Meet The Team

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Kevin Dong

MPP 2022

Co-Chair

Areas of interest: Healthcare reform, welfare strategies, and equity

Kevin Dong is an MPP2 at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is interested in reforming healthcare, improving welfare programs, and expanding student involvement within and beyond the HKS community. Kevin is experienced in overseeing and implementing federal low-income food programs at food banks, and in investigating health insurance mergers and anticompetitive hospital conduct at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. Kevin enjoys playing the viola, watching baseball, and received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College.

Email:

kevindong@hks.harvard.edu

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Brittany Martinez

MC/MPA 2022

Co-Chair

Areas of interest: Public service, government, and politics.

Brittany Martinez is a Southern California native who graduated with her B.A. from the University of La Verne, double majoring in both English and Speech Communications. Upon graduation, she went on to the Graduate School of Political Management where she earned her Masters in Political Management.

 

Brittany has spent the last eight years working in politics and government.

Email:
brittanymartinez@hks.harvard.edu

Michael Sanchez

MPP 2023

YLC Officer

Areas of interest: Monetary & fiscal policy, government, ​politics

Michael Sanchez is currently a Harvard Kennedy School student and an aspiring elected official. From a young age, Michael has always wanted to help his community through inspiring others and solving issues associated with economic disparities. After finishing his undergraduate education in Economics from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Michael was accepted into the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is learning the dynamics of public policy.

Email:

michael_sanchez@hks.harvard.edu

Liza Maharjan

MPA/ID 2023

Community Partners Officer

Areas of interest: Education, technology, digital government 

Liza is a first year MPA/ID candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, Liza worked as a consultant at the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity practice in Nepal helping manage and deliver a 100-hour data literacy program to journalists, academicians, and civil society members. Earlier in her career, Liza worked as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company. At HKS, Liza is hoping to focus on the role of data and digital technologies to help governments deliver better public programs and policies. Liza holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Smith College, Northampton, MA.

Email:

lmaharjan@hks.harvard.edu

Lex Smith

MPA/MC 2022

YLC Officer

Areas of interest: National security, international relations, government

Lex was born in Honolulu, HI and grew up in Hawaii, California, Washington, and Japan. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007 with an M.A. in Economics and commissioned as an Officer in the United States Navy. He is a P-8A Poseidon pilot and has deployed around the world to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Bahrain, Italy, Norway, Greece, Iceland, and the United Kingdom. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, Anahid, 2-year-old daughter, Penelope, and 12-year-old Labrador Retriever, Rusty.

Email:

lexsmith@hks.harvard.edu

Ayllin Zaldívar

MPA/MC 2022

Community Partners Officer

Areas of interest: fill

MPA Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Public Administration professional with +4 years of experience in international development, with specialized expertise in program management, technical cooperation, and online education programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Unique experience throughout the entire project cycle leading the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of development programs. Committed to public service and to improve the lives of the most vulnerable through the development of social programs with equality.

Email:

ayllinzaldivar@hks.harvard.edu

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is a recent graduate from Harvard Kennedy School with a Mid-Career Master’s in Public Administration and an Edward S. Mason Fellow.
Currently she is enrolled in an Executive MBA program in information technology with core focus in cybersecurity in Ottawa University in Arizona.
 
Having experienced the challenges vulnerable young girls from low-income communities’ face in getting an education, she founded Pearls Africa in 2014. Pearls Africa is an NGO focused on promoting the cause and advancement of vulnerable young girls and women in Africa, by equipping them with functional digital skills and mentorship, these young girls are empowered with an agency to solve problems they are passionate about and placed on a path to economic independence.

Email:

abisoyeajayiakinfolarin@hks.harvard.edu

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin

MPA/MC 2021