PPIA Program

“Diversity & Leadership in Public Service”


Albert Beckford Jones
Albert B. Jones is Chairman and CEO Trading & Consulting International, Inc. (a Chicago based international business development, strategy implementation and management consulting company), and Chair Emeritus of national Public Policy International Affairs Program (PPIA).

Mr. Jones is, also, the Special Advisor to American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Research Competitiveness Program (RCP), based in Washington, D.C.  Albert Jones assists RCP (and other AAAS programs as requested) in their business development efforts with foreign governments, and institutions of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Gulf region; he lays the ground work for international programmatic work and S&T collaboration. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, headquartered, in Washington, D.C. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes some 252 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals in more than 91 countries around the globe. As the world’s most respected organization across the sciences, AAAS’s mission is to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.”

Since 2008, Albert Jones has applied his extensive working knowledge and cultural understanding to STEM and innovation capacity building in the MENA region; he served as the interlocutor for numerous U.S. institutions doing business with foreign entities. On behalf of U.S. institutions (notably the U.S. Civilian Research Development Foundation/CRDF Global) he was the former Senior Advisor to the President and Board of the CRDF Global- a nonprofit foundation established in 1995 by the National Science Foundation (NSF), authorized by the U.S. Congress and active in over 30 countries. Mr. Jones led CRDF’s international strategy and business development initiatives with foreign governments and STEM institutions to promote safety, security, and sustainability through cross-border programs and partnerships in science, technology, and innovation; his work also included joint ventures with U.S. companies with “offset” programs- tapping into international corporate social responsibility realm associated with foreign governments’ expenditures.

Albert Jones has, also, contributed to advance Science and Technology cooperation between nations, as an invited Observer, to the U.S. Department of State, OES/STC Interagency Working Group (IWG) at the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Science and Technology (S&T) Joint Committee Meeting (JCM)–charged with implementing the Science and Technology agreement between the U.S and Saudi Arabia (via the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology/KACST in 2010, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).

In 2011-2013, Albert Jones was appointed the Manager of Business Development at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a multi-billion-dollar endowed, science and research university in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Jones is credited with establishing KAUST’s Business Development Department, where he wrote the policy for major commercial projects and designed the process to build business cases and feasibility studies to commercialize STEM concepts. For instance, one such project involved a study of the global demand and supply of desalinated water; Albert Jones built the business case to transform and commercialize projected excess desalinated water capacity into bottled water through the application of certain technologies and innovative processes; he led major business opportunities to attract investors to generate long-term revenue, support capital and operation requirements, and lessen the University’s dependence on its endowment.

Albert Jones, 60, holds two masters’ degrees: the first masters’ degrees in Economics focused on international economic development (from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), where he, earned a bachelor’s degree, also, in Economics (and was student body president, member of the university’s board of trustees, recipient of Princeton University Foundation for Communication- Business Today, inter-collegiate division 1 athlete, and the keynote speaker at Inauguration of the Chancellor… e.g. Part I and Part II ). He earned his second master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis and Management (from University of Chicago), as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow; he studied at the Harvard Kennedy School under fellowship funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Over the course of three decades of Albert Jones’ career, he has served as an executive, entrepreneur, and advisor in industries. From 2006-2007, he was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Director of General Motors’ largest operations in the Middle East (Aljomaih/AAC), and one of their largest in the world; he oversaw the financial, human resource and administrative affairs of more than 3000 employees associated with $3 billion in assets. In banking and investment management, Albert Jones was the senior vice president of corporate strategy for Key Corp. when Key Bank merged with Society Bank to form a $68 billion institution; corporate planning officer for the executive management and vice chairman of First Chicago – now J.P. Morgan Chase; a licensed international financial advisor in Merrill Lynch’s Global Private Client Group. In the oil industry, he was a special business analyst for the executive management and former chairman of British Petroleum (BP).  As an entrepreneur, Albert Jones has start-up leadership. He served as an advisor to senior management on international strategy and new business and programmatic opportunities in higher education, aerospace, investment banking, international (diversified) family owned conglomerates, and small & medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) innovations and entrepreneurship organizations.

Mr. Jones’ non-for-profit  board of director work in higher education and international organizations has included membership and senior advisor to Council of International Programs (CIP) USA and Chicago board of directors, respectively; national Public Policy International Affairs Program (PPIA); former trustee of Hampshire College, Lake Erie College, Cleveland State University Foundation, Cleveland Music School Settlement, Cleveland Council on World Affairs and Cleveland Committee on Foreign Relations; member of the China Advisory Group, member of Chicago Committee (now known as the Chicago Council on Global Affairs). Albert Jones has been invited to speak at various international forums about economic growth in emerging markets as a form to reduce poverty (e.g. Part 1 and Part II).

Albert Jones and his wife, a retired professor of 19th century American and British literature, reside in Chicago and have one daughter, who is an award-winning international broadcast journalist focused on underreported news.

 Laura Bloomberg

Laura Bloomberg became dean of Humphrey School in June 2017 and previously had served as associate dean since January 2013. As the School’s principal academic officer she led efforts to launch a Master of Human Rights degree, support the global expansion of the School, establish a Foundations for Success summer prep program for all incoming students, create a national pipeline program for college students underrepresented in public affairs programs, and develop the Mandela Washington Fellowship program to support young leaders from countries across Africa. In response to a United States Presidential Commission request Bloomberg helped launch the nation’s first fully online program to develop leaders in the field of democratic election administration, which is now in its second year of operation at the Humphrey School.

Bloomberg serves on the executive council of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), considered the global standard in public service education. She chairs the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, which reviews and accredits public affairs degree programs in the United States and in a dozen countries across the globe. Bloomberg’s service to the University of Minnesota includes membership on the executive committees of the Hennepin-University Partnership, the Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center, and the Center for Transportation Studies. She currently chairs the University’s Council of Research Associate Deans.

As a member of the Humphrey School graduate faculty Bloomberg has taught courses on leadership and management, educational innovation, and program evaluation. She has received several awards for teaching, including the Humphrey School students’ award for Instructor of the Year (2010 and 2011). She also received a University of Minnesota Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Council of Graduate Students (2011).

Bloomberg previously served as executive director of the Center for Integrative Leadership, a joint initiative of the Humphrey School, Carlson School of Management, School of Public Health and College of Education and Human Development. Prior to joining the Humphrey School in 2007, Bloomberg was a school district administrator and principal of a K-12 urban magnet school. From 1990-1996 she concurrently was an instructor and researcher in the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. Bloomberg has served as a locally elected school board member in Mahtomedi, Minnesota (1996-2004) and chaired the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.

Bloomberg’s research and policy work focuses on community-based leadership, public value creation, cross-cultural dialogue and educational policy. Bloomberg has authored articles on creating public value, program evaluation, policy development, cross-agency leadership and collaboration, and educational policy analysis.  The co-edited volume Public Value and Public Administration (Bryson, Crosby and Bloomberg, 2015) received a Best Book Award for research from the American Society of Public Administration.

Bloomberg has consulted on education policy initiatives with the provincial governments of Canada, graduate education programs in China, Tribal Councils of Indigenous Nations, the European Union, countries across Africa and the island country of Cyprus.  She has worked with several states, federal agencies, and the National Governors Association to improve civic leadership and education systems across the United States.

Bloomberg holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from St. Cloud State University, master’s degrees in psychometrics and educational psychology from Cornell University, and a PhD in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

Martha Chavez

Martha Chavez is the Senior Assistant Dean for Academic Programs and Dean of Students at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.  She leads 10 academic programs, including the #1 ranked public policy analysis master’s program, as well as undergraduate, concurrent master’s, and doctoral degree programs.  Dean Chavez has designed new academic programs and directs all aspects of student services, including academic planning, advising, financial aid, student leadership, career services, alumni services, student conduct, and financial and strategic management of all degree program budgets.

In addition to working with PPIA on national diversity initiatives, she leads school-wide diversity programs and has served on diversity and academic panels at APPAM and NASPAA national conferences.   Prior to her career in higher education, she served as the Senior Director of Programs at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and as a Program Analyst (Presidential Management Intern Program) at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Planning and Evaluation Service and Migrant Education Office.

Dean Chavez also serves as a member of PPIA’s Board of Advisors. She has a B.A in Economics from UC Berkeley and M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, where she was a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship recipient.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Education at UC Berkeley and is a fervent champion in supporting the next generation of diverse leaders and mentors students nationwide.

Laura De Olden

Laura De Olden is the Director of Princeton’s Junior Summer Institute (JSI), and the Associate Director for Graduate Student Life and Diversity Initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson School. Her strong commitment to advancing diversity goals has marked her career in higher education. For the past three years Laura has been a Lecturer in Public and International Affairs and part of the team teaching the core course in Politics and Public Policy at WWS. She also taught policy writing as part of JSI for a few years. Before coming to Princeton, Laura taught at Northwestern’s Political Science Department, the Business Institutions Program, the Chicago Field Studies Program, and the Master of Public Affairs and Administration Program. Laura takes great pride in helping students from diverse backgrounds thrive academically and maximize their potential. As a mentor and first-generation college student, she can easily relate to students’ strong desire to contribute to something bigger than themselves, to their community and to public service. Laura has played a leadership role in several student organizations. At the University of Chicago, she was the Academic Chair of the Minorities in Public Policy and had a leading role in the Women in Public Policy group. At Princeton, she serves in the Latino Princetonians group and participates in the activities of the Latino Graduate Association and Princeton Latino y Amigos. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from The Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies of The University of Chicago. Her research interests include Mass Beliefs Systems and Democracy, Race, Ethnicity and Political Attitudes, and Racial Identity in Higher Education.

Gilbert Collins

Gilbert Collins has served as the Director of Global Health Programs at the Princeton University Center for Health and Wellbeing since 2016. Before that, he was Director of Graduate Student Life at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School (WWS) for three years.  As an alumnus of both the WWS MPA program (1999) and of the Princeton Junior Summer Institute (1995), he returns to the institution that provided the academic foundation for his public service career.

Prior to coming to Princeton, Gilbert served for several years with the U.S. Peace Corps in southern Africa, including four years as Country Director in Namibia and four years as Associate Director in Botswana.  Prior to that, he was the Evaluation and Planning Team Leader for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development, providing strategic and programmatic guidance for relief and development activities around the world.

He has completed internships at the United Nations, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the State Department. He also taught business development and computer literacy for seven months at a community-based NGO in Bangalore, India. Gilbert was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1999.

Before completing his MPA concentrating in Development Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School, Gilbert earned a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University. He has also studied in Berlin and Beijing. Conversant in French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese, Gilbert was born in Germany and was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His hobbies include photography, frisbee, travel, and board games. He is joined by his wife Sara and sons Timothy and Nicholas.


Richard Xavier Corral 

As CEO and Principal Consultant of Corral Consulting, Richard Xavier Corral, MPP brings over twelve years of professional experience along with a lifelong commitment to advancing social change to the nonprofit, for profit, corporate, community-based, government and philanthropic organizations with whom he consults.

Mr. Corral seamlessly integrates his extensive formal studies, passion for building business know-how and big picture problem solving to craft win-win solutions around education, health and wellness, green economies, LGBTQ equality, place-based initiatives and supplier diversity. Corral Consulting’s diverse clientele benefit from a comprehensive set of skills, strategies, content expertise and networks rarely assembled in one firm that are essential to effecting change in today’s fast changing world. Corral Consulting distinguishes itself by crafting workable solutions that cut across business, community, and policy.

To complement his consulting work, Mr. Corral volunteers his time, talents and energy throughout Los Angeles. Thoroughly attuned to both the challenges and opportunities facing under-resourced communities, Mr. Corral served as an elected representative on the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council from 2005 to 2008, provides pro bono consulting to several local startup ventures and serves as the current board president of the San Gabriel Valley Consortium for Homelessness.

Mr. Corral received a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in public policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and is a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow.

Simone Gbolo 

Simone Gbolo joined PPIA  as the National Director in Minneapolis, MN in 2016. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota was selected as the new host institution for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program National Office and moved in the spring of 2016. In this capacity she is responsible for overseeing organizational operations and supporting our alumni and consortium members.

Simone comes to PPIA from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Office of Admissions, where she has served as director of its Pipeline Programs since 2013. In this role Simone has led the initiatives that assist students from broadly diverse backgrounds to successfully matriculate to medical school. Prior to this, she served as associate program director of the North Star STEM Alliance, Minnesota’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)  at the University of Minnesota where she helped socialize students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and STEM careers. Her professional background has included varied experiences in higher education and nonprofit organizations including Century College, St. Catherine University, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the American Lung Association. In all of her work Simone has demonstrated a deep commitment to developing meaningful initiatives that cultivate and engage students as they pursue careers that impact social change and transformation and providing service to others in addressing the social challenges in the world.

Simone has a B.S., an M.Ed. and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, and is earning her Ph.D. in Higher Education, also from the University of Minnesota.

Sekou Kaalund

Sekou Kaalund is a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan and Head of Pension Fund Coverage for the Public Sector Group in the Corporate Investment Bank. Previously, he was responsible for the firm-wide senior relationship coverage for some of the largest investment bank clients, including Asset Managers and Hedge Funds. Kaalund was also Americas Head of Sales for Corporate and Public Pensions and Endowments and foundations. He joined J.P. Morgan as a Managing Director and Global Head of Sales for Private Equity and Real Estate Fund Services.

Kaalund also held leadership roles at Citi, including Head of Strategy for the Securities and Funds Services Group and Head of Strategic Initiatives for the Consumer Lending Group. Kaalund began his career at Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was a Commissioned Bank Examiner.

Kaalund earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Duke University and a Bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney College. He is active on several boards including New York City Parks Foundation, Duke University School of Public Policy, the Public Policy and International Affairs Program, and the Council of Urban Professionals. He is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council, Milken Young Leader’s Circle, Truman National Security Program, and the Aspen Institute Vanguard Society.

Jamia Jowers

Jamia Jowers currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Recruitment & Global Outreach for the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. She previously worked for the Office of Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity under the Provost where she fostered a diverse and inclusive campus community through initiatives aimed at underrepresented minorities as well as recruitment and retention initiatives for faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. She was formerly with the National Security Council (NSC -African Affairs) in the Executive Office of the President in Washington D.C., and prior to that post, spent two years in the Multilateral Affairs office advocating for human rights and U.N. reform. In her position in African Affairs Directorate Jamia was instrumental in the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit which focused on trade, investment, and security on the continent. While in the Multilateral Affairs office she contributed to the Atrocity Prevention Board, the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, and the Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQ Persons. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois and her M.A. in International Relations from Salve Regina University. As a National Security Scholar, Jamia’s research interests include global development in the periphery and peace & security issues within Africa.

Alexandra Martinez
Alexandra Martinez serves as assistant dean of diversity and inclusion for the Harvard Kennedy School. She has been with HKS since 1990 in numerous positions, mostly related to recruitment and admissions. She was the first HKS employee to be selected as a Harvard Administrative Fellow in 1993. Alexandra has participated in the Leadership Development Program and has been recognized for her leadership skills at HKS. A member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and an active participant of the Latino Network Luncheon series. Ms. Martinez has worked with PPIA Fellows for the last 18 years and is personally and professionally committed to its success. Prior to joining Harvard, Ms. Martinez worked at Merrill Lynch’s home office in NYC, after moving to Boston she worked for WBZ-TV in the Sales Department.

Ms. Martinez graduated from SUNY-Albany in Psychology and Africana Studies. Ms. Martinez is committed to attracting students from all underrepresented groups to public policy graduate programs.

Dorene J. Martinez
Dorene J. Martinez joined the BNP Paribas Cash Management Sales team in 2014. Based in the New York office, she currently serves as a director covering a portfolio of General Industrials, Chemicals and East Coast tech clients. Prior to BNPP, Dorene spent nearly a decade working with Deutsche Bank and HSBC in trade finance and cash management sales, focusing on large cap companies in the area of energy and natural resources. Before her career in banking, she was an Investment Officer for the New York City’s comptroller’s Office in the bureau of Asset Management and worked for a variety of international development organizations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.

David Marshall

As Director of Membership Development at NASPAA, David is charged with building productive relationships with deans, directors, and faculty members, and matching them to NASPAA’s projects and volunteer responsibilities.  Through this effort he seeks to significantly improve participation of selective schools, small schools, HBCUs, HSIs, and other underrepresented programs. He also recruits and manages NASPAA’s committees and sections, including NASPAA’s award selection committees. Finally, David manages the operations of the Pi Alpha Alpha honor society as an ad hoc committee of NASPAA.

David brings a variety of professional experience to NASPAA including undergraduate college admissions, government relations, and management consulting.  David completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He earned a Master’s of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a Master of Arts in Advertising also from the University of Texas.

Carmen Mezzera

Carmen Mezzera became executive director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs on January 1, 2014. Previously, she served as Director of Programs and Operations at the Bretton Woods Committee; Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation; Assistant Director for Education and Outreach at the Atlantic Council of the United States; and Director of Alumni Relations for the School of International Service (SIS) at American University.

Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from SIS, Ms. Mezzera stayed on to complete her master’s degree with a focus on international organizations and sustainable development. In the course of her studies, Ms. Mezzera provided analyses for NATO’s Partnership for Peace in Mons, Belgium and at the United Nations Development Program Washington Office.

Among her volunteer work, Ms. Mezzera has served as Vice Chair of the Board for St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington DC, Co-Chair of the Canadian Coalition for Fair Trade, and Director-At-Large of the Abyssinian Fund in Harlem, NY. She has written and/or provided interviews for CNN, CBS, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, and Cooperative Grocer Magazine – among other outlets – and spoken at numerous national and international conferences. She received the 2008 Rising Star Alumni Award from American University.

Gladys Perez

Gladys Perez is Director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Science in Public Policy and Management Program and an alumna of the program. Prior to Carnegie Mellon she held positions as the Community Initiatives Program Manager for the United Way of Allegheny County and spent four years as a Legislative Aide and Director for Texas State Representative Robert R. Puente. Ms. Perez received a B.A in Political Science from Boston University and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from the H. John Heinz III College.

Tara Sheehan
Tara Sheehan is the executive director of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) where she is the senior manager of an international research conference in public policy (over 1,500 attendees) as well as the association’s finances (annual budget: $1 millon), website, publications and other activities. She comes to APPAM from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), where she was the Director of Membership and Marketing for three years. Her duties included management of the annual conference, attended by 2,000 members. Prior to RTDNA, Ms. Sheehan was the Membership and Marketing Director for the United Motorcoach Association (UMA), a trade association in Alexandria, VA, for four years. She has served as the number two staff position at both RTDNA and UMA and has a long history of association and non-profit experience in the Washington, D.C. area.

Ms. Sheehan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Politics from New York University in 1998. She received a Master of Public Policy degree from George Mason University in 2005.

Leigh Morris Sloane

Leigh Morris Sloane most recently served as Chief of Staff at Brookings. Until August 2013, Leigh Morris Sloane served as the Executive Director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). In this role, she has managed programs and services and developed new initiatives for APSIA’s 70 plus full and affiliate member schools around the world. From 2006-2008, Ms. Sloane was the Executive Director of the Civic Education Project (CEP), where she worked with the Board of Directors to establish new programs in the Middle East. Previously, Ms. Sloane was the Assistant Director for the Congress and US Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, as a Foreign Policy Analyst for Europe and a Program Officer to establish the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, and as Assistant Director for West European Studies at The Ohio State University.

Ms. Sloane spent nearly two years living in Hungary in the early 1990s,at Budapest University of Economics and later at Veszprém University. From 1994-1996, she served as Development Assistant for the American University in Bulgaria both in the US and in Blagoevgrad. She has a Master’s in History from the London School of Economics in History and Theory of International Relations and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She was a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2008-2012.

Beth Soboleski
Beth Soboleski is responsible for the oversight of all recruiting and admissions processes and events for the Ford School. She also represents the Ford School at graduate fairs and other student recruiting events and serves as the Ford School admissions representative in professional organizations such as APSIA, APPAM and NASPAA. As part of the recruitment strategy, she develops and maintains our partnership programs with organizations such as Teach for America, Americorps, and the Peace Corps. She also supervises the admissions office staff. Ms. Soboleski received her B.S. degree in public administration from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and also holds a master of public policy degree from the University of Michigan.