PhD in Public Policy
Graduated in 2022
Talia Kaufmann has a PhD student in Public Policy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, with a concentration in Urban and Regional Studies. She collaborates with International organizations, local and municipal governments to develop data-driven tools for decision-makers in city planning. Her goal is to illuminate spatial inequality in access to services and provide policy makers with the tools to improve the quality of life of underserved urban communities. Her research tackles questions such as: how many commercial/recreational/public amenities should be added to a given neighborhood or city and where should those amenities be most needed? And, how far should an urban resident walk/drive/take public transport rides to reach the closest park or supermarket from their home?
Talia is trained as an Architect (B.Arch, Tel-Aviv University) and a City Planner (MCP, MIT). Before joining MIT for her Master degree, Talia served as a city planner and a planning information manager at the Tel Aviv-Yafo City Planning Department in Israel. Her research got international recognition by institutions as the World Bank, the OECD, the Government of Israel and more.
Talia has been collaborating with the OECD for the past 3 years. She worked closely with the urban indicators team at the organization during summer and fall 2018 as an experiential fellow in Paris, France. At the OECD, Talia wrote a report titled ‘Measuring accessibility to services across cities: A framework for accessibility indicators by walking, driving and public transport’. The report demonstrated the potential of using Google’s fine-grained amenity data for accessibility indicators and was presented at the OECD Workshop on Modernising Statistical Systems for Better Data on Regions and Cities. Talia continues to work with the OECD to expand this framework and produce indicators for decision-makers.
Talia’s current collaboration with the Government of Israel is dedicated to implementing accessibility metrics in decision-making processes. As an experiential fellow, Talia is working with The Israel Planning Administration (IPA) that is responsible for all spatial planning efforts throughout the country. The fellowship project goal is to incorporate Talia’s data-driven metrics in a tool for regional plan submission to produce plan evaluation and ‘accessibility insights’. This experiential opportunity is valuable to demonstrate how essential data-driven metrics can be for planning practices and support Talia’s dissertation work.
More Student Paths
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...
- Casey took “Global Markets and Local Cultures'' with the late Professor Jeffrey Juris. After traveling, she saw how the coursework mirrored reality, and knew her education was preparing her for the world.
- Casey went on a DOC to Argentina and Uruguay. She wanted to become fluent in Spanish, and she did become highly proficient while living in Buenos Aires and visiting the glaciers of the Patagonia region.
- Casey did her first co-op at the Museum of Fine Arts as a Community Arts program assistant. She gained valuable hands-on experience assisting in arts classes for the local communities.
- Casey joined the Sociology & Anthropology Student Association during her third year. It allowed her to get to know her fellow students and mirrored the small school experience she loved.
- Casey studied abroad in Nepal for her capstone thesis. She lived alone for a month while she researched and wrote about the lived experience of climate change in the lower Himalayas.
- Casey joined the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that organizes protests urging political action for climate justice issues. With them, she truly felt like a part of the local Boston community.
- Casey worked for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded by Professor Sarah Wylie. She produced promotional videos, developed a virtual research event, wrote event programming, and more. ..
- Northeastern has provided Sunita with interdisciplinary opportunities to utilize her education in the Greater Boston community, on co-op, and abroad.
- Sunita spent Summer 2019 on a Dialogue of Civilizations in Jordan and Egypt. It helped her realize her interest in Middle East politics and the Arabic language.
- Her favorite class, Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection taught by Professor Risa Kitagawa invited students to question the motives behind acts of violence against governments.
- Her first co-op was at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia where she analyzed data on the corruption of police forces in Mexico.
- Her second co-op at Enel X provided insight into battery storage, solar and wind farms, demand response, and the economic incentives that drive the energy market.
- In spring 2019, Sunita joined the Student Alliance for Prison Reform as well as Partakers, a partner of the club, where she mentored a prisoner at MCI Concord.
- Sunita is a member of the International Relations Council and has traveled abroad with the club to compete in Model Arab League, Model NATO, and Model UN conferences...
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between the high school and college experiences.
- Initially indecisive, Yasser’s interest in traveling and experience exploring different religious texts in high school led him to a double major in international affairs and religious studies.
- Yasser took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightening look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser’s first co-op was at the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant. He worked on inventory, public relations, directed brewery events, and maintained workspace organization.
- Yasser went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Europe in Summer 2019 and took Engineering Principles in Nature with Professor Sandra Shefelbine.
- Yasser implemented and maintained community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser began working at the Food Project and at a farm in Dorchester, he maintained the farm, harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics...