The School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board represents an expansive network of more than 3,000 SPP alumni.
Through professional development events, community service programs, social activities and support of the School’s various academic initiatives, the alumni network plays an integral role in advancing our mission. Join us at an alumni event or contact us to learn more about getting involved.
Jessica Frech serves as the president of the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board, elected July 2019, for a two-year term. She graduated from the School of Public Policy in May 2019 with a focus on energy and environmental policy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Resource Economics. During her time in the program, Jessica served as the Policy Student Government Association’s Service Director from August 2018 - May 2019 and the Co-President of the SPP Environmental Council from August 2018 - May 2019. She also held a research assistant position with the Center for Global Sustainability. Before beginning the program, Jessica worked in the solar industry for just under three years as a market and pricing analyst and completed an AmeriCorps internship with the Student Conservation Association and the National Park Service. Currently, Jessica works for the City of Alexandria, VA as an energy management analyst supporting the City’s Environmental Action Plan including greenhouse gas emissions inventorying and building energy benchmarking.
Princia Calida Vas serves as the Vice President of the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board, elected July 2019, for a two-year term. She also serves on the Engagement and Diversity and Inclusion committees of the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board. She graduated from the School of Public Policy in May 2019 with a focus on International Development and Social Policy and holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a Specialization in Management from the American University of Sharjah. During her time in the program, Princia served as the President of the SPP Social Policy Council, Vice President of the SPP International Student Council and Secretary and Treasurer of the SPP International Development Council and served on the Brody Student Advisory Council Board from August 2018 - May 2019. She was also a Member of the Project Girls for Girls initiative from February 2019-May 2019. She held a programming and operations assistant position with the Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations from August 2018-May 2019 and worked as a Teaching Assistant for a Sustainability course offered to undergraduate students from August 2017-May 2018. Before beginning the program, Princia worked at the Consulate General of the United States of America in Dubai, UAE. She is also the youth ambassador for United Nations Global Compact, UAE Network and has a publication in the Journal of Business, Peace and Sustainable Development. Outside of work, Princia enjoys reading non-fiction, traveling and trying out different cuisines.
Tom Jones serves as the treasurer of the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board and is a member of the Steering Committee. Tom graduated from the School of Public Policy with a Master of Public Policy, specializing in environmental policy, and holds a bachelor's in environmental science from Shepherd University. During his time at SPP, Jones served as both the Policy Student Government Association’s vice president and the SPP Environmental Council’s President during the 2017-2018 school year, and held a graduate assistant position with the Center for Global Sustainability. He currently works for the State of Maryland at the Department of Budget and Management as a budget analyst helping develop the state’s annual operating budget. In his free time, Jones enjoys volunteering with the Annapolis Jaycees, playing Dungeons & Dragons, working out at the gym, and spending time with family and friends.
Sharice Davis serves as the Secretary of the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board, elected July 2019, for a two-year term. She also serves on the SPP Steering and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees. Sharice graduated with both an MPP and MBA from the University of Maryland in 2016 where she specialized in Social Policy and Entrepreneurship. During her time at SPP, she was on the planning committee for the third annual Saul I. Stern Symposium which highlighted issues of racial inequity in education, health, and economic outcomes and discussed policy solutions designed to mitigate injustice. In her current role, Sharice works as the Program Manager for the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now where she provides technical assistance and best practice implementation to nonprofit leaders in four cities with the goal of eliminating economic disparities in communities of color. She also has experience working in both the private and public sector around issues of workforce development and higher education policy. Prior to her time at SPP, Sharice attended Georgetown University where she earned a B.S. in Finance and Management. Outside of work, Sharice enjoys baking, reading, traveling, and going to concerts.
Immediate Past President
Policy Director, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services
Amy Fischer is immediate past president of the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board and represents the School of Public Policy with the University of Maryland Alumni Association Board of Governors. She graduated from the School of Public Policy in May 2015 and specialized in social policy. While at Maryland, she served as co-president of the Policy Student Government Association. She graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts in 2008 with a BA in sociology and international and global studies. Prior to her time at Maryland, Fischer spent five years in North Carolina working directly with youth at the intersection of juvenile and immigrant justice. Fischer now lives in Washington, DC and works on immigration and refugee justice issues as the policy director with RAICES.
Ashton Raffety serves on the Engagement Committee for the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board. He graduated from the SPP Master of Public Policy program in 2017, concentrating on energy policy. Since graduation, Ashton has been working with the Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, where he manages partnerships between the Department of Energy and the private sector. During his time at SPP, Ashton served as a Graduate Senator on the Graduate Student Government and worked as a GA within SPP Admissions. Past internships include the Missouri House of Representatives, US House of Representatives, US Department of State, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Outside of work, Ashton enjoys cycling, knitting scarves and reading about presidential history.
Manager, School Improvement Grant Program, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Christina Parrish currently serves as the manager of the School Improvement Grant program for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). She oversees the fiscal and programmatic components of the Grant program which serves to improve the District's lowest performing schools. Prior to working with OSSE, Parrish served in various capacities at a variety of nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC with missions of empowering and advocating for young people, such as Girls Incorporated of the Washington, DC Metro Area and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing sports, traveling and spending time with her partner and her pup.
Evan Matthew Papp serves on the Steering Committee for the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board. He graduated from the School of Public Policy in 2011 with a focus on international security and economic policy. He recently joined the Energy Impact Center as the director of marketing where he supports energy entrepreneurs to deploy clean nuclear energy and carbon capture technology to reverse climate change. Previously he was the deputy director of communications for Power Africa, a US Government-led initiative to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa consisting of over 170 public and private sector partners, which collectively committed more than $55 billion towards achieving Power Africa's goals. His first job with USAID was with the Office of Transition Initiatives in the Bureau For Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. Before joining USAID, Papp spent five years with the Peace Corps working in Zambia, Jamaica, and Washington, DC where he focused on rural education, HIV, emergency medicine and US outreach and recruitment. In his spare time, he is the executive producer of Empathy Media Lab, which is a collective artist space in Hyattsville.
Esther currently serves on the Engagement and on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees. Esther graduated from University of Maryland-College Park with a BA in Public Policy. Currently, she is M.Ed candidate in Education Policy and Leadership at American University. Previous to her time at UMD, she had a career in financing but wanted to work for her community. Esther is the Programs & Operations Associate at Beacon House, a nonprofit that provides after-school academic and athletic programs to children in the Ward 5 in Washington, DC, a couple of miles away from where she grew up. She is passionate about improving the public school system in DC and ensuring all kids, regardless of their circumstances has every opportunity thrive.
Joseph Drake serves on the School of Public Policy Alumni Chapter Board’s Marketing and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees. He graduated with a Master of Public Policy in May 2019, with a focus on environmental topics such as climate change. During his time at SPP, Joseph served as Vice-President of Queer and Trans in Public Policy (Q.T.I.P.P.) and as Treasurer of the Environmental Council. He was a member of the Brody Student Advisory Council and a teaching assistant for PLCY/AGNR 301, a sustainability course. Between his first and second years in the MPP program, Joseph held an internship with the City of New Carrollton, working on sustainability projects as a Maryland Municipal League Fellow. Prior to achieving his MPP, Joseph attended SUNY Fredonia, where he obtained a B.S. in Video Production and a B.A. in Political Science. Joseph is currently working with the NDC Partnership as their Country Engagement Intern. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys drawing, jogging, and learning Spanish and French.
Policy Analyst, US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Laura Krahl is an operations specialist at the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Before joining Treasury, Laura worked at the Department of Homeland Security for two years. She graduated from the Master of Public Policy program in 2016 and specialized in international security and economic policy. She also completed a terrorism analysis graduate certificate degree at the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts at Salisbury University. She has studied Arabic for about four years and completed the Critical Language Scholarship in Jordan in 2016.
Matt Dernoga graduated from the School of Public Policy in 2013 with an environmental specialization. He currently works at the Maryland Sierra Club, advocating around transitioning Maryland off it’s six remaining coal fired power plants. Previously, he worked for a Prince George’s County councilmember on policy ranging from green stormwater programs, recycling and compost initiatives, affordable housing policy and food equity legislation. In 2018, he was a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates. In his spare time he likes to watch movies, try new restaurants and run 5k races.
Seanniece Bamiro is a NE DC native and longtime Prince George's County resident. She pursued a BA in political science from UMBC and a Master of Public Policy from University Maryland College Park. At UMD, she concentrated in social policy with independent studies in criminology and the impact of mal-intentioned laws on black and brown communities. She has experience with nonprofit lobbying and advocacy and is now community organizing in Prince George’s County around mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline and developing the leadership of black women. Bamiro is also one of six co-founders of the Zion Justice League, a new ministry at Zion Church aimed to engage the congregation and sister churches around social justice. She enjoys hiking, podcasts and bubble tea.
Foreign Service Officer, US Department of State
Whitney Dixon is a political officer at the US Department of State, preparing for a consular assignment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She was presented with the University of Maryland President’s Commission on Ethnic and Minority Issues Graduate Student Award for “Taking Bold Action in Changing Times” and fostering community in College Park in 2017. Dixon is one of the founding members of the University of Maryland Public Policy Review, a student-driven academic journal. She has experience in public diplomacy and multilateral atomic energy issues from working in the Office of Cuban Affairs in Washington, DC and the US Mission to the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. Dixon enjoys volunteering for causes that help increase access to technology for women and minorities and speaks Spanish, French and Haitian Creole. Dixon received a BA in international affairs at George Washington University and a MPP from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.