Today, please welcome Erin Lue-Hing. She is a 2nd-year MPA student concentrating in Urban and Social Policy and specializing in the US Region. Her background comprises law, health policy, social policy, advocacy for under-served communities and government administration.  Prior to SIPA, Erin worked as a Data Analyst and Project Manager for the New Jersey Homeless Management Information System under the Department of Community Affairs. She graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Policy and a minor in Legal Studies as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar. She was elected and served as the Future Leader for the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board, Northeast USA from 2014-2017, and was the 2017 recipient of the Jamaica Governor-General Award for Achievement. 


What attracted you to SIPA and Columbia University?

After working in state government for several years, I became fascinated with the role of leaders and decision-makers at the state and local level, and wanted to learn more about what went into the decision-making process for policy-making. I wanted to understand how leaders were able to help communities, what best practices were, and how to economically develop urban and other communities. Having also served as a leader in the Jamaican-American community, I felt that incorporating an international perspective into my leadership was crucial within an ever-globalizing world. SIPA was a natural fit for me and has given me invaluable exposure on how to be a leader in a domestic and global context.


What experiences do you think prepared you to attend SIPA?

Being in the policy world prior to SIPA and seeing how things actually happen behind-the-scenes was extremely useful for understanding all of my SIPA courses thus far. Having to multi-task as a leader also helped me to manage SIPA’s rigorous courseload.


What has been the best part of your SIPA experience?

The best part of my SIPA experience has been the friends that I have made and the connections to leaders in the local and international community. Meeting former UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon was incredible! Going to a school that is situated in one of the greatest cities in the world has opened up so many opportunities and allowed me the chance to enrich a very lively community.


What has been the most challenging part of your SIPA experience?

 Getting used to student life once again after working for several years. SIPA also comprises a lot of group work in addition to lectures, so I had to plan my time very carefully to ensure success.


What kind of work do you hope to do when you graduate?

 I hope to work in both local and eventually federal government leadership to effect change in our neediest communities through sound policy- and decision-making. Having competent leadership can make a huge difference for so many citizens.