The Baker Innovation Grant (BIG) supports five promising McCourt School of Public Policy graduate students to develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Through BIG, the Baker Center is investing in the next generation of leaders to think about solutions in bold, new, creative ways; leaders who will turn big ideas into action. The 2017 Baker Innovators will each receive $20,000 in seed capital and spend the year incubating their solution to a policy or political problem around the broad theme of “security.” They will receive mentorship and support, and their yearlong exploration will culminate in a presentation of their ideas and proposed solutions at the 2018 Baker Forum. We are proud to introduce the inaugural class of Baker Innovators.
Adam Bouyamourn worked as a financial journalist in Abu Dhabi for three years before heading to the McCourt School of Public Policy, writing for various outlets including Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East and the Economist Intelligence Unit. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oxford in philosophy, politics, and economics, and an M.Sc. in European politics and policy from the University of London. He has also written for The Guardian, The Independent, The New Statesman, and NME, among other publications. Following graduation from the McCourt School, he would like to work in political consultancy. In his spare time, he sings for several choirs in the Washington, D.C. area.
Christian Conroy is currently a dual Master in Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) candidate at Georgetown University, where he is focused on using econometric analysis to advise foreign companies entering emerging markets. Prior to Georgetown, Christian held several positions in the private sector, including Supply Chain Security Risk Analyst at BSI Group, Technical Advisor for Psychometrics and Analytics at GSX Inc., and Shanghai GM at CRCC Asia. Christian was also previously a Fulbright Fellow based in Xi’an, China, where he studied the decentralization of education policy with a focus on the distribution of authority between county bureaus of education and primary schools in rural China.
Jacob Ford grew up in Apollo, Pennsylvania, a rural county outside of Pittsburgh. He graduated from Allegheny College in 2014, majoring in mathematics. Afterwards, he began work as a financial analyst in Arlington, Virginia. After two years and looking to transfer into work focused on education policy and income mobility, he enrolled in the McCourt School of Public Policy in the fall of 2016. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys attempting to mimic his favorite blues guitarists, searching for the perfect homemade bread recipe, and traveling around the world.
Rebecca Gerr is a first-year student in the joint Master in Public Policy and Master of Business Administration program with interests in health policy and the intersection of business and government. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Go Quakers!), Rebecca spent the last six years working in healthcare consulting on a variety of hospital strategy and finance projects in all corners of the United States. In addition to her life as a student at Georgetown, Rebecca is the mom of an active one-year-old, a leader in two Washington, D.C. religious nonprofits, and an aspiring baker.
Kelley Schneider is a first-year student in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. She left her home state of Minnesota to study at Northwestern University and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2013. Kelley has worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors and in local and global organizations: most recently, she was in Paris, France, where she spent the past two years working in international law as a paralegal at Shearman & Sterling LLP. Kelley is also on the Institute of Politics and Public Service Student Advisory Board.
Judy Feder – Baker Innovation Grant Faculty Advisor
Judy Feder is a professor of public policy and, from 1999 to 2008, served as dean of what is now the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A nationally-recognized leader in health policy, Judy has made her mark on the nation’s health insurance system, through both scholarship and public service. A widely published scholar, Judy’s health policy research began at the Brookings Institution, continued at the Urban Institute, and, since 1984, flourished at Georgetown University. In the late 1980s, Judy moved from policy research to policy leadership, actively promoting effective health reform as staff director of the congressional Pepper Commission (chaired by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV) in 1989-90; principal deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services in former President Bill Clinton’s first term; a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (2008-2011) and, today, as an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute.
Judy matches her own contributions to policy with her contributions to nurturing emerging policy leaders. As dean from 1999 to 2008, she built Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute into one of the nation’s leading public policy schools, whose graduates participate in policymaking, policy research, and policy politics, not only throughout Washington but throughout the nation and the world.
Judy is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance; a former chair and board member of AcademyHealth; a member of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Board, the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Hamilton Project’s Advisory Council; and a senior advisor to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. In 2006 and 2008, Judy was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. Judy is a political scientist, with a B.A. from Brandeis University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Harvard University.