator of Manalapan Township for the last 16 years. She also proudly served as the president of the NJ Municipal Managers Association.
  • Jeremy Madson, MPA ’09, represented government services and technology contractors at the Professional Services Council (PSC) for 15 years. He is now a senior program manager with federal IT contractor DAn Solutions.
  • Adam Marshall, MPA ’04, is a commander with the 201st Combat Operations Squadron, stationed in Hawaii. His squadron helps plan and execute air operations in the Indo-Pacific area, which comprises 52 percent of the Earth.
  • Mike McDavit, MPA ’00, retired from the Environmental Protection Agency in January 2012, after a federal career of 38 years. His career spanned the Office of Water, Office of Pesticide Programs and Department of Defense.



  • Meghan McQuiggan, MPP ’17, is a lead analyst for education, employment, and welfare living at the Boston Consulting Group in Washington, D.C. 
  • Henry Moy, BBA ’75, MPA ’82, retired in 2015 after more than 30 years of service at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where he was the field supervisor of the New York Office. He is a board director at Woori America Bank located in New York City.
  • Kate Musica, MPA ’10, alongside her husband, Norman Kittrell, welcomed daughter Kathryn a few weeks before the pandemic shutdown.
  • Justin Nadolny, MPA ’18, served as military aide to Vice President Pence after graduating, assisting with national command decisions and continuity of government programs. He currently serves as commanding officer of USCGC THETIS, a 270' cutter in Key West, Fla. 
  • Whitney Owen, MPA ’06, is the director of university business consulting at George Mason University. She has focused her efforts on Mason's COVID-19 response, leading a PMO focused on re-opening campus safely, on-campus testing and vaccinations.
  • Tony Palermo, BA ’91, MPA ’93, is the assistant director of community development in the City of Fort Myers, Fla. He is also the vice president of section affairs for the American Planning Association's Florida Chapter. 
  • Michael Regan, MPA '04, is the new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Jolito Rivera, MPP ’19, is a strategy and analytics consultant at Deloitte, supporting the Department of State. He leads delivery of analytic insights on client projects, incident management, financial projections and mobile asset deployments.
  • Dave Ruhlig, MPA ’19, advises the commandant of the Coast Guard on organizational strategy. He looks forward to taking command of the Coast Guard's largest boat station this summer in New York City.
  • Robert Sloan, MA ’73, published INSPIRED: Chronicles of Sibley Memorial Hospital in June 2020. He served as president of Sibley Memorial from 1985 to 2012.
  • Maggie Smith, PhD ’20, is an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy.
  • Keith Stefanelli, MPP ’12, is a senior manager at Eagle Hill Consulting and supports homeland security clients on strategy and performance.
  • Bob Tansey, BA ’73, MPA ’81, works for The Nature Conservancy as senior policy advisor for China and as global policy lead for degraded lands and restoration. He is co-founder of the Brightwood-Petworth Community Association and is active in his Buddhist community.
  • Joel Thomas, MPA ’08, is the founder of SPIN Global, a public benefit corporation that exists to disrupt disasters from neighborhoods to nations. Since 2016, SPIN Global supported disaster risk reduction, response and recovery efforts in 47 states and 20 countries.
  • CAPT. Peter Troedsson, USCG, MPA ’99, had a long career in the Coast Guard and is serving as city manager in Albany, Oregon. He sits on the boards of the International City/County Management Association and the Military Officers Association of America.
  • Bill Vantine, BBA ’84, MPA ’87, is the president and CEO of Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc., a National Security Firm specializing in modeling and simulation located in Alexandria, Va. He was named Government Contractor Executive of the Year in 2019 for companies between $75m -$300m in annual revenue.
  • Lanette (Keith) Walker, MPA ’00, is the senior director for Medicaid Financial Policy for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, where she supports hospitals and health system members in navigating state Medicaid policy and financial matters. 
  • Chenqi Zhou, MPP ’16, works for the International Monetary Fund.

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