Who We Are

Georgetown Public Policy Student Association Board 2016

Executive Board

The GPPSA Executive Board is popularly elected by the McCourt student community. Elections are held in the spring of each year.


President: Madwa-Nika Phanord-Cadet Email

The President is the official voice of McCourt student body and serves as a liaison between McCourt’s student government—GPPSA—and all other university and non-university bodies or representatives. The President oversees the general functioning of GPPSA. The President is responsible for appointing representatives to boards/committees as necessary in collaboration with GPPSA. The President is responsible for seeing that the duties of all GPPSA positions and standing and ad-hoc committees are carried out.

Madwa-Nika is the elected President of GPPSA, as well as a co-founder of GU Votes, within the McCourt School’s Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics). Last year, she served as First Year Vice-President of GPPSA and on GU Politics’ inaugural Student Advisory Board, where she led the organization’s civic engagement initiatives on campus. International student born and raised in Québec, Canada, to Haitian parents, she is known for her passion for commitment and contagious energy.

Before McCourt, Madwa-Nika practiced as a commercial lawyer within leading private law firms in Montreal, Canada and in Beijing, China, where she developed an academic interest for international economic law and related policy issues. She also counts several years of service in student government and Canadian politics.

Madwa-Nika has received several prizes related to her social involvement, including the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation Excellence Award, the “Coup de Coeur” award from the Montreal’s Young Haitian Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Harry Jerome Leadership Award from the Black Business and Professional Association, an organization that rewards Black personalities across Canada that have excelled in their respective fields.

In her spare time, Madwa-Nika enjoys reading, writing, travelling, cooking, and practicing yoga. Besides English, she speaks French, Haitian Creole and is conversant in Spanish.

  • First-Year Representative: Zezhou Cai

Vice President: Anushree Banerjee | Email


The Vice President serves as a liaison to the Georgetown University and MSPP alumni communities by serving on the GU Board of Governors and the MSPP Alumni Board. The Vice President also oversees and supports the General Assembly representatives; is responsible for facilitating two annual Town Hall meetings, in consultation with the Dean of MSPP and the President; and organizes one student/alumni event per academic year in conjunction with the MSPP Alumni Board. The Vice President is Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, which meets periodically to discuss academic concerns of the student body.

Anushree Banerjee is the Vice President for GPPSA, as well as Treasurer of the South Asian Policy Research Initiative (SAPRI). Last year she served as the First-Year Diversity Representative for GPPSA and Policy Chair for SAPRI. Anushree has a B.A. in Government from the College of William & Mary (hark upon the gale) and has lived in Washington, D.C. since 2012. She worked as a government consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in D.C. focusing on international development and risk prior to joining McCourt. Anushree’s policy areas of interest are civil wars, ethnic conflict, civilian victimization, genocide, and post-war reconstruction and reconciliation. Regionally, she has experience primarily in the Balkans, but also the Middle East, South and Central America, and South Asia. Anushree has had internships at the Department of Homeland Security where she worked on Caribbean policy, and spent the summer interning with the Department of State at the Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. This year she will continue working with the Department of State with the Office of Global Food Security.

When not at school or work, Anushree enjoys posting cat pictures on Instagram (@anushree), watching documentaries on human rights violations, and taking Cosmo quizzes.

  •  First-Year Representative: Kelley Schneider

Secretary: Katherine Bentley | Email

katherine_bentleyThe Secretary records attendance and votes and takes minutes of General Assembly meetings as well as solicits relevant items and disseminates General Assembly meeting agendas. The Secretary chairs the Rules Committee, which meets periodically to discuss GPPSA rules, by-laws, or constitutional amendments, and also chairs the Elections Committee, which determines electioneering rules and procedures and oversees elections. The Secretary maintains the GPPSA website and the MSPP calendar of student events and coordinates event scheduling and TIPS service for GPPSA and MSPP student groups.

Katherine is a second-year full time MPP student and serves as the Secretary of GPPSA. Katherine has degrees in Economics and Political Science from Lake Forest College and is originally from Lockport, Illinois. Katherine’s policy areas of interest include health care and financial regulation. Katherine currently works as an intern with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight within the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants in the DC area, listening to health policy podcasts, sleeping, and watching too much reality television.

  • First-Year Representative: Brianna Fernandez

Treasurer: Andrew Kitchel | Email

The Treasurer develops, maintains, and makes publicly available GPPSA’s financial records. The Treasurer also provides the Executive Board with monthly discretionary and contingency fund balance updates and meets on a regular basis with the MSPP Administrative Officer. He/she manages the overall reimbursement system, provides support to other student groups on budgetary matters, and processes all GPPSA reimbursements. The Treasurer creates the annual budget request in coordination with the President. The Treasurer chairs the Appropriations Committee, which makes decisions on student group funding allocations.

Andrew is a second-year full time MPP student and serves as the Treasurer of GPPSA. Andrew has degrees in Biology from the University of Puget Sound and Political Science from the University of Oregon and is originally from Eugene, Oregon but has lived in Washington state and Idaho before moving to Washington, DC. He worked in marketing after college before moving into research, data analysis, and working on political campaigns in Oregon. Andrew’s policy areas of interest include science and technology, clean and renewable energy, and data innovation.  Andrew is a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Data Innovation and works with the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown.  Previously, he has interned at the US Census Bureau and worked as a Research Assistant for the Department of Government at Georgetown and the University of Oregon.

When not working on problem sets or spending office hours with Schone, Andrew spends his time watching Oregon sports (Go Ducks!), watching the Green Bay Packers or Portland Trailblazers, listening to podcasts, starting a new book before finishing the last ones, and enjoying the great city of DC.  You can probably find him in the Old North Lounge.

  •  First-Year Representative: Gianna Fenaroli


Program Representatives

MPP-Evening Program Representative: Greg Lyons | Email

IMG_0140The MPP Evening Program (MPP-EP) Representative advocates for MPP-Evening Program student concerns before the McCourt administration and faculty and relays MPP evening student concerns at General Assembly meetings. The MPP-EP Representative works with the Executive Board members to organize events and involve MPP Evening Program students in activities.

Greg Lyons is a second year Master’s in Public Policy student at McCourt. He is originally from upstate New York, and received a degree in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University. Since his graduation, he has worked on gubernatorial campaigns, on Capitol Hill, at POLITICO, and is currently working within the policy and research branch of the FDIC.

While not in class or at work, Greg works with the Georgetown Environment Initiative to research the effectiveness of various environmental policies, leaving just enough time in the week to take his black lab, Charlie, out for a few hikes out in Virginia.

Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) Program Representative: Kaitlyn Turner | Email

The Master of International Development Policy Program (MIDP) Representative advocates for MIDP student concerns before the McCourt administration and faculty and relays MIDP student issues at General Assembly meetings. The MIDP Representative works with the Executive Board members to organize events and involve MIDP students in activities.

Kaitlyn Turner is a second year Master’s of International Development Policy student at McCourt. She grew up in rural Missouri and received a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from from Baylor University. Kaitlyn has since worked for several small NGOs dealing with domestic and international poverty issues. She continues to focus on policy that targets poverty around the globe. Over the past summer, she worked for Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation (Gui2de) on their Zusha! program in Kampala, Uganda.

  • First-Year Representative: Carrie Vergel de Dios

Master of Public Management (MPM) Program Representative: Trevor Williams | Email

The Master of Public Management Program (MPM) Representative advocates for MPM student concerns before the McCourt administration and faculty and relays MPM student issues at General Assembly meetings. The MPM Representative works with the Executive Board members to organize events and involve MPM students in activities.

CPT Trevor Williams is the Master of Policy Management (MPM) GPPSA Representative. He is attending Georgetown as part of the Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Fellowship program.

Trevor is from Trivoli, Illinois and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science in International Relations. After attending West Point he was commissioned as a Field Artillery officer. He has deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Additionally, he was a member of the United States Men’s National Team Handball team. While studying at McCourt, he is focused on energy and defense policy as well as how they intersect.

  • First-Year Representative: Julian Colombo


Director of Alumni Outreach: Janani Shankaran | Email

Shankaran_Janani_0The Director of Alumni Outreach plans networking and career events with current students and alumni. The Director of Alumni Outreach works with both the GPPSA Vice President and Career Services to plan events.

Janani Shankaran is GPPSA’s Director of Alumni Outreach. Prior to graduate school, Janani worked at an urban planning non-profit in the NYC metro area. Her recent work focused on developing a monitoring program to measure the success of a regional water resource protection policy, and a community revitalization plan for Newark, NJ in association with a subway line extension. Janani received her B.A. in political science and economics from Rutgers University. At Georgetown, she is also involved in McCourt Energy and Environment.

  • First-Year Representative: Ti Chen

Director of Communications and Outreach: Katherine Stewart | Email

The Director of Communications and Outreach manages GPPSA’s social media accounts, assembles content for the GPPSA website, works with the administration to coordinate GPPSA’s outreach to prospective and newly admitted students, assists MSPP student groups with outreach and messaging as requested, and works with the GPPSA officers to promote the goals and messages of McCourt’s student government.

Katherine Stewart is beginning her second year in the full-time MPP program. Her interests at McCourt focus on domestic social policy including women’s issues and legislative policymaking. Since coming to McCourt she has been involved as the Social Media Coordinator for GPPR and as a Legislative Fellow on the Hill. She graduated from University of South Carolina with degrees in History and Anthropology and worked for three years at the South Carolina State House.

Director of Diversity Programs: Leyla Jiang | Email

IMG_4539The Director of Diversity Programs is responsible for the promotion and celebration of diversity at MSPP and serves as the diversity liaison to other MSPP student organizations. The Director of Diversity Programs serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee, which meets periodically to discuss and organize matters pertaining to diversity and events.

Leyla Jiang is a second year full-time student in MPP program. Her interests at McCourt focus on energy policy and social policy particularly on retirement security. Leyla earned her Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Economics from Ohio University. At Georgetown, she is also the president of East Asian Policy Association (EAPA), and a member of the McCourt Energy and Environment.

She was born in China. In her youth, she was devoted to travel around world to learn different languages and cultures. In her spare time, Leyla enjoys running, boxing, and practicing yoga. She is also a big fan of Rembrandt paintings.

  • First-Year Representative: Qianyin Deng

Director of Environmental Initiatives: Justin Goss | Email

 12111960_10153125472686109_3821506558768733240_n-500x500The Director of Environmental Initiatives is responsible for the promotion of environmental practices  at MSPP and serves as the liaison on environmental issues to other MSPP student organizations. The Director of Environmental Initiatives also works with GPPSA and the McCourt administration to improve and develop improved environmental practices in McCourt.

Justin Goss is this year’s Director of Environmental Initiatives at McCourt, as well as Editor in Chief of the Georgetown Public Policy Review. He was appointed to the role last year, and began an ongoing project to improve McCourt’s waste management practices. He hails from Northern California where he fulfilled the cultural stereotype by developing an interest in environmental policy from an early age. Previously he interned for the California Assembly where he helped write a bill to regulate ‘vampire electronics’, and worked for an environmental lobbying firm on energy efficiency and take-back policies.

Since coming to McCourt he has branched out, exploring tech policy at Department of Commerce and state budget operations at California’s Department of Finance. Off campus you can find him rooting for Giants (baseball team) and the Warriors, and bemoaning the fate of the 49ers and the lack of Mexican food in the District.

  • First-Year Representative: Emily Schmidlin

Director of External Affairs: Shashank Rai | Email

The Vice President of External Affairs is our representative to the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) and is MSPP’s representative to the Graduate Public Affairs Council (GPAC). The Vice President of External Affairs serves as a liaison to official student organizations at MSPP and represents the interests of these organizations when voting.

Shashank hails from India wherein he helped reform the school education system in the country. He also worked closely on youth issues and assisted the Government on initiatives for skill development. At Georgetown, he has previously been a Team Lead at McCourt Policy Innovation Lab and will manage the government affairs for the Lab in the session 2016-17. Shashank also founded the Georgetown Negotiation Network which will start its operations from Fall 2016. Shashank is also a big soccer aficionado and a die hard fan of Chelsea Football Club. Go Blues!

  • First-Year Representative: Xuanqi Wu

Director of International Student Programs: Béatrice Leydier | Email

The Director of International Student Programs is responsible for responding to MSPP international student concerns and for representing their interests at General Assembly meetings. The International Student Programs Director works with the Executive Board members and MSPP staff to organize events and involve international students in activities. They also serve as Chair of the International Students Committee, which meets periodically to discuss and organize matters pertaining to international student concerns.

Béatrice is completing this year her Master’s in Public Policy at McCourt, as a dual degree with a Master’s in Management from HEC Paris’ Grande Ecole. She was born and raised in the south-west of France and is consequently an incurable cheese and rugby enthusiast.

Béatrice is looking to focus her career on private sector development, investing in innovative companies and start-ups in developing countries to leverage the immense talents and opportunities these countries have to offer.

She co-chaired the 2016 edition of the annual McCourt Policy Conference, which tackled the “(R)Evolution of the Global Economy” by bringing to campus policymakers and shakers in new and innovative formats. She’s involved in the creation of the USA Branch of Play It On, an international NGO bringing people together with football (soccer), and sometimes also blogs in French on domestic policy matters, when she’s not busy moving to a different country, learning one more foreign language or trying new foods from all over.

  • First-Year Representatives: Tiffany Yang & Eva Zhang

Director of Service Programs: Caitlin Phillips | Email

The Director of Service Programs is responsible for overseeing all of GPPSA’s service activities, including a service project during Orientation. The Director of Service Programs serves as Chair of the Service Committee, which meets periodically to plan service events and to support projects for other student groups.

Caitlin is a second-year Master of Public Policy student at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. She is interested equitable community development, preserving the affordable housing stock, and economic mobility, particularly in the Washington, DC area. Caitlin also holds a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys visiting local dive bars (you can find her at Big Hunt or Madams Organ), finding the best breakfast sandwich in DC, and of course… community service!

  • First-Year Representative: Anna Vasylytsya

Director of Social Programs: Delaney Luna | Email

The Director of Social Programs is responsible for overseeing all of GPPSA’s social activities, including activities during orientation and Policy Prom. The Social Programs Director is also the Chair of the Social Committee, which meets periodically to discuss and develop social events and programs.

Delaney Luna is a second year MPP candidate at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Earning her B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley, she studied political economy and public policy while working in a variety of local government, political, and academic settings. Her policy interests include financial security and economic inclusion, and her most recent work experience includes nonprofit asset-building. Delaney is originally from Coronado, CA.

  • First-Year Representative: Dulce Gonzalez

Director of Student Services: Taylor Maag | Email

The Director of Student Services overseas the student mentor program for new students prior to the start of the academic year. Throughout the year The Director of Student services is responsible for planning all student-run aspects of graduation, including fundraising for graduation expenses and the class gift. The Student Services Director serves as Chair of the Graduation Committee, which meets periodically to discuss matters pertaining to graduation. The position acts as another bridge from the student population to GPPSA.

Taylor completed her BA in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2013. She grew up in Marblehead, MA, a suburb right outside of Boston and therefore has strong ties to Boston sports! After graduating, Taylor headed out west and moved to San Diego, CA. While in Southern California she worked for a non-profit, New Alternatives Inc. as a therapeutic behavioral coach, which provided guidance and counseling to disadvantaged youth ages 2-21.

After two years Taylor traveled back east to begin graduate school at McCourt. While here, she is focused on Social policy primarily surrounding health care, education and community development. During her first year at McCourt, Taylor interned on the Hill for Senator Joe Donnelly and is currently interning at Jobs for the Future, a non-profit that develops education and workforce policy to assist with our most underserved populations.