Archive for Lemann Fellowship

A View from the Class: Diego Folly de Andrade MPA ’19

The SIPA Office of Alumni and Development is pleased to share A View from the Class, a SIPA stories series featuring current SIPA students, recently graduated alumni, and faculty. In this issue, we feature recent graduate SIPA Diego Folly de Andrade MPA ’19. A second-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) candidate, Diego is concentrating in International Finance and Economic Policy with a specialization in Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis. He is a fellow in SIPA’s International Fellows Program, a Lemann Foundation SIPA Fellow, and a World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program Fellow.

What were you doing prior to attending SIPA?
I worked in the Brazilian Government as a Labor Inspector at the Ministry of Labor and as an International Advisor to the Government Secretary in the Brazilian President’s Office. As a Labor Inspector, I actively participated in the formulation and regulation of the National Occupational and Safety Health (OSH) Policy and helped to improve the living and working conditions of people living in Rio’s poorest communities. I also participated in the Mobile Group for Slave Eradication, helping to release workers from degrading work conditions.

As an Advisor to the Government Secretary, I articulated public policies to promote social development and to facilitate the social dialogue between civil society and Government, and participated in the development of an institutional framework to implement Sustainable Development Goals across Brazil.

Why did you choose SIPA?
SIPA is highly rated with outstanding professors and public practitioners. Moreover, its programs attract diverse and international students with successful career experiences.

What have been some of your standout experiences at SIPA?
I participated in a Capstone workshop with Free The Slaves, researching and developing a monitoring and evaluation tool to measure the socio-economic status of participants in programs combating child domestic servitude in Haiti. I also did a summer internship at Eurasia Group Lab, assessing Brazilian political risk during the presidential elections. I competed in SIPA’s Public Policy Dean’s Challenge Grant student competition. My team, Citizap, is developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) – based virtual assistant that connects people with public agencies in their place of residence. The goal is to improve the quality of public services provided, strengthening digital governance and public engagement in city management.

What are your plans now that you graduated from SIPA?
I plan to return to Brazil and to help design public policies that focus on promoting decent work, sustainable development, and social inclusion.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am grateful to Columbia and SIPA for this amazing experience. I am also thankful for my fellow Seeples for making me feel integrated into the community, for the unique experiences and views, and for the bond of solidarity built during this time.

I look to education as a means of transformation and overcoming obstacles. Throughout my life, the generosity of people who I did not know well helped make my education possible. Thanks to the support and hard work of my parents and to the scholarships and fellowships I have received, I been able to achieve my dreams of studying at highly ranked universities. I hope to do the same for others and dream of ensuring fundamental rights for all Brazilian citizens, so that in the future, all children have the chance to follow their dreams and achieve what they once thought was impossible.

My experience as a Lemann Fellow

Besides the incredible network of SIPA Students and Alumni, being at Columbia gave me the chance to access other great exclusive groups. One of them is the network of Lemann Fellows.

The Lemann Fellowship was established by the Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann, in order to support students that are committed to the overall advancement of Brazil, through their educational and professional experience. The fellowship is is curated by the Lemann Foundation, and includes lifetime access to an incredible network of people (including Jorge Paulo Lemann himself!). If you want to become a Lemann Fellow like me, you need to write a separate essay explaining your connection with Brazil – but always check the website for more information, since the rules of application might change from year to year.

The Lemann Fund also strengthens Columbia University’s research, teaching, and discussion of Latin America. The Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) is one of the nation’s foremost centers in the field and it is the house to the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, that serves as a key focal point for students and faculty with an interest in Brazil. ILAS regularly hosts events related to Latin America (you can check out their full agenda of events here).


Here I am checking in for the event!

Here I am checking in for the event!


In order to achieve its goals, the Lemann Foundation holds regular events inside and outside Brazil. These events are a great opportunity to get Fellows together and foment discussions about Brazil’s hot topics. Every year one major University hosts one of such events, called the Lemann Dialogue. It took place in Stanford, in 2014, and it is scheduled for Harvard, in 2016. But last semester what was hosted by SIPA. The 5th Annual Leman Dialogue (Innovating in the Brazilian Public Sector) was by far one of the best events I saw at Columbia. You could see a complete myriad of Brazilian authorities in the lobby, such as   Ministers, such as Tereza Campello; former head of Brazilian Development Bank, Andre Lara Rezende; Brazilianist, Professor Albert Fishlow; Presidential candidate, Marina Silva, besides Jorge Paulo Lemann . The event’s panels discussed topics such as: | The Current Political and Economic Landscape; Policies and Social Inclusion; Reforming Representative Democracy in the XXI Century; Technology and Citizen Engagement; Urban Development and City Management; Coordinating the Flow: Addressing the Challenges of Urbanization; Innovating in Policy Making for Education (click here for a complete list of topics).

If you want to get a better view of what the event was all about, watch the following short video:

The Fifth Annual Leman Dialogue was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I hope I can make it to the sixth edition!


"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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