Humphrey School News—May 22, 2020

A Look Ahead with New Graduate Michele Girard


Head shot of Humphrey School 2020 MDP graduate Michele Girard
Humphrey School 2020 MDP graduate Michele Girard.

We caught up with Michele Girard as she completed her Master of Development Practice (MDP)  degree in spring 2020. In 2019, Girard won the Acara Challenge for a project to develop a sustainable funding plan for a community water system in a city in Haiti. Girard is from Portland, Maine. 

What are your plans after graduation? 

I am continuing to work for the National Loon Center and the Northern Lakes Initiative in my position at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA).

I am also continuing to work on the community potable water system in Haiti, under an Acara Fellowship. And I will be published in June 2020 by the Aspen Institute's Energy and Environment Program, for a piece on the current water crisis in Santiago, Chile.  

What about longer term goals?

I am currently applying for fellowships in Europe for water governance research work. 

Why did you choose to attend the Humphrey School?

I choose the Humphrey School due a combination of its excellent faculty, history of public service work, and its affordability. (You cannot beat the tuition and our ranking in the Top 10!)

What was the most important takeaway from your time at the Humphrey School?

My key takeaway from the Humphrey School is something that my professors taught me, which is that to solve “wicked problems” you must be flexible, humble, and creative.  

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