Public Service Career Day

Sep 22, 2023, 8:30 am5:00 pm
  • Graduate Students
  • Undergraduate Students


Event Description

Learn about the wide range of public service career options Princetonians can pursue. This event will feature keynotes, panels, breakout sessions and networking.

Students will learn about different careers that are possible within public service including federal government, local/state government, nonprofits, NGOs and think tanks.

Alumni will talk about how to break into public service and discuss their career paths.

Co-sponsored by the School of Public and International Affairs and the Center for Career Development.

Email Satomi Chudasama ([email protected]) to request accommodations at least 2 weeks prior to the program.

Alumni Participants

Nick Wu '09

Major: SPIA
Current Company: U.S. Department of the Treasury 
Current Title: Policy advisor, office of recovery programs

After graduating as a SPIA major from Princeton, Nick worked at Bain and Company and briefly at a food security focused nonprofit before joining Treasury last August.


Debby Greenberg '87

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Service Coordination Inc.
Current Title: Enterprise system administrator

My career path has evolved through the decades -- from early explorations in health policy and international development, to management of physician practices, to software implementation for state human services agencies, to software development for federal agencies.

This year I landed in a position to put the pieces of my past together for a large nonprofit organization that serves people with disabilities funded by Medicaid. I am working as an internal consultant to manage the development of a new software system, while supporting and mentoring younger managers to do that work collaboratively. 

I also offer my ideas and insights to senior leaders who need a ground-level understanding of operations to transform the organization through technology. I am hoping to host a PICS summer intern next year and to build a relationship with Princeton students and young alumni, especially but not exclusively for people with disabilities.


Karen Z. Tay '10

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Threshold Allies
Current Title: Founder and CEO

Karen Tay’s career has spanned senior leadership in business and government, Silicon Valley and Singapore. In these roles, she has leveraged technology, policy and global talent communities for social impact: boosting equality in cities, uplifting underserved populations and women.

Currently, Karen is creating a technology platform to help professional women navigate workplace adversity safely, practically, and at scale. She is also an executive coach & consultant to tech CEOs, CTOs and Cabinet Ministers spanning Silicon Valley and Asia. She is Faculty at Singularity University and a member of the Women's Forum Editorial Board, driving the agenda for gender equality alongside members of the Obama Foundation and National Association of Professional Women. 

Previously, Karen was Head (Senior Director) of Strategy and Operations and Chief of Staff to CEO as Iterative Health grew from 50 to 200 over three cities after a $180M raise. She led global technology talent operations for Singapore's Smart Nation Initiative (Prime Minister's Office) and Economic Development Board, running a global team which multiplied the technology talent pipeline to the Singapore Government by 20X. She also served as a  strategy advisor to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Cabinet Ministers on technology talent. She started her career designing and implementing billion-dollar equitable education (pre-school, vocational higher education) and social policy reforms in Singapore. 

Karen has been recognized as a Womens Forum Rising Talent, Business Times Top Women in STEM, and Asia21 Next Generation Fellow. She was a member of Singapore's prestigious Administrative Service for Government leaders, a Public Service Commission Scholar, and a recipient of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs Richard H. Ulman Award.


Scott D. Levy '02

Major: SPIA
Current Company:
Current Title: Chief policy counsel

Scott is currently Chief Policy Counsel at, a bipartisan organization committed to ending mass incarceration and transforming the immigration system, where he works on criminal justice and immigration policy reform efforts at the state and national level.  

Prior to, Scott worked for 14 years as an attorney at The Bronx Defenders, a holistic public defender office in the South Bronx, where he built and managed the office’s public policy practice. While at The Bronx Defenders, Scott was deeply involved in a number of criminal legal system reform efforts in New York, including the movement to rewrite New York’s bail and discovery laws, a successful campaign to eliminate driver’s license suspensions for unpaid traffic tickets, and the effort to pass Clean Slate legislation to seal criminal conviction records.  

He also managed the Marijuana Arrest Project and was lead counsel in Trowbridge v. DiFiore, a federal civil rights case challenging delays in misdemeanor cases in Bronx Criminal Court. Scott graduated from the Princeton School of International and Public Affairs in 2002 and received his J.D. in 2007 from Harvard Law School, where he was the Special Projects Editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Nancy Gertner in the Federal District Court of Massachusetts before joining The Bronx Defenders.


Deirdre Shannon '10

Major: SPIA
Current Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Current Title: Senior advisor, program training

Deirdre manages trainings, skills development and capacity-building for advocacy and organizing programs at the ACLU's state affiliates. 

Deirdre has led advocacy programs and supported affiliates in their organizing and advocacy work at the ACLU for six years, first as one of the first hires on the ACLU's national organizing team and then as Associate Director for Affiliate Advocacy Programs. 

Prior to joining the ACLU, Deirdre led organizing programs and campaigns at, managing organizers in ten states and developing field programs to advocate for federal immigration reform. She has worked as an organizer on multiple electoral campaigns in the Midwest and Northeast. Deirdre graduated from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs in 2010 and earned her Master's degree in European and Russian Studies at Yale University in 2012.


Mayu Takeuchi '23

Major: SPIA
Current Company: The Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program
Current Title: Research assistant, applied research

Mayu is a research assistant at Brookings Metro, working to advance inclusive economic growth in cities and communities across the United States. Working with diverse stakeholders across the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors, Takeuchi studies how local and regional coalitions can drive systems-level change to bolster economic and racial inclusion. A particular area of focus is the emerging set of strategies and actions that private sector actors can mobilize to support local communities' access to housing, safety, and economic opportunity.

Takeuchi graduated from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs in 2023, with a certificate in Values in Public Life. During her time at Princeton, Takeuchi served as the President of the Undergraduate Student Government, with key focuses on mental health and well-being, inclusive dining options, and sustainability.


Sara Sacks '22

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Current Title: Policy manager and editor

Sara is a policy manager and editor at the FBI's Internal Policy Office, which manages the coordination, review, approval, and publication of all FBI official policies and forms. Sara graduated with her bachelor's degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University in 2022, with certificates in Technology & Society and American Studies. She is excited to be back on campus to talk about public service careers. 




Shafaq Khan '21        

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Stimson Center
Current Title: Fellow    

Shafaq Khan is a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Stimson Center’s South Asia Program. At Stimson, Shafaq's research portfolio includes nuclear crisis management, arms control and Indo-Pacific security issues.

Prior to joining Stimson, Shafaq worked as a research analyst for a nonprofit in New York City, the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), collaborating closely with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. She began her work at CASES as a Project 55 Fellow. Shafaq has also held roles at the Centre for Information Resilience, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Legal Aid Society.


Derek Kilmer '96    

Major: SPIA
Current Company: U.S. House of Representatives
Current Title: U.S. Representative, Washington’s 6th District    

With over a decade of experience working in economic development in the Puget Sound region, Derek is focused on getting our economy and our Congress back to work. Derek has a strong record as a problem solver for Washington families and he's been recognized by veterans' organizations for his support of our troops, their families, and those who have served.

Born and raised on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, Derek saw firsthand how the region's economy has struggled, and the impact that has had on families and communities. The son of two schoolteachers, Derek was taught to appreciate the value of education. Derek wanted to make a difference in his community, so he chose to study public policy, looking for ways to help economically struggling communities. He received a BA from Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs and earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford in England.

Derek put his education into practice in Washington State, first as a business consultant for McKinsey & Company, where he helped businesses, non-profits, and government agencies run more efficiently. He moved closer to the community he was raised in so he could put his experience in economic development to use, helping to retain jobs and attract new employers during the decade he worked for the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
After seeing how the decisions that government made affected employers in the region, Derek decided to put his experience to work in state government. 

He served in the Washington state House from 2005 to 2007 and the state Senate from 2007 until he was elected to the US House in 2012. While in Olympia, Derek was the principal writer of the state's capital budget, and helped author a bipartisan infrastructure package that has been credited with creating 18,000 jobs. He also led a successful bipartisan effort in the Washington state Senate to balance the budget and reduce state debt.  He also spent a term serving as the Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Derek was reelected to a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022 and serves on the House Appropriations Committee, one of only four 'exclusive' committees in the House. Derek serves on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee, Defense Subcommittee, and Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.  

Derek spent four years serving as the Chairman of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, a committee tasked with proposing reforms to make Congress function better for the American people.  In addition to proposing more than 200 bipartisan reforms, the committee was lauded for its innovative approaches to solving problems.  In fact, the American Bar Association gave the Kilmer-led committee an award for blazing new trails in the effort to settle disputes and find common ground and the Congressional Management Foundation awarded Kilmer with its Democracy Award for Innovation and Modernization.  

Along with fighting for his region’s military community Derek has championed bipartisan efforts to better leverage federal research dollars to spur private sector innovation and job growth and bolster a 21st century workforce. As a native of the Olympic Peninsula, Derek is committed to protecting our waters and improving the health of our forests. It’s also why he helped found the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus to bring increased focus and attention to the cleanup work that needs to be done to restore the region's waters.

Derek has learned that addressing the challenges facing our nation will require an end to political brinkmanship and a focus on finding common sense, practical solutions. He's a member of organizations like the Bipartisan Working Group which works to bring Democrats and Republicans together to forge greater consensus on a wide variety of issues.
In his time in Congress, Derek has been recognized by a wide variety of groups for his effectiveness and advocacy.
For his work on behalf of military families and civilian defense workers, he was awarded the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor a civilian not employed by the Navy can receive from the Secretary of the Navy.
For his leadership on behalf of military veterans and their families, Derek received the Silver Helmet award from AMVETS. 
Based on his championship of funding for our national parks, he received the Friend of the National Parks award from the National Parks Conservation Association. 

For his leadership in ensuring the federal government meets its trust responsibilities and treaty obligations, he received the Governmental Leadership Award from the National Congress of American Indians.
In addition, he has received Issue One's Teddy Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to bipartisan political reform and the Bipartisan Policy Center's Legislative Advocacy Award for his commitment to building bridges and making Congress work better for the American people. 

Derek taught a SPIA policy task force in the spring of 2023, and he will be back for more this upcoming spring.


Naomi Hess '22

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Administration for Community Living
Current Title: Management and program analyst

Naomi is originally from Clarksville, MD and currently lives in Washington, D.C. Naomi works for the Administration for Community Living within the Department of Health and Human Services, where she focuses on policies and programs supporting people with disabilities. She was involved in many activities at Princeton, including the Daily Princetonian, the AccessAbility Center, USG, and Butler College. Naomi continues to stay connected to the university community by serving as the Young Alumni Trustee on the Princeton Board of Trustees. 




Shobhit Kumar '18

Major: SPIA
Current Company: U.S. Department of State
Current Title: Foreign service officer

Shobhit presently serves as an Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. Previously, Shobhit was the Special Assistant to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and has also served in Beijing and Doha. Shobhit graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in Public and International Affairs, earning certificates in Mandarin Chinese, History, and the Practice of Diplomacy. 

He later graduated with honors from Yale University with an M.A. in Global Affairs, where he worked with former Secretary of State John Kerry as a Kerry Fellow and taught Mandarin Chinese to Yale College students. 

He is the recipient of numerous State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor awards. His foreign languages include Mandarin, Hindi, Vietnamese, Korean, Swahili, and Spanish.


Gina Feliz '22

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Brennan Center for Justice
Current Title: Program associate, voting rights & representation

Gina Feliz graduated from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs in 2022, with a certificate in African American Studies and focused her independent research on the criminal legal system, mass incarceration, and current and past domestic policy failures relating to the US legal system.

Gina is a current program associate at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, where she works as part of the Voting Rights and Representation team in the Democracy Program, primarily working on redistricting. Prior to joining BCJ, she completed a yearlong Project 55 fellowship as a Development Assistant at the Housing Development Fund in Stamford, CT. She has also previously interned at Legal Services of New Jersey, and in undergrad, she was an organizer and co-president of Princeton Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform.


Tammy Pham '22

Major: SPIA
Current Company: U.S. Senate
Current Title: Legislative correspondent

Tammy Pham is a legislative correspondent in the personal office of Senator Dianne Feinstein who specializes in the Senator's health care portfolio. She joined the office in August 2022 as a staff assistant for the banking and finance portfolio, after having been a summer intern for Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA). Tammy is also currently a Wharton Pubic Policy Fellow. 

As a student, she concentrated in the School of Public and International Affairs, with a focus in Conflict and Security Studies. She now lives in Washington, D.C., and can tell you with confidence the best place for coffee on and off the Hill. 



Sarah Ariyan Sakha '18

Major: Meta
Current Company:
Current Title: Public Policy Manager

Sarah Ariyan Sakha is a public policy manager with Meta, where she focuses on international tech policy and human rights issues in multilateral fora, from international governments to the United Nations. 

Previously, she worked on humanitarian aid and financing reform at the International Rescue Committee, driving advocacy on the decolonization and localization of aid, and as a P55 Fellow on the Data and Tech team at the Rockefeller Foundation, focusing on the implications of inclusion and diversity on data and tech. 

She brings research experience on AI ethics and public interest tech, having worked most recently with Ford Foundation and Taraaz. Her background lies in policy and journalism, namely on human rights and the Middle East. 

She holds an MA in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with a focus in tech and media from Columbia SIPA, during which she worked with the ACLU and CSIS,

A proud first-generation Iranian-American, her identity shapes how she sees and approaches her work, from the role of social media plays in Iranian resistance to centering the lived experiences of communities in policymaking. She lives in New York City, where she remains deeply involved in Palestine solidarity organizing and education.


Bridget Scott Akinc '98

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Building Impact
Current Title: CEO

Bridget Scott Akinc is the CEO of Building Impact, a national nonprofit that strengthens community through corporate volunteering. At Building Impact, Scott Akinc's goal has been to catalyze growth in impact, through close partnerships with nonprofit partners, expansion of access to volunteering in corporations, and rigorous measurement of the outcomes of volunteering tied to ESG reporting. 

Prior to entering the nonprofit arena, Akinc led teams focused on technology and go-to-market strategy for high-growth Silicon-Valley based software companies like BEA Systems, and for non-profits like The New Teacher Project. Akinc began her career as a consultant in the information technology practice at the Boston Consulting Group, and maintains a strong connection to education, ever since her days of earning her New Jersey state teaching certification through the Teacher Prep Program at Princeton.

Bridget earned a graduate degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she serves on the faculty, teaching a course called "Leading With Impact." Scott Akinc loves running with her dogs, coaching soccer, and exploring the outdoors with her family.


Will Carry '00

Major: SPIA
Current Company: New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT)
Current Title: Assistant commissioner for policy

Will Carry joined NYC DOT in 2009 and worked in a variety of roles within the agency, including its Transit Development and Regional and Strategic Planning units, before becoming Assistant Commissioner for Policy in 2021.

Overseeing NYC DOT's Policy unit, Mr. Carry supports the commissioner, the chief strategy officer, and the agency’s divisions across a range of areas, including Vision Zero, congestion pricing, electric vehicle (EV) charging, innovation, economic analysis, equity and accessibility, and federal affairs. 

In particular, the Policy unit focuses on the opportunities and challenges posed by new mobility technologies and models, including autonomous vehicles, electric cars and trucks, shared mobility and electric micromobility. The Policy unit also acts as incubator for new program ideas and has worked collaboratively with other NYC DOT units to develop the agency’s carshare, East Bronx e-scooter share, and curbside EV charging pilot projects.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Carry was the senior director for special projects within the Commissioner’s Office, where he developed the agency’s 2016 strategic plan, coordinated the agency’s input into the citywide sustainability plan, launched the agency’s Citywide Mobility Survey to better understand travel patterns and trends across the five boroughs, led engagement with the MTA on congestion pricing and other issues, and spearheaded development of NYC DOT’s EV charging vision plan. 

In prior roles with the agency, he led the development of the agency’s Bus Rapid Transit vision plan, project managed the 34th Street Select Bus Service project, and developed Go Smart NYC travel demand management program.

Mr. Carry holds a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born and raised in Manhattan and now resides in Brooklyn.


Elías Sánchez Hanno '11 *15

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Schmidt Futures
Current Title: Manager, research & impact

Elías guides the development and implementation of data science tooling to support Rise’s approach to sourcing, measuring and developing talent. He also is responsible for managing research partnerships to help shape the science of talent development.

Elías comes to Schmidt Futures with years of experience leveraging data and rigorous research methodologies to support organizations that find and develop talent. Most recently, he worked at Jobcase, Inc., where he automated processes to help job seekers identify relevant opportunities and employers find hidden talent. Previously, he served as a product manager at Burning Glass Technologies, building labor-market information tools to inform public-sector workforce agencies’ response to the pandemic. 

As a research analyst at Burning Glass and Mathematica Policy Research, Elías conducted research for employment-focused programs and government agencies on a wide range of workforce development topics, including supporting military spouses in building careers with frequent relocation and evaluating the effectiveness of Federal programs for job seekers. He began his career at the U.S. Department of State as a Scholars in the Nation’s Service Fellow, working first in Lima, Peru, and then as a staff assistant to the top U.S. official on policy towards Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Elías holds both a Masters and a Bachelors in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.


Dillion Gallagher '23

Major: SPIA
Current Company: Deloitte
Current Title: Strategy Analyst

He works as a strategy analyst at Deloitte in the organization’s Government and Public Services practice, where he partners with federal government agencies to tackle pressing domestic policy challenges. 

At Princeton, Dillion wrote for the Daily Princetonian, worked at the Writing Center, and was a proud member of the Cannon Dial Elm eating club. Dillion is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but he now resides in Washington, DC. His junior papers and senior thesis explored the role China plays in the current civil war in Myanmar and offered policy solutions that the United States government could employ to protect the rights of the people of Myanmar and restore peace. Prior to his senior year, Dillion served at the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations as a SINSI Intern.