Heather Dolphin, originally from Des Moines, Iowa, has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Northern Iowa. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. Since graduating in 2006, Dolphin has been working in the international relief and development sector. Her career in international development has focused primarily on developing systems, advising and assessing effectiveness of humanitarian and development programs overseas. However, her goal is to become a social science researcher who increases available evidence to inform policy and practices that will address challenges encountered by both young men and women as a result of the growing global youth bulge. Dolphin is particularly interested in the use of cash as a mechanism for facilitating choice and empowerment of target populations toward important societal improvements, such as access to education and entrepreneurial training.
Outside the US, Dolphin has lived in Latin America and West Africa and travelled extensively for work and pleasure. In her free time, she enjoys daily Buddhist practice and Buddhist community, as well as yoga, Pilates, gardening and trips to see friends and family.