Our world is rapidly changing. The rise of populism, the migration crisis and the threat of climate change are driving development initiatives to evolve and adapt to these new dynamics. The 24th student organized edition of the annual Global Development Conference will debate the future, and envision a future shaped through shared innovation, values and partnerships.

For over 20 years, the Global Development Conference has offered a world-class forum for the exploration of new trends in the international development world. The conference is a thriving platform for decision-makers, practitioners, experts, academics and emerging young leaders to engage with one another and make new connections. Each year, the conference attracts over 500 participants, inspiring ideasharing and innovation around the best ways to address the most pressing problems of our time.

In recent years, we have had the privilege of hosting senior thinkers from across in development industry, including Ban Ki-Moon, Felipe Calderón, Martin Wolf, Daron Acemoglu and Abhijit Banerjee. In the 2018 GDC, our speakers will continue to engage in thought-provoking discussions designed to challenge and inspire. The thematic content of this year’s conference will be organized into 3 tracks.

The Team

Edom is a second-year Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School from Ethiopia, where she focuses on financial inclusion and public private partnerships. Prior to HKS, she worked in Ethiopia, Kenya and USA in the financial sector, mostly developing financial products for the unbanked and underbanked. Over the summer, she worked at International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Nairobi supporting the digitization of a bank.

Edom Tsegaye


Gabriel Costa is a MPA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a recent graduate from the MBA program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was also an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow. Before graduate school, Gabriel lived in Les Cayes, where he was a Civil Affairs Officer at the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Earlier in his career, he served as a Regional Field Coordinator for the Institute of Socio-Economic Solidarity, in Brazil, where he managed different impact investments in the region of Paracatu. Gabriel is received his BA in International Relations from Ibmec Rio de Janeiro and his Law degree from Rio de Janeiro State University.

Gabriel Costa


Dominique Rouleau is a first year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and has worked in clinical and community settings in West and East Africa on maternal and child health, social inequalities in health and the implementation of programs. She recently spent 4 years in Rwanda with Partners In Health and working to establish the University of Global Health Equity. She is interested in health system reforms and designing and implementing changes that promote equity.

Dominique Rouleau


Wen Hoe is a second-year Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to HKS, she worked for WaterAid, an international NGO focusing on water and sanitation, and graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelors degree in History and International Relations. Her focus is on climate change adaptation and humanitarian crises.

Wen Hoe

VP Content

Yui is a Thai physician and a current student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She graduated from Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj hospital, Mahidol University with First class honour before decided to shift her focus to public health. Her interests extend from maternal and child health, health communication, health literacy to health management. In her free time, she loves hopping around the city in search of the best Thai restaurant in Boston.

Kornkanok (Yui) Saringkarisate

Marketing and Communications

Ceylan is a first-year Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School from Istanbul, Turkey. As an undergraduate, she majored in Social Psychology and Philosophy. Prior to HKS, she lived in DC for two years and worked under a program supported by the National Center for Education Statistics, focused on comparative research through OECD’s international student assessment surveys. As a Public Policy student, her current interests include Gender and Minority Inclusion and Economic Development.

Ceylan Oymak

Panel Manager

Surabhi Bhatt is a Masters of Public Health Candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Prior to graduate school, she served as a Global Health Corps Fellow in Zambia, working on hospital-acquired infections in newborns and early childhood development programming. Previously, she was a senior program associate in health systems and financing at Results for Development Institute (R4D) in Washington, D.C., where she supported the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage, a global community of policymakers who build on real experiences to produce and experiment with new ideas and tools for expanding health coverage.

Surabhi Bhatt

Panel Manager

Sumi is a Master of Public Health candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she focuses on global cancer policy and health systems strengthening and is also a Presidential Scholar. Her background is in International Development and prior to joining HSPH she worked in at the United Nations in Mexico with a particular focus on women’s empowerment and health advocacy. She has also worked with grassroots NGO’s, indigenous populations, child rights and rural regional development.

Sumithra Krishnamurthy Reddiar

Panel Manager

Cara Myers is a second-year MPA/ID student at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has previously worked on agriculture and environmental sustainability for various organizations in Mozambique, Kenya, and Brazil, including Samaritan's Purse, Innovations for Poverty Action, the Fulbright Commission, and the World Bank. She is also the founder of a non-profit in Mozambique that invests in local agriculture to sustain school lunch programs. Her second-year thesis addresses sustainable agriculture policy in Brazilian frontier states and she is interested in working on the intersection of climate change policy and agricultural development after graduation.

Cara Myers

Panel Manager

Ifoda Abdurazakova is a Policy Specialist on UN Resident Coordinator System Leadership at the United Nations Sustainable Development Group Office in New York. Her work involves supporting the UN Sustainable Development Group (coordination platform for 40 UN agencies, funds and programmes) in articulating its direction to address complex and multidimensional leadership challenges of the Agenda 2030. Ifoda led global projects on development policy, innovation and women’s economic empowerment and throughout her career, she worked with UN Women, UNDP, UN Secretariat, UN Peacekeeping Operations and led a non-profit organization.

Ifoda Abdurazakova

Alumni Advisor

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