Alumni Ambassadors

Prospective and current students, take a look at some of our recent grads’ bios for insight on future career trajectories, job options based on program, and other advice. The opportunities for impact are vast.

If you are interested in connecting with an alumni member directly, fill out the request form here.

If you are an alumni member and are interested in volunteering to be an ambassador, fill out the form here.

Lautaro Cantar, MS

Program: Urban Informatics

Graduation Year: 2018

Areas of Expertise: Urban data science, data science at the government level, and affordable housing

Bio: I was born and raised in Argentina, where I received my B.A. in economics and worked as a financial analyst for two years in Accenture. Thanks to the Argentine Presidential Fellowship in Science and Technology, I went to Northeastern University where I received my M.S. in Urban Informatics. In the meanwhile, I was a research assistant at BARI and a fellow at The American City Coalition, a non-profit working for neighborhood development located in Roxbury, Boston. After graduation, I came back to Argentina where I have worked as an Urban Data Scientist for different government agencies and as an independent consultant for various organizations.

Heather M. Hume, MS

Program: Urban Planning and Policy/Urban and Regional Policy

Graduation Year: 2013

Areas of Expertise: Public transportation, management, and community engagement

Bio: Heather is a former enlisted Army Reserve member with nearly 20 years of experience in the public transportation industry. In 2000, while she was a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she began her career driving buses and had the opportunity to work on transportation for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. After college, she joined the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) before moving east to work as an Operations Supervisor for the Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS). At GLSS, she managed operating contracts with The Ride, the MBTA’s paratransit service.

In 2011, she joined the MBTA as a Service Planner. Over the past eight years, she has worked on number of major initiatives including the Uber/Lyft pilot for paratransit riders, Workforce Modernization, and the Better Bus Project. She now serves at the Director of Transition for the adoption of the MBTA’s new fare collection system. In October of 2015, she was named to Mass Transit magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 transit professionals in the United States.

Heather has degrees in African-American Studies and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, where she focused on Transportation Policy.

Emily Hall, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2018

Areas of Expertise: Federal grants, first jobs, and program options

Bio: I graduated with my undergrad in Public Administration with a minor in NonProfit Management from the University of Central Florida in May of 2015. I began a career in nonprofit before graduation because I was passionate about the mission. I began the all online MPA program at Northeastern in the fall of 2016, to make the transition into the public sector where I always intended to have a career. By fall of 2017 I was taking a few in person classes to mix with the online program to meet some faculty and students in person when my schedule allowed for it. I graduated in May of 2018 and began my public service career in Brockton in March of 2018 managing federal grants for the Brockton Redevelopment Authority. I am also the director of a new community, cultural, non-profit bier-garden in downtown Brockton on the side.

Travis Ahern, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2011

Areas of Expertise: Local and state government, finance, budgeting

Bio: Experienced Finance Director in local and state government in Massachusetts. Transitioned to public sector through the Northeastern MPA program, after starting my career in private finance out of Hobart College (undergraduate).

I was and am shocked at the amount of quality opportunities in finance at the local government level, which I only discovered after starting the MPA program at Northeastern. I believe these jobs offer better pay and benefits than even the private sector, in some instances, and I’m always happy to discuss these opportunities.

Paul M. Fletcher, MPP/LPP

Program: Public Policy/Law and Public Policy

Graduation Year: 2019

Areas of Expertise: Professional Advice on Attaining First Job, practical experience for successfully completing a Masters degree at Northeastern University’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities, general career guidance for those entering the professional marketplace

Bio: Paul Fletcher was originally born in Baltimore, MD.  His father’s career as an insurance executive led to a number of physical relocations along the East coast and Midwest during his childhood.  Paul attended high school in the Metro Detroit area where he excelled in sports, primarily football and wrestling.  Paul completed his undergraduate studies at Adrian College, a small liberal arts college located in Michigan graduating with honors (Cum Laude).  Shortly after graduation, Paul started his career in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales representative for Eli Lilly and Company.  During that time Paul was responsible for promoting several pharmaceutical agents including the blockbuster anti-depressant agent, Prozac®.  After a number of years in sales, Paul completed his MBA at Michigan State University where he graduated in the top 10% of his class.  It was at the time that Paul made the transition from sales to pharmaceutical marketing.

Since that time, Paul has led numerous US and Global marketing and market development assignments focused primarily on the launch of new pharmaceutical agents or the re-launch of existing agents. He now works for Sanofi Genzyme, a biotech organization based in Cambridge, MA, where he leads all healthcare professional marketing activities for the blockbuster atopic dermatitis biologic treatment, DUPIXENT® (dupilumab). During his tenure at Sanofi Genzyme, Paul was selected as “Marketer of the Year” and “Circle of Excellence” winner.

Most recently, Paul completed his second Masters degree, graduating with a Master of Science Degree in Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University in Boston, MA where he finished with a perfect 4.00 GPA.

Paul is currently enrolled at Brown University’s School of Professional Studies where he is studying for an Executive Masters Degree in Healthcare Leadership.

Paul makes his home in Boston, MA. When he is not working or studying, Paul enjoys running, classical music, and the study of history and current events.

Jenna DeAngelo, MS

Program: Urban Planning and Policy/Urban and Regional Policy

Graduation Year: 2015

Areas of Expertise: Land use, municipal finance, legal issues

Bio: Jenna is an associate director for International and Institute-Wide Initiatives at the Lincoln Institute, where she leads the Institute’s cross-disciplinary campaign on municipal fiscal health and supports the land value capture campaign. Jenna also helps shape and execute various aspects of the department’s programs, research, and curriculum development. She earned a B.S. in economics and M.S. in urban and regional policy, both from Northeastern University, and is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor degree part-time at New England Law Boston. She most recently completed an internship at the Massachusetts Land Court, working on cases involving easements and property tax liens.

Hanna Switlekowski, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2015

Areas of Expertise: Local/state government, internships, preparing for the workforce and work/school balance

Bio: Hanna currently works as Legislative Director for State Senator Paul Feeney, and previously was Legislative Aide to State Representative Louis L. Kafka. In her free time, she also serves as Chair of the Sharon Democratic Town Committee, Vice Chair of the Young Dems of MA Women’s Caucus, Community Representative on the Jewish Community Relations Council, membership chair of the Sharon Lions Club and is an appointed member of the Sharon Finance Committee. In November 2019, Hanna was elected to the Town of Sharon Select Board, making her one of the Board’s youngest members. She received her undergraduate degree in Near Eastern Judaic Studies & Politics at Brandeis University.

Joe Russo, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2017

Areas of Expertise: State government, political campaigns, local government

Bio: Joe first became politically active during his undergraduate education when he served as an intern for a successful congressional campaign. After graduation, he spent a year and a half working professionally between a variety of political campaigns at the congressional, county, and statewide levels and remains active today by volunteering from time to time. While completing the SPPUA MPA program, he began to work in the Mayor’s office for a city outside Boston where he was fortunate enough to become involved in all aspects of governing a municipality including the development of several new programs within the city. Joe went from that office to working for a State Representative from the MetroWest on Beacon Hill where he has been since the summer of 2017. His current responsibilities include managing the Representative’s schedule, drafting legislation, recruiting interns, and coordinating with a wide variety of local, state, federal, and national stakeholders in support of the needs of the district.

Austin Faison, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2011

Areas of Expertise: Local government, internships, first job

Bio: Currently the Town Manager of Winthrop, a small seaside community of 18,000. Austin has worked in the municipal sector since 2012, with additional positions in Somerville and Brookline. He has produced multiple budgets; participated in Town Meetings and property tax override decisions; managed a staff of over 150 employees; and has run multiple departments. Faison has been committed to working in government from his upbringing in New Hampshire, where he participated in local campaigns and elections at a young age. He holds a BA in Political Science from Bates College, and a MPA from Northeastern University.

Faison stresses the need for skilled workers in the municipal sector. There is a generational shift happening, with all of the boomers that are retiring, and there is a large gap in talent. Every individual pursuing an MPA should consider the municipal sector for all of the opportunities that it can present.

Austin lives with his wife Nneka, Princeton, BA; Columbia, MA in Journalism, in Holliston. They have two children, Zoe and Cassius.

Rachel Goldstein, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2014

Areas of Expertise: State government, health and human services, finance, and first jobs and job changes

Bio: Rachel Goldstein has devoted her career to the public sector. She is interested in equipping organizations to deliver the best possible services to its constituents. She is currently the Director of Budget and Analysis for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which is dedicated to making it possible for older adults to thrive while aging in their community. In this role, she plans and manages the agency’s $600M budget of state and federal funding. She also directs statewide data analytics projects to improve service delivery and strategic financial management. Prior to this role, she was a Senior Consultant at Public Consulting Group. She led business process redesign, IT implementation, and organizational change management projects for state and municipal organizations. Her focus areas included health and human services and public finance. She graduated from Northeastern University in 2014 with a Master’s of Public Administration and the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.


Ellie Rosen, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2018

Areas of Expertise: Internships, nonprofit program management, education field

Bio: I pursued an MPA immediately after graduating with a BA in Psychology to support my interest in transitioning from the direct-service world to the program/admin level. I am the Manager of School Partnerships at OneGoal – Massachusetts. OneGoal is an organization that believes in the brilliance of all students and that a postsecondary education provides the best opportunity for success in an inequitable world. In addition to my work at OneGoal, I also volunteer on the leadership team for a nonprofit called Adoptees Connect and facilitate the Adoptees Connect – Providence group, building community with other adoptees in the region and advocating for adoptee rights. I am excited to connect with current students to share my experiences and support in any way I can!

Daniel P. Doherty, MPP

Program: Public Policy

Graduation Year: 2019

Areas of Expertise: Education policy, local government, and internships/jobs

Bio: After earning his undergrad at Temple University, Daniel worked as a campaign manager and legislative aide to Pennsylvania State Representatives Kevin and Brendan Boyle before moving on to become a legal assistant at a law firm in Philadelphia. Upon moving back to Massachusetts in his mid-20’s, Daniel volunteered for the 2013 special election campaign of Ed Markey before becoming a high school social sciences teacher in Westford and Shrewsbury, MA and working as curriculum coordinator at an academic summer camp in Concord, MA. While at Northeastern Daniel focused his studies on educational policy, particularly concerning vocational education, curriculum development, and school district funding. Currently, Daniel works within the development department of Fenway High School, a public-pilot school on Mission Hill, as the Ventures Program Director. This role sees him develop and maintain partnerships between the school and various corporations and nonprofits around the city, oversee the school’s internship program, write and apply for grants, and teach a class revolving around career exploration and financial literacy. Never able to stay still for too long, Daniel can be found at community events in his home neighborhood of Allston-Brighton, at a Red Sox or Celtics game, or running along the Charles River.

CT Ransdell, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2016

Areas of Expertise: Nonprofits, fundraising, philanthropy, and corporate responsibility

Bio: C.T. Ransdell, MPA 2016, is the Individual and Corporate Gift Officer for 1% for the Planet. C.T. brings with him 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He has overseen development at Generations Incorporated and Design Museum Foundation. In addition to his professional experience, C.T has been civically engaged serving as a member of WBUR’s Sounding Board, serving as a “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mass Bay, and supporting local environmental nonprofits through volunteer fundraising support. C.T. holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University.

Kelsey Dumville, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2015

Areas of Expertise: Internships/Co-op, environment/sustainability, and community engagement

Bio: As a 2010 Northeastern graduate, deciding to come back to NU for the MPA program was an exciting time. I completed two of my COOP’s at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was brought on full-time after graduation. With a few years’ experience, including significant time connecting with municipal governments throughout New England, the MPA program was an ideal fit. I attended the program at night for three years, allowing me to apply my studies to my daily work and to focus my course work around issues that advanced my skillset.
In my 11 years at the EPA, I have worked as a press officer and liaison to the federal Congressional delegation in MA and NH. Today, I am the team leader for Community Involvement at the EPA’s Boston office. Our work focuses on working with local community groups, residents, state and federal partners, and municipal officials to educate the public on EPA’s work. I believe that change happens at the local level and feel lucky to be able to work to expand knowledge of environmental issues in communities throughout New England. I live in Exeter, NH with my husband and two-year-old son.

Matthew MacNabb, MS

Program: Urban Informatics

Graduation Year: 2017

Areas of Expertise: Data analytics, health policy, budgeting

Bio: Matt is a Senior Analyst of Health Informatics and Reporting at the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA), a state agency that focuses on health policy. In this role, Matt uses data analytics to inform policy analysis, and is adept at using R, Tableau, and ArcGIS as well as Excel. Prior to CHIA, Matt worked as a Budget Analyst for the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee and was in charge of making funding recommendations for the Commonwealth’s public safety agencies. Matt also previously worked as a Field Organizer for the Katherine Clark for Congress campaign. Matt enjoys using data analytics to find new insights for policy issues and creating efficiencies in processes.

Iona Ribaudo, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2015

Areas of Expertise: Communications, transportation, federal government

Bio: Since graduating with my MPA, I have worked as a communications professional in the public and non-profit sectors. At a local federal transportation agency, I managed budgets and projects with multidisciplinary teams of engineers, policy and data analysts, and urban planners to advance agency goals. I planned and executed communications campaigns, managed the creative content for various federal websites and social media accounts, and drafted transportation policies through the creation of focus groups and data analysis.

Most recently, I worked as a manager in training and communications for a major hospital where I continued to develop and implement communications strategies, but primarily focused on organizational change and process improvement, aiming to increase employee and patient satisfaction while also increasing productivity.

I now focus on communications freelancing as my husband and I just had our first child, but I continue to be active in local political committees and volunteering, and I look forward to being a resource for the SPPUA community.

Sonya Bhabhalia, MPP/LPP

Program: Public Policy/Law and Public Policy

Graduation Year: 2017

Areas of Expertise: Nonprofit sector (especially development), joining a board, community development, networking strategy

Bio:Sonya joined the Boston Red Sox as the club’s government and neighborhood affairs assistant in 2019 and has lived, worked, and gone to school in the Boston area since 2005. She has interests in community engagement, neighborhood and community development, and, thanks to her classes with Gov. Dukakis, public/private partnerships. Sonya is a member of the board of directors of the Fenway Community Development Corporation and Massmouth, an organization that promotes the art of storytelling. She previously spent 10 years in the nonprofit sector in and around Boston and continues to do philanthropic consulting for nonprofit clients. Sonya earned her master’s degree in law and public policy from Northeastern University in 2017, attending part-time while working full-time.

W.E. David Halbert, MPA

Program: Public Administration

Graduation Year: 2016

Areas of Expertise: Municipal policymaking, government relations, civic engagement

Bio: David Halbert has spent over 15 years in public service, most recently with the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office where he served as Deputy Director of Community Affairs. A lifelong public servant and civic activist David has been a staff member for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston City Councilors Sam Yoon & John Tobin. In 2019, David was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council. While he did not win, his strong showing suggested a promising future in elected public service.

David currently serves on the boards of East Boston Main Streets and the East Boston Piers Park Advisory Council. He has formerly served as an officer for the Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts; Affirmative Action and Outreach Chair for the Boston Ward One Democratic Committee; and as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

David is a graduate of numerous leadership development programs including the New Leaders Council; the Commonwealth Seminar program; the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership; and the Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. A proud Eagle Scout, David is an alumnus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University.

David lives in Dorchester with his wife Lauren and their two daughters.