PPIA Program

“Diversity & Leadership in Public Service”

Cynthia Salim

CCS1“Making a lifelong commitment to public service is about being an advocate for the public good no matter where you happen to work, be it in the public, social or private sector.”

Cynthia Salim, a PPIA alum who attended the 2008 JSI at Carnegie Mellon University, is now an impact entrepreneur and the founder of C Suite Apparel, an ethical clothing line of women’s professional wear. Through her current work in New York she is able to advocate for labor rights in the global apparel industry. She says that “PPIA helped me solidify my commitment to public service and integrate it into everything I do.”

After her summer with PPIA, she graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Ethics. Cynthia then went on to earn an MA in Human Values and Contemporary Global Ethics at King’s College in London as a Rotary scholar in 2011. Since then, she has worked as a Policy Associate at the International Catholic Migration in Geneva, Switzerland and later as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, also in Geneva.

Cynthia credits her experience at the Junior Summer Institute with making a lasting impact on her career path. “PPIA helped me launch a career in international affairs in Geneva, Switzerland where I worked in human rights advocacy at the UN on behalf of a non-governmental organization.” she says. She believes that the quantitative skills that she gained through PPIA helped her challenge the assumptions that she had about what public policy solutions were effective, solutions that were rooted in moral imperatives but required quantitative analysis to measure projected impact. Cynthia finds that she can use these skills to solve problems in more powerful ways.

With regards to her professional experiences post-college, Cynthia believes that “sometimes you have to pave your own road” particularly with breaking into a field that you are passionate about. “There is almost always a community waiting to help you thrive in a field you’re interested in.” she states.

Cynthia is currently featured in the New York Times “Wealth Matters” column for being a top funded Upstart.