2018-2019 Executive Board:
Indira Bhattacharjee, Editor in Chief
Indira Bhattacharjee is a second year student in the Master’s of Public Policy program and is Editor in Chief for PPJ. Her policy interests are immigration and detention center reform. She is passionate about immigrant rights, having assisted with visa petitions and promoting awareness about the need for inclusive immigration reform. Prior to AU, Indira worked at several non-profits helping intellectually and physically disadvantaged adults/children, asylees/refugees, victims of human trafficking, and DACA recipients. During her time at AU, Indira has interned at A Wider Circle in their Workforce Development department helping local DMV residents find job opportunities and achieving financial independence through employment. She has also worked at the Washington College of Law as a Graduate Admissions Assistant, working to help prospective students both domestic and abroad further their legal expertise in the LL.M. and SJD programs. She is currently a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security in the GAO/OIG Audit Liaison unit working toward facilitating audits DHS-wide.
Indira Bhattacharjee, Interim President
Farrah Pappa, Managing Online Editor
Farrah is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy, with a concentration in Education Policy at American University. Her goal is to obtain the necessary skills to advocate and consult with state actors on K12 school reform, urban education problems and equal opportunity, in hopes of providing our youth with a rehabilitated education system. Through her volunteer experience in a downtown St. Louis school, Farrah was exposed to the disparities of resources that inner city schools face. The students’ resiliency and perseverance catapulted her into wanting to reform education policy. While in D.C., Farrah has interned at a non-profit Child Care Aware of America that works with families, providers and local governments to ensure quality child care is accessible to all communities. She also interned at a bipartisan think tank, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), as an education policy intern working on the Human Dignity Project and crafting research briefs on the 2nd Chance Pell Pilot Program. She currently is working as a Policy Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget within the Federal Financial Management team serving the Executive Office of the President. At OFFM, she helps create guidance on grants management, IT spending accountability and transparency for taxpayers in accordance with the Presidential Management Agenda – for the twenty-three agencies under the CFO Act.
Sarah Henry, Managing Print Editor
Sarah is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Administration, with a focus in Nonprofit Management. Originally from a rural Midwestern community, Sarah lived in South Florida prior to matriculating at American University, and worked in the field in a variety of state and local campaigns, developing a deep respect for grassroots activism. Through her volunteer and professional work with various nonreligious and secular organizations, Sarah has developed a passion for creating more inclusive spaces throughout the country, with a focus on spaces for secular children and families. Sarah currently works as the Communications Associate at the American Humanist Association, and is excited to continue her education and passion projects in the capital of the country.
Tysianna Marino, Communications Director
Tysianna is originally from Pascagoula, MS. In growing up in the rural south and observing first hand the ways that poverty and race work together to determine the life trajectories of many, she was inspired to pursue her Master’s in Public Policy, with a concentration in Social Policy at American University. Ultimately, Tysianna aspires to return to Mississippi to leverage her knowledge as an activist and policy writer on the state level by working with legislators to revise anti-poverty policy initiatives. The combination of poverty and race has proved to be a influencer of educational outcomes, housing opportunities, and likelihood of coming in contact with the criminal justice system. Because Tysianna believes that this multifaceted problem deserves a complex, nuanced approached, she has dedicated her life to figuring out what that looks like in practice. She currently serves as a Policy Associate at the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters where she is working with a team to develop a grants management training system for all DHS grant recipients.
Alex Gillett, Treasurer
Alex(andra) Gillett is the treasurer for PPJ this year and is a second year MPA student with an emphasis in International Development Education. She has spent most of her college years studying Latin America and International Development at Brigham Young University. She first became enamored with the diverse D.C. environment in 2015 as a participant in an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus conference at the University of Maryland. After continuing her studies in social innovation through BYU’s Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance, she interned at Ashoka, a major social enterprise, and researched ways how to empower female social entrepreneurs. She is currently working at FINCA International, a world leader in microfinancing and hopes to work there permanently. Her dream job would involve working with education systems in Latin America. Her favorite activities include anything involving the outdoors and recent findings on Che Guevara.
Lauren Kostich, Events Coordinator
Lauren is a first-year student pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy. After graduating from Appalachian State with a BA in Political Science and Russian Language, Lauren went to work as a TESOL educator in Moscow, Russia for two years. Upon her return to the United States, she served in AmeriCorps through the education-focused nonprofit City Year in Boston, MA. There Lauren worked in a dual language school in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. Having tackled both the private and public sector of primary and secondary education, Lauren then moved onto higher education, working in the finance office of Fisher College. At American she intends to switch gears into the sphere of international development.
Ramon Rubio, Associate Online Editor
Ramon is a first year Public Policy graduate student at American University specializing in Advanced Policy Analysis. His goal is to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to promote an economy that works for the average American and expands human potential. Ramon has interned with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee where he assisted the Field and Targeting teams elect Democrats to the House of Representatives. Concurrently Ramon holds a research assistantship at the Kogod School of Business where he researches the emerging markets in the DC metro area surrounding cyber-security.
Brittany Webb, Associate Print Editor
Brittany is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Social Policy at American University. She has worked in affordable housing management for the past four years and developed specific interests in poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. She has significant experience with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC), HUD, and RD transitional housing programs. Through her experience in housing, Brittany has touched on policy issues including welfare and social programs, immigration, violence against women, fair housing law, and housing and urban development. She intends to migrate her career towards these broader policy issues and focus on research and policy evaluation. Brittany is currently a Project Manager for TM Associates Management in Rockville, Maryland.