Archive for tech

Co-founder of Think.iT, Mehemed Bougsea ‘17, Shares His Entrepreneurial Journey

Mehemed Bougsea MPA-DP ’17 is transforming Tunsia’s tech sector with his start-up Think.iT.

Bougsea founded Think.iT after many years of desiring equality in tech markets across different countries. Growing up between Libya and Germany, Mehemed saw the vast difference in openings for jobs in the tech sector. He saw this as an injustice to gifted and skilled young STEM students, who had immense potential for success but who lacked the qualifications to meet the demand for lucrative jobs in the field.

Think.iT is based in Tunisia where 57 percent of the workforce is unemployed and where the local economy cannot produce jobs in the fields to match the talent of the workforce. Think.iT’s programs focus on training young students on newer technologies such as AI, Cloud, and Blockchain, to ensure that graduates are prepared to address today’s most prevalent and pressing problems. At SIPA, Mehemed was a Ipek Cem Taha and Shwan Ibrahim (2015-2016) and SIPA Fund Fellow (2016-2017).

Click here to learn more about Mehemed’s ethos and entrepreneurial journey.

The 2019 SIPA application is open, so keep up with our Admissions Blog here for application tips over the next few months. You can learn more about the MPA in Development Practice program here.

SIPA Stories with Katie Jacobs Stanton and Mayor Eric Garcetti

We hosted an energetic and busy Summerfest NYC yesterday and met so many fantastic people. Thank you to all who came to network with us and the other top policy schools. If you’re in the D.C. area and are interested in graduate programs in international affairs, stop by Summerfest D.C. tonight.

A common question from prospective students last night was about how the MIA, MPA, or MPA-DP program would help them in their future careers. Who better to answer this question than two former students / current alumni?

Katie Jacobs Stanton (MIA ’95) shares how her SIPA education was applicable across her career in government and technology. She is the chief marketing officer of Color and former VP of global media for Twitter.

For a different perspective, Eric Garcetti (MIA ’93) was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2013 and speaks to how he wants Los Angeles to “become an example of how we bring folks across cultures together to build a new city.”

You can meet more of the people devoted to addressing public policy challenges at SIPA Stories.

Policy Professional Training – For All Sectors

Graduates of our program go in a lot of different directions.  Policy training can benefit those interested in all three major sectors: profit, not-for-profit, and public.  A policy based mindset can help individuals succeed in all walks of life, and policy training can actually open doors.

Recently Sandhya Chari, a current student that used to work at Google and is now pursuing Economic and Political Development at SIPA, took a moment to interview Gabriel Stricker, an alumnus of our program currently working employed with the storied company.

GabrielStrickerName: Gabriel Stricker
Degree Program: MIA
Concentration: IFB (now International Finance and Economic Policy)
Graduation Year: 2001
Current Position: Director, Global Communications & Public Affairs
Organization Name: Google, Inc.
Organization Location (city, country): Mountain View, CA

Describe your background prior to attending SIPA?

Before attending SIPA I worked on political campaigns – some international, some in the US.  Nearly all of them were for underdog, progressive candidates… and many of them lost.

What are you doing now?

I’m currently Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google, where I head Search communications – addressing everything from web search and other search properties (such as Maps, Earth, News and Books) to issues pertaining to partnerships, content, and the use of intellectual property.

Why did you choose to attend at SIPA?

I really wanted to get a solid grasp of finance and business, but in the context of international affairs.  It was clear to me that the theories of commerce and trade were best understood in that context rather than in a vacuum.  I was also impressed that International Affairs students had to have fluency in a second language.  That prerequisite alone made for a diverse student population, and one in which people approached things differently if only because they brought some entirely different worldview to the table.

What was it like to attend graduate school/work in New York City?

It was just amazing.  You’d read about folks in the New York Times one morning, and that night they’d give a lecture in your class – or maybe they’d actually be teaching your class!  I’ll never forget taking finance and accounting from Andrew Danzig who was an adjunct in the evening, and by day was a financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank.  It was incredible to get instruction from someone who was putting the principles he taught into practice every single day.

What’s your most vivid impression or recollection of SIPA?

I remember taking a course on privatization, and our professor began the class by explaining that he had just flown in from Russia where he had been providing guidance on privatizing its telecommunications industry.  There were so many times when instructors’ real-time experiences were far more compelling than any textbook could ever achieve.

"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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