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SIPodcasts: A Look into Podcasts by SIPA Alumnae

In this Women’s History Month, and on International Women’s Day, the SIPA Admissions blog would like to highlight four SIPA alumnae who have taken the power of technology and information sharing and brought it to the accessibility of podcasts. Podcasts are all the rage in the most recent years and the trend has overtaken SIPA students and alumni. Never missing an opportunity to educate the masses, these four SIPA women have created podcasts highlighting topics spanning from identity to international affairs to networking to inequality:

Where Are You From?
George-Ann Ryan MPA ’20

Simply put, “Where Are You From” is about “two girls who are tired of being asked where they’re from.” In this podcast, GeorgeAnn Ryan and her colleague Zana cover topics such as Marvel’s Black Panther, parenting methods like belt beatings, and more serious topics like stereotyping. Allow George-Ann and Zana to make you laugh, think, and ponder with their enlightening podcast.

Roos & Shine
Josefine Roos MIA ’11

Inspiration at the root of Josefine Roos’s podcast. Best described as a “pep talk,” Josephine and her sister want you to listen to the podcast and feel as if you can take control of everything in your like and “seize the day.” They offer advice on how to pursue your dream career, network effectively, how to negotiate, and how to fake it until you make it. Take a listen and take some advice on how to be your best self.

What in the World?
Bunmi Akinnusotu MPA ’14

Education at its most accessible. “What in the World” informs its viewers of international affairs in a digestible and easily-understandable way. It’s brings on experts of color and women experts to explain our international system. Topics range from the Iran Deal to the recent Brazilian elections to G7 Summit. Educate yourself on international affairs with our alumni Bunmi Akinnusotu.

Sincerely, Hueman
Camille Laurente MIA ’16

We here at SIPA Admissions have highlighted this amazing podcast. You can find that post here. But we thought it was especially important to highlight just how Camille brings guest on her show to dive deeper into the topic even more. She’s had directors of major non-profits, celebrity mothers, and CEOs. Take a listen to her podcast and hear of the experiences of amazing people.

Congratulations to Rep. Elissa Slotkin MIA ’03

Yesterday the 116th U.S. Congress was sworn in, and it’s one of the most diverse groups ever, including the largest number of female members in Congress with more than 100 women in the U.S. House alone.

Elle.com featured 35 new women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives back in November, including SIPA alum Elissa Slotkin MIA ’03. You can watch Elle’s “We the People: Your Freshmen Congresswomen Recite the Preamble to the Constitution” here. In the accompanying article here. Rep. Slotkin states:

“This polarization and vitriol has been imported from Washington, and Michiganders can’t stand it. Michiganders didn’t use to fight about politics; we fought about sports. Women are refusing to stay silent when they see something contravening core values. They were the first and loudest to push me to do more, to heal the community.”

Co-founder of Think.iT, Mehemed Bougsea ‘17, Shares His Entrepreneurial Journey

Mehemed Bougsea MPA-DP ’17 is transforming Tunsia’s tech sector with his start-up Think.iT.

Bougsea founded Think.iT after many years of desiring equality in tech markets across different countries. Growing up between Libya and Germany, Mehemed saw the vast difference in openings for jobs in the tech sector. He saw this as an injustice to gifted and skilled young STEM students, who had immense potential for success but who lacked the qualifications to meet the demand for lucrative jobs in the field.

Think.iT is based in Tunisia where 57 percent of the workforce is unemployed and where the local economy cannot produce jobs in the fields to match the talent of the workforce. Think.iT’s programs focus on training young students on newer technologies such as AI, Cloud, and Blockchain, to ensure that graduates are prepared to address today’s most prevalent and pressing problems. At SIPA, Mehemed was a Ipek Cem Taha and Shwan Ibrahim (2015-2016) and SIPA Fund Fellow (2016-2017).

Click here to learn more about Mehemed’s ethos and entrepreneurial journey.


The 2019 SIPA application is open, so keep up with our Admissions Blog here for application tips over the next few months. You can learn more about the MPA in Development Practice program here.

Startup Sesame Features Jennifer Kanyamibwa MIA ’16

We’re resharing this post of featuring Jennifer Kanyamibwa MIA ’16 and dual degree student, with the permission of Startup Sesame.

“Here at #SesameHQ, we believe in the potential for entrepreneurs to change the world, so we make sure our Sesamers are meeting the right people, at the right event & at the right time. We’re proud to have an international pool of mentors & experts helping us support our startups.

Joining this group of #RockstarMentors, we’re excited to introduce you to Jennifer Kanyamibwa, Senior Design Program Manager for the Design and User Research Team at Twitter!

Serendipitously, Jennifer and Suzanne first met in San Francisco during a visit to #SlackHQ, where Jennifer was previously working as Design Studio Manager.

Check out our recent #MentorSpotlight interview with Jennifer 😉

Let’s start with a quick snapshot of your academic & professional background; what path did you take?

I lived, worked and studied in New York City, Brussels, Berlin and San Francisco and hold a Master in International Affairs with a focus on Technology, Media & Communications from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Master in Public Policy with a focus on Public Management from Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. Both my academic and professional experiences provided me with a global understanding of how technology works in every facet of human life.

Tell us more about your experiences in government and finance and how they relate to tech?

Well, I started my career working in the New York City Mayor’s Office in the Bloomberg administration for the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services so all of New York Cities agencies and programs that have to do with public assistance, homelessness services, public hospitals as well as the research and evaluation components of understanding if programs were effective in serving the citizen of New York City etc…these were major programs with many challenges and opportunities and since it was the Bloomberg administration, I learned about the importance of using research and evaluation to solve problems and understand metrics — similar to many approaches used to understand users and metrics in technology.

New York

In terms of finance, I worked as a Global Project Manager at Bloomberg LP where I received my formal project management and operations skills. I managed global finance projects including an award-winning, year-long project where I led Engineering, R&D and Global Payroll teams in São Paulo, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and New York City in the design and implementation of a new global payroll system. After this project I had such a world of experience in (1) Working cross-functionally (2) Breaking down complex issues in order to achieve big results and (3) Understanding the global impact of improved technologies and the cultural competency needed to manage and inspire global team — -these are lessons I have brought to every job and tech since then. Whether it be the consultative work I did with Nike, my current board work as Ambassador Council member for International Crisis Group or even the academic work I did in grad school at Columbia University and the Hertie School of Government in Berlin, Germany — these three lessons are my guiding lights.

Since you are new to Twitter, what are some things you are looking to achieve with your role?

At Twitter, we (my manager and myself) are building up the Strategy and Operations arm of the Design and User Research Department. What this means is that as the Design and User Research Department scales, I am building out the processes and cultural components to ease collaboration and amplify effectiveness, not only across product disciplines, but also between the increasingly complex world of Product Design and User Research. We are the arm that does all the strategic and operational things to retain and find talent and to scale and buildout a world class design org at Twitter. It’s a very exciting role that combines my passions and expertise in design ops, program management, operations and strategy.

Twitter Headquarters (SFO)

What are some of your favorite books, magazines or podcasts that inform and/or relate to your work?

In terms of magazines, I love Communication Arts it’s an amazing publication that covers the best in graphic design, advertising, photography, illustration and interactive media. Its very creative and really inspiring. I also love the book Designing Design which is a great book on design thinking by Japanese graphic designer Kenya Hara.

My favorite design podcast is Revison Path which is a weekly showcase of the world’s leading Black creatives, graphic designers, web designers, product designers and web developers. My love for learning more about design was a direct result of working with extremely talented designers at Slack and Tech Open Air. Particularly Angelica MckinleyChris ReathViet Huynh (all based in the Bay Area and NYC) Amit Barnea and John Michael (both based in Berlin)

I am also super inspired by the cultural and artistic writing of Antwaun Sargent (who is a prominent art critic, prolific writer and a friend) his work is creative, passionate and forward thinking — all things I believe are also critical to good design.

Last but certainly not least, what is your experience with Tech events?

I actually got my start in tech with Tech Open Air (TOA.life Editorial) in Berlin, Germany. I had a position as Special Advisor to the CEO/Founder Niko LeWoi (aka Mr. TOA) (great boss and mentor!). I started off doing research around tech policy issues for example driverless cars and then I ended up working on presentations about emerging tech ecosystems and finally working with the Program Team, Production Team and the Design Studio at TOA with projects and during the entire festival, I shadowed the CEO it was AMAZING!

I also got to speak at Pirate Summit in Cologne, Germany. I spoke on two panels: Getting More Women into Tech and The Future of European Tech Ecosystems: London, Berlin, Paris. Pirate Summit (PIRATE.global) was such a unique and exhilarating experience; and I had A LOT of fun and learned so much from all the international presenters and attendees.”

SIPA Stories with Katie Jacobs Stanton and Mayor Eric Garcetti

We hosted an energetic and busy Summerfest NYC yesterday and met so many fantastic people. Thank you to all who came to network with us and the other top policy schools. If you’re in the D.C. area and are interested in graduate programs in international affairs, stop by Summerfest D.C. tonight.

A common question from prospective students last night was about how the MIA, MPA, or MPA-DP program would help them in their future careers. Who better to answer this question than two former students / current alumni?

Katie Jacobs Stanton (MIA ’95) shares how her SIPA education was applicable across her career in government and technology. She is the chief marketing officer of Color and former VP of global media for Twitter.

For a different perspective, Eric Garcetti (MIA ’93) was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2013 and speaks to how he wants Los Angeles to “become an example of how we bring folks across cultures together to build a new city.”

You can meet more of the people devoted to addressing public policy challenges at SIPA Stories.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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