About Us



Katie Grover (Editor-in-Chief)

Katie Grover is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford of Public Policy. She is a research assistant at the University’s Institute for Social Research where she analyzes demographic trends in the United States. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.




Will Sims (Editor-in-Chief)

Will comes to Ford with a focus on international development economics and data science. His previous experiences include business strategy consulting with Accenture, and youth development work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. He studied philosophy and statistics at the University of Chicago, and was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii.




Elizabeth Balboa (Managing Editor)

Elizabeth is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate. Before joining the Ford School, she worked in financial journalism, served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Detroit high schools, and volunteered as a peace educator in D.C. schools and homeless shelters. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences from Grand Valley State University.




Kalena Thomhave (Online Managing Editor)

Kalena is a first-year Master of Public Policy student focused on poverty and inequality. She is a freelance policy journalist and a research assistant at Poverty Solutions.


Mariatu Santiago (Assistant Online Managing Editor)

Previously, Mariatu served as a development assistant for New America’s development team and was a research assistant with New America’s Resource Security program. In her spare time, she writes articles which have appeared in Slate, Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and New America’s Weekly publication. She also provides volunteer support to the non-profit “One Moore Book”.




Kate Bell

Kate Bell is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate focused on state and local policy. She received her B.A. in Economics and Politics at Mount Holyoke College in 2015. Prior to attending the Ford School, Kate served the people of Boston, Massachusetts, as a Neighborhood Liaison for City Councilor Josh Zakim.




Jennifer A. Chasseur

Jennifer Chasseur is a second year Master of Public Policy student at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Her policy interests center on international economics and finance as well as science and technology. Before coming to the Ford School, Jennifer worked at a science policy and medical research advocacy firm to improve national funding for scientific research.



Meg Duffy

Meg Duffy is a third-year master’s student pursuing a dual degree in Public Policy and Public Health. Meg is interested in the role of policies and institutions in creating and maintaining racialized heath disparities. In her spare time, she coaches the Michigan women’s ultimate frisbee team, Flywheel.



Carolina Dominguez

Carolina is a first-year MPP student interested in international policy as it relates to economic development and issues of corruption. Prior to coming to the Ford School, she worked in Washington D.C. in international education, domestic advocacy and on a campaign.




Chadd Dowding

Chadd grew up in the rural area of Jackson County, MI. He then pursued his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University’s James Madison College and graduated in 2011 with a degree in International Relations (IR) and Comparative Cultures and Politics (CCP). After graduation, Chadd worked for General Electric Aviation as a contract manager in-training learning the business segments and living in Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, and Boston. From 2013 to 2019, he worked for Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center as the Program Director of the Cook Leadership Academy. Now, he is attending the Ford School to pursue an MPP and a career advancing human rights, especially in support of the international LGBTQ+ community.


Trish Fisher

For the last four years, Trish worked as a management consultant advising nonprofits and foundations on strategy, business planning, program development, and strategic restructuring projects. Trish graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2011 with a double major in History and Middle Eastern & North African Studies, and studied abroad in Egypt and Lebanon. Trish’s future career ambitions are in nonprofit, philanthropic, and government program evaluation.


Francisco Gonzalez

Francisco is passionate about creating solutions to meet global challenges whether that be in the realm of tech consulting, international affairs, political economy, or security. Francisco is interested in researching, formulating, and implementing policy initiatives in the public or private sector.




Maxwell Kaufman 

Maxwell Kaufman is a first-year Master of Public Policy student. He has six years of professional experience in community development, human rights research, and regional planning in the City of Detroit, India, and rural Minnesota. Maxwell’s academic interests are in diplomacy, policy analysis, and international economic development.





Ashley Nowicki

Ashley is a second year MPP & MAE candidate, interested in public economics, regulation, inequality, and anti-trust policy. As a first-generation student, she hopes to use my experiences and knowledge to help the public, improving the lives of others.




Alex Serwer

Alex Serwer worked in healthcare strategy and operations consulting for 5 years at Deloitte in New York. Following his time at Ford, he plans to improve public policies using behavioral science.





James VanSteel

James VanSteel is a second year graduate student pursuing a dual degree program of a Master of Public Policy from the Ford School and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Taubman College. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2015 with degrees in Political Theory and English, and worked for three years at the Michigan Public Service Commission as an energy market analyst prior to coming to the University of Michigan. He grew up in the Mid-Michigan area and loves exploring the state’s many beautiful parks.