Graduates of our program go in a lot of different directions. Policy training can benefit those interested in all three major sectors: profit, not-for-profit, and public. A policy based mindset can help individuals succeed in all walks of life, and policy training can actually open doors.
Recently Sandhya Chari, a current student that used to work at Google and is now pursuing Economic and Political Development at SIPA, took a moment to interview Gabriel Stricker, an alumnus of our program currently working employed with the storied company.
Name: Gabriel Stricker
Degree Program: MIA
Concentration: IFB (now International Finance and Economic Policy)
Graduation Year: 2001
Current Position: Director, Global Communications & Public Affairs
Organization Name: Google, Inc.
Organization Location (city, country): Mountain View, CA
Describe your background prior to attending SIPA?
Before attending SIPA I worked on political campaigns – some international, some in the US. Nearly all of them were for underdog, progressive candidates… and many of them lost.
What are you doing now?
I’m currently Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google, where I head Search communications – addressing everything from web search and other search properties (such as Maps, Earth, News and Books) to issues pertaining to partnerships, content, and the use of intellectual property.
Why did you choose to attend at SIPA?
I really wanted to get a solid grasp of finance and business, but in the context of international affairs. It was clear to me that the theories of commerce and trade were best understood in that context rather than in a vacuum. I was also impressed that International Affairs students had to have fluency in a second language. That prerequisite alone made for a diverse student population, and one in which people approached things differently if only because they brought some entirely different worldview to the table.
What was it like to attend graduate school/work in New York City?
It was just amazing. You’d read about folks in the New York Times one morning, and that night they’d give a lecture in your class – or maybe they’d actually be teaching your class! I’ll never forget taking finance and accounting from Andrew Danzig who was an adjunct in the evening, and by day was a financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank. It was incredible to get instruction from someone who was putting the principles he taught into practice every single day.
What’s your most vivid impression or recollection of SIPA?
I remember taking a course on privatization, and our professor began the class by explaining that he had just flown in from Russia where he had been providing guidance on privatizing its telecommunications industry. There were so many times when instructors’ real-time experiences were far more compelling than any textbook could ever achieve.