Office of Alumni Relations

Alumni and Friends Events

zoom screenshot with Anita Hill, Lisa Lynch, Stuart Altman, David Weil and Jack Shonkoff
University Professor Anita Hill moderated a panel discussion among four Heller deans: Lisa Lynch, Stuart Altman, David Weil and Jack Shonkoff
Ruth Brandwein, PhD'78, and Phyllis Hersch, PhD'77, co-hosted the June 24 PhD Reunion: the First 25 years
MPP Program Director Michael Doonan hosted the domestic career panel during the 17th Annual DC Heller Alumni Reception
alumni holding paintings
Heller Alumni Association Board Member Isaac K. Cudjoe, MA COEX'18 and Adam Motenko, MBA'16, hosted DC-area alumni for a painting event Nov. 16.
students with an alumna at networking night
Students and alumni mingled during Alumni Networking Night on Nov. 14
alumni in Uganda
Heller Board of Advisors Member Charles Nalyaali, MA SID'98, and MS GHPM Program Director AK Nandakumar hosted a get-together for alumni in Uganda.
alumnus and student at holding muffins
Former Heller professor Walter Leutz, PhD'81, was one of the alumni who attended Heller's bi-annual muffin breakfast, sponsored by the Heller Alumni Association.
David Weil and Tom Perez on stage
Democratic National Committee Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez discussed his career, progressive politics and his strategy for advancing Democratic candidates in 2020 with Dean David Weil.
Jeanette Takamura, PhD’85, Heller Alumni Association Board member, hosted a dinner in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan for prospective students and alumni.
Africa Night included a panel discussion and debate, food, a fashion show, a student-produced documentary, live theater, and performances by emerging artists from the Heller community. 
2019 Heller Award winners: Dean Weil, Prof. Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, PhD student Alexandra Kritikos, Scientist Rachel Sayko Adams, Associate Director for Academic Affairs Marc Kiredjian, Bria Price, MPP'19 and Meghna Kanthan '22.
Dean Weil talking to a student
Heller alumni gathered at the 16th Annual Washington, DC Alumni Reception to reconnect with old friends and professors, hear from Dean Weil and network with current students.
Cupcakes for everyone! Students, faculty and staff celebrated Heller's No. 7 ranking in social policy from US News & World Report with tasty blue treats at our Heller Town Hall.
Activist and Kennedy School lecturer Marshall Ganz shared how he learned "the craft of organizing," first as a volunteer with the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964 and later in his work with Cesar Chavez.
Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld led a panel on "Negotiation & Conflict Resolution in the Trump Era."
Heller students came together for International Mother Language Day, dressing in traditional clothing and dancing and singing in front of Heller community members.

We're excited to share a great slate of events below for our alumni and friends to stay connected to Heller. Make sure to update your information to receive emails about upcoming events and receive monthly updates. You may also refer to the Brandeis Alumni Events Calendar for more event opportunities.

External visitors should complete a daily health assessment in accordance with the Brandeis COVID-19 visitor policy (when it asks for your Brandeis account, say no.)

Upcoming Events: 

6th Annual Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture

Thursday, January 20, 5:00 - 6:30 pm EST (Virtual Event)

Register today.

Dr. Richard Frank, PhD, Margaret Morris Professor of Health Economics (emeritus) at Harvard Medical School, discusses Prescription Drug Affordability and the Supply of Cures. Dr. Frank is currently a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and Director of the Schaeffer Initiative on Health Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Stuart H. Altman, PhD, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, will moderate the discussion.

Please register in advance for this event. To make a gift to the Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture Series, contact the Heller Development Office at 781-736-3808 or give online.


Reading Group: "Believing" by Professor Anita Hill

Week of January 17th through the week of February 14th (exact dates TBA)

Sign up for the book group here.

The Gender Working Group would like to invite you to partake in a reading group for professor Anita Hill’s book “Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence,” a powerful story of America’s endemic gender-based violence.

The reading group will start the week of January 17th and go through the week of February 14th; specific dates will follow. Meetings will last for an hour and take place after 5:00 pm ET. Graduate students will facilitate each session for meaningful discussion. Anita Hill will be a facilitator for the final meeting! Free snacks will also be included. If you have already signed up, you do not need to sign up again.

Contact the Gender Working Group with any questions.

Navigating Higher Education as a BIPOC Student: Panel Discussion

Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 12:00-1:15 pm ET

Register today.

Join the Heller BIPOC Mentoring Marketplace Committee and Professors Joseph K. Assan, Maria Madison, Alexandra Piñeros Shields, and Rajesh Sampath for a conversation about mentorship and navigating higher education as a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Student. All are welcome.

While the content will center on the experiences of BIPOC students, the knowledge gained will be relevant to all. We hope you will join us!

Panelists include:

Alumni are invited and encouraged to attend.

Call for Submissions: Heller Social Impact Case Collection

All Alumni are eligible to submit a case by January 18!

Professors Carole Carlson, Professor Joel Cutcher Gershenfeld, and Matthew Kriegsman ’11, MBA’20, are pleased to announce that we have just signed an agreement with Brandeis University Press to publish the first Heller Social Impact Case Collection. This collection of short social impact cases, with supporting materials, is (to our knowledge) the first collection of its kind and will help to establish Heller as a world leader for social impact teaching.

We are now working to assemble the first set of short cases with teaching notes that can be added to the collection and we encourage Heller alumni to consider contributing. This is a wonderful opportunity to build your credentials, gain additional visibility for your organizations and share your ideas by being published in what we expect will be a broadly distributed publication. Alumni contributions (alone or with faculty and students) are welcome. There are modest stipends available for contributors thanks to a grant from the Brandeis Center for Teaching and Learning. For alumni proposals, we would be happy to match alumni case ideas with potential faculty or student case authors or co-authors.

If you have an interest in contributing, fill out the online form to provide an overview of your case idea. We will follow up with those who complete the form to provide additional information.

The cases will fall into several categories: Social Entrepreneur Start-up Cases, Social Entrepreneur Scaling Cases, Social Impact Leadership Cases, Social Impact Operations Cases, Social Impact Financial Management Cases, Social Impact Human Resources Cases, Social Impact Data Analytics Cases, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion / Addressing Bias and other topics of interest.

Target length is 5 - 7 pages single spaced and a teaching note of roughly equal length should be provided. An author's guide and sample cases and teaching notes are available. Each case should be appropriate for teaching one or more core social impact concepts via an interactive class discussion, primarily at the graduate level. Brandeis University Press has been creative in providing ways that faculty can select individual cases or combinations of cases for their teaching, without students having to buy the full collection.

Our goal is to curate approximately a dozen cases for this collection and we anticipate publishing future collections with the Brandeis University Press.

Please reach out to Carole Carlson with any questions.

Previous Events: 

7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge led by Dr. Alan Mueller

January 10 and 11, 2022

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Office of the Dean and the Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity welcomed Dr. Alan Mueller, a passionate advocate for authentic transformation. He started Adaptive Challenge Consulting in 2014 to help organizations navigate their greatest challenges through listening and real conversations. This workshop explored the meaning of ‘race’ and ‘racism'; how overt racism appears in our language, symbols, and messaging; and where race and colonization intersect with gender and other identities. At the end of the workshop, participants should feel more empowered to work toward creating more inclusive environments at home, at work, and in their communities. Registrants can access the resources for the 7-Day Challenge online. Heller staff, faculty, students, and alumni were strongly encouraged to attend. If you have questions, contact Tynika Booth or Victoria Felson.

PhD After Heller: Alumni Discussion on Their Career Paths

December 1, 2021

Career exploration for doctoral students is more than just research and teaching, though that is a big part of it. Heller School PhD alumni work across a variety of different organizations and industries as consultants, researchers, administrators, project managers, policy analysts, economists, and other professional endeavors. The Heller Career Development Center sponsors this virtual career program where four alumni working in varied fields will shared their experience and insight going from their doctoral program to their current role, some of the challenges they faced as they balanced the need for career preparation with their studies, and helpful tips, strategies, and resources they found helpful as they developed their careers after receiving their PhD. Alumni presenters include: Ye Pogue, PhD'19, Research Public Health Analyst, RTI International, Maria Timberlake, MA'10, PhD'13, Associate Professor, Foundations & Social Advocacy Department, SUNY-Cortland; Sara Chaganti, PhD'18, Deputy Director of Research in Regional & Community Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; and Gail Strickler, MMHS'94, MA'00, PhD'07, Research Scientist and Deputy Director, Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, The Heller School.

Giving DEISday 2021!

November 30, 2021

This year, we asked all Heller faculty, staff, friends, alumni, and students to come together to help us reach our goal of 100 donors and $5,000. Once we reach this goal we'll unlock another $5,000 from an anonymous match donor! The best part? All of these funds go towards supporting Heller students. This year, our community will unite to support Heller students with gifts designated for three essential pillars that support Heller students: Where the need is greatestHeller Student Enrichment Funds, and the FRESH Brandeis Food Pantry. Thank you to all of our alumni, students, staff, friends and faculty who made this day a success! You can still make a gift anytime to the Heller School and if you have questions, please contact us at

Sankofa Community Conversation with Dr. Howard C. Stevenson - 2020 Winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize

November 19, 2021

The Heller School cordially invited alumni to join a conversation on racial literacy, with Howard C. Stevenson, a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher of racial stress and trauma, and the 2020 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize. Dr. Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, where he serves as executive director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative and directs Forward Promise, a national philanthropic office that promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization. Dr. Stevenson has led mental health research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health to examine the benefits of racial literacy, and is the author of the bestselling book “Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference,” which offers solutions to reduce racial threat reactions in face-to-face encounters. Watch the recording.

About the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize
The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize was created by the late Professor Joseph B. Gittler to recognize outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations. The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Endowed Fund at Brandeis University supports this annual award. The Gittler Prize is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life on behalf of the Office of the President and Office of the Provost.

The Political and Economic Implications of the Biden Initiatives

November 16, 2021

The Master of Public Policy program and the MPP Student Association sponsored this event titled "The Political and Economic Implications of the Biden Initiatives," a discussion about President Biden's early initiatives with Lisa Lynch, Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, and Robert Kuttner, Meyer and Ida Kirstein Professor in Social Planning and Administration, and moderated by Pierrce Holmes, MPP'22, 2021 Heller MPP Segal Program Fellow.

MBA Distinguished Management Lecture: Realigning Markets for Good: How Innovative Finance Can Advance Pathways to Economic Opportunity

November 15, 2021

The MBA Distinguished Management Lecture features Tracy Palandjian, the CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance. Tracy will share how she and her team at Social Finance have worked with leaders in the public, private and social sectors to use funding and data in innovative ways to create lasting impact. Since its founding, Social Finance has catalyzed over $225 million to help more than 35,000 individuals realize improved outcomes in education, economic mobility, health, and housing.

Social Finance is a national impact finance and advisory nonprofit that builds innovative partnerships and investments to measurably improve lives. The firm became a fund manager in 2019 to launch its Career Impact Bond strategy, a financing model that improves economic mobility for unemployed and underemployed individuals. Prior to Social Finance, Tracy was a Managing Director at The Parthenon Group, where she established and led the Nonprofit Practice. She also worked at Wellington Management Company and McKinsey & Company. Tracy is Vice Chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, a Trustee of the Global Steering Group on Impact Investing, and a Director at both The Boston Foundation and Mass General Brigham. A native of Hong Kong, Tracy graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. magna cum laude in Economics and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She is a recipient of the HBS Alumni Achievement Award, the School’s highest honor. If you have any questions, please contact Norma DeMattos.

“Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence”

November 10, 2021

The Heller School held a virtual discussion with University Professor Anita Hill about her latest book, “Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence” in conversation with Professor ChaeRan Freeze, the Frances and Max Elkon Chair in Modern Jewish History and chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Brandeis. “Believing,” Professor Hill’s third book, is a comprehensive examination of how gender-based violence infiltrates and damages lives, communities and social structures. In it, Hill connects the dots from elementary school bullying to college sexual assault, workplace harassment and intimate partner violence, laying bare the broken systems that often fail to provide accountability or properly investigate complaints. Along the way she interweaves stories from her own life and others’, poignant reminders that although gender-based violence is almost too big to fully comprehend, its consequences are meted out on individual lives, families, communities and our society at large. Contact if you have any questions. Watch the recording and read the feature article.

Heller Student Coffee Break

November 10, 2021

The Heller Alumni Association hosts the Student Coffee Break to welcome back new and returning students by inviting them to enjoy coffee and the legendary muffins from the Gingerbread Construction Co. Many young alumni will remember this event from when they were a student. We are inviting alumni to attend and also share their advice for students! Students will be there to meet alumni and also learn about the resources available for students, including the Heller Enrichment Funds, connecting with alumni, and ways to continue to be engaged with Heller after they graduate. Contact the Heller Alumni Relations Office if you have any questions.  This event is co-sponsored by the Heller Alumni Association, the Heller Development and Alumni Relations, the Career Development Center, Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, Heller Student Services, and Brandeis Graduate Affairs.

6,000 Waiting - A film about Disability Advocacy

October 27, 2021

Three Georgia residents with disabilities fight to access Now/Comp Waiver funding that would allow them to live life on their own terms. A life guaranteed by their Olmstead rights. What happens when people with disabilities want to live outside of nursing facilities and in the community? This event included a 30 minute discussion with Naomi, Ben, and Nick, featured in the film. CART and ASL services will be provided. This event is sponsored by the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.

Brandeis Chicago Business and Career Virtual Networking Night

October 27, 2021

Brandeis alumni and current students from across the Greater Chicago area gathered for a virtual evening of business and career networking. This event will featured a panel discussion and breakout rooms where alumni connected across sectors. Panelists include: Jesse Leung ’14, Michael Resnick ’86, Laura Neiman ’97, and Andrea Fishman ’97. Learn more about the panelists here. This event is presented by the Brandeis Alumni Club of Chicago and the Hiatt Career Center.

Pain and Shock in America: A discussion with author Jan Nisbet and Advocates

October 12, 2021

A book launch discussion of Jan Nisbet's Pain and Shock in America: Politics, Advocacy, and the Controversial Treatment of People with Disabilities. This is the first book on the Judge Rotenberg Center and their use of painful interventions to control the behavior of children and adults with disabilities. This event included an interview-style conversation between the author Jan Nisbet and Ari Ne'eman, visiting scholar at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. There was also a panel discussion of professionals on the legal and disability policy impacts of this ongoing fight. They included Jennifer Mathis, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; Nancy Weiss, Director of National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities; and Finn Gardiner, Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. Contact with any questions. This event is sponsored by the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.

The Role of Disabled and Deaf Fathers in the Family

September 28, 2021

Speakers included Kevin Irvine, Earl Allen, and Dominick Evans. The webinar was facilitated by Linda Long-Bellil, PhD'07, JD. For more information contact Miriam Heyman. This event is sponsored by the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.

LGBTQIA+ Alumni Trailblazers on Advocacy and Inspiration

September 23, 2021

Three alumni changemakers whose personal and professional efforts have had significant impact in the LGBTQ community discussed how their Brandeis experiences shaped their advocacy work and how the concept of “repairing the world” or “tikkun olam” has driven and inspired them.

Panelists included Aliya Bean ’16 who was immersed in policy-making on Capitol Hill as interim executive director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Marvin Kabakoff ’68, a historian and veteran of the gay rights movement who serves on the board of Boston’s LGBTQ archives and chairs his synagogue’s Rainbow Committee. Alexis “Lexi” Matza ’98 who provides welcoming healthcare services for LGBT veterans as deputy director of the federal Veterans Health Administration’s LGBT health program. The program was moderated by Josh Wright-Huynh, MBA’22, co-president of the LGBTQ+ Business Student Association. This event is co-sponsored by the Brandeis Alumni Association, the LGBTQ+ Business Student Association, The Heller School and the Brandeis International Business School. For more information, contact the Brandeis Office of Alumni Relations at 781-736-4012 or email

September Segal Convening: A Conversation with Candice C. Jones on Investing in Criminal Justice and Youth Justice Reform

September 13, 2021

Candice C. Jones is the President and CEO of the Public Welfare Foundation. As noted on their website, "For over seventy years, Public Welfare Foundation has supported efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. Today, our efforts focus on catalyzing a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just through investments in criminal justice and youth justice reforms." Jones previously "served as Senior Advisor at Chicago CRED, an organization that focuses on gun violence in Chicago... [and] as Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.... She also served as a White House Fellow [and]... a program officer with the MacArthur Foundation.... Jones received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri." This event is sponsored by The Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at The Center for Youth and Communities.

27th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

July 2, 2021

Survivors shared their testimonies, academicians discussed mechanisms of the Genocide denial and how to fight it and to prevent the Genocide. Panelists included Rwandan Embassy Representative Survivors and Scholars: Didier Bizimungu, Survivor, Author & Activist; Dr. Sara E. Brown, Executive Director, The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange); Dr. Karegeye Jean-Pierre, Genocide Scholar; Dr. Zachary Kaufman, Associate Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Houston Law Center; Omar Ndizeye, Survivor and Author; and Ms. Consolee Nishimwe, Survivor, Author & Activist. Moderatorated by: Dr. Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University; Director, Institute for Economic and Racial Equity.

In the Margins: Women and Dalits in India

June 30, 2021

Professors Harleen Singh, Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) director and associate professor of South Asian Literature and Women's Studies and Rajesh Sampath, associate professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights, and Social Change at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis, had a discussion about the role of Dalit women in India's Anti-Colonial movement; the participation by members of what once was called the “untouchable” caste in modern Indian government and their conflicted status in Indian society. Explore gender inequality, the caste system, and their intersections in India and the pursuit of justice and equality today. This event is co-sponsored by the Brandeis Women’s Network and a Brandeis Alumni College 2021 event. Watch the recording.

The Biden-Harris Administration's Caregiving Initiative: Investing in Medicaid HCBS

June 16, 2021

A webinar on the Biden-Harris Administration's historic proposal to invest $400 billion in the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services program (HCBS). The session featured remarks from the Acting Administrator of the Administration for Community Living, Alison Barkoff. Following remarks from the administration's leadership, there were brief presentations from a panel representing the perspectives of consumers, their advocates, and members of the workforce. Sandy Ho, Research Associate at the Lurie Institute, led a panel discussion and moderated a Q&A from the audience. This event is sponsored by the Community Living Policy Center (CLPC), housed at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. Contact with any questions.

50 Years of Latinx Students at Brandeis hosted by the Alumni of Color Network

June 12, 2021

This event featured a panel of alumni and a current student for a discussion of Latina/o/x students at Brandeis. The panel shared their experiences on campus spanning 50 years including student activism - off and on campus - and a history of the student organization, GRITO. The moderator is Heller alum Fernando Torres-Gil, MSW'72, PhD'76. Panelists include undergraduate alumni Naomi Vega '73, Norma Sanchez '84, Blanca Elizabeth Vega '98, Cesar Ramirez '04 and Irma Reyes '21. If you have any questions, please reach out to Elsie Morales Ramos '72. Hosted by the Brandeis Alumni of Color Network. Watch the recording.

Heller School Deans' Panel

June 3, 2021

University Professor Anita Hill moderated a discussion with Dean David Weil, and past Deans, Lisa Lynch, Stuart Altman and Jack Shonkoff. The multiple pandemics of this past year have pushed the Heller School to innovate, to adapt, and to dig deep into reservoirs of strength, creativity and grit. They also remind us of the importance of the work that happens at Heller as a response to public crises of all kinds as well as the need to care for members of the Heller community during difficult times. The current and past Heller Deans shared their perspectives about how they navigated periods of growth, adversity and change, and what they hold up as major accomplishments during their tenure. Based on their experiences across numerous decades, it was an interesting discussion to hear their personal recounts and how we can learn from our past to influence our future. Read the featured story and watch the recording.

Heller Commencement 2021

May 24, 2021

The Heller School celebrated and honored the Class of 2021 at this year's virtual ceremony to commemorate their achievements as students, celebrate them as graduates and welcome them as alumni. This year’s graduates are entering a world sorely in need of their knowledge, skills and dedication to our social justice mission. Watch the videos or read the transcripts of all presenters here.

The First 100 Days Event Series: The Impact of COVID on The Healthcare System and The Biden Health Agenda

May 4, 2021

This event touched on the early accomplishments in health of the Biden Administration and what we might expect going forward. Heller’s Stuart H. Altman, PhD, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy lead the discussion and David Weil, Dean and Professor Heller School for Social Policy and Management gave opening remarks. This event discussed the impact of COVID on health policy and the health care delivery system. This event is sponsored by the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy and Research. Watch the recording.

The First 100 Days Event Series: Vaccine Equity and Efficacy in the Time of COVID Variants

April 23, 2021

The Biden Administration has prioritized the rapid scale up and administering of the COVID vaccine as a key part of the strategy to deal with the virus and create conditions conducive for reopening the economy. At the same time global efforts, through the Covax initiative as well as at country levels, are trying to use collective actions to make the COVID vaccine available to billions of people living in low and middle-income settings. The Biden administration has signalled its commitment to the global effort through a financial commitment in the billions of dollars. The domestic and global responses have come with questions on the rollout itself but equally with issues around ensuring equity and the responsibility of high income countries to low and middle-income countries. This panel brought together representatives from various sectors, domestic and global, to share their perspectives and discuss the issues. Moderated by Dr. Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity and Director, Institute for Economic and Racial Equity.

Panelists included Senator Jo Comerford, Massachusetts State Senator for Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester Districts; Dr. Oneeka Williams, MD, MPH, Practicing surgeon, St. Elizabeth Medical Centre, Boston; Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology, Tufts University School of Medicine; Founder and CEO at Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo, LLC; Vice Chair, Board of Advisors, Museum of Science, Boston; Ms. Sangita Patel, Director Health Office, USAID India; Dan Kress, Vice President for Health Systems Innovation, Management Sciences for Health; Christian von Stolk, Vice President, RAND, & co-author, RAND vaccine nationalism study. This event is co-sponsored by the Institute of Global Health and Development and Institute for Economic and Racial Equity. Questions? Email Monica Jordan. Watch the recording.

Heller Awards 2021 - Celebration and Winners Confirmation

April 14, 2021

Recognizing and celebrating excellence in our community is of crucial importance. One way we do so is through our annual Heller awards. Dean David Weil announced the staff, faculty and student winners of the Heller Teaching; Teaching Assistant; Mentoring; Staff Service; Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; and Early Investigator Awards for Academic Year 2020-2021. Congratulations to these exemplary members of our community!

Fulfilling the Promise of 40 Acres: African American Reparations in the Twenty-First Century

April 10, 2021

Today’s black-white wealth gap originated with the unfulfilled promise of 40 acres in 1865. The payment of this debt in the 21st century is feasible—and at least 156 years overdue. In their award-winning book, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, William Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen advance a general definition of reparations as a program of acknowledgment, redress, and closure. Acknowledgment constitutes the culpable party’s admission of responsibility for the atrocity; admission should include recognition of the damages inflicted upon the enslaved and their descendants and the advantages gained by the culpable party. Redress constitutes the acts of restitution; the steps taken to “heal the wound.” In this context, it means the erasure of the black-white wealth gap. Closure constitutes an agreement by both the victims and the perpetrators that the account is settled. Sponsored by the the Center for Global Development and Sustainability and their event series titled A Global Policy and Justice Series.

Deis Impact

April 7-12, 2021

The theme for this year is Reflections on Im/Migration. Each of us, directly or through our family members and ancestors, have experienced international and intranational movement. Some of these movements are voluntary and engaged with honor, while others are coerced, fueled by, and often met with, violence. Deis Impact 2021 will focus on our collective lived experiences as we navigate the dynamics of power, privilege, and exclusion contained within them. Visit the website for these events and for more information on Deis Impact’s history. Email Dr. Aretina Hamilton, Director of Programming, Training, Education, and Development with questions or inquiries.

The Perlmutter Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership

April 7, 2021

President Ron Liebowitz and his wife Jessica celebrated the Perlmutter Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership with recipient Aron J. Ain, CEO and Chairman of UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) and author of "WorkInspired: How to Build an Organization Where Everyone Loves to Work.” The Perlmutter Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership is given to a highly select group of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership worldwide. It particularly honors those whose careers in business, finance, government and related fields embody the values promoted by the Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership — a vision that transcends national borders, the highest levels of professionalism and a commitment to the global community and its prosperity. Sponsored by the President's Office, Brandeis University and the Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership at Brandeis International Business School. Watch the recording.

The First 100 Days Event Series: Reducing Child Poverty and Protecting Workers: A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro

March 31, 2021

In this Conversation with the Dean, David Weil spoke to Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut about her commitment to creating good middle class jobs, promoting employee and union rights, expanding the child tax credit and more. DeLauro became the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee in 2020 and sits on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and she is the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees our nation’s investments in education, health, and employment. Read about the event and watch the recording here.

Read more about Rep. DeLauro, her expertise, and biography here.

Livelihood Sustainability and Wellbeing in an era of COVID-19 in Developing Countries

March 24, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic is having devastating impacts on the livelihoods of millions of households across the globe. The session examined these dynamics and discussed some case studies on these devastating impacts. It also highlighted the discriminatory patterns underlying current interventions and consider policy options to redress the situation, especially for female/youth headed households. Presenter includes Professor Joseph K. Assan and discussant Constance Fairweather Kane, PhD'85, chair of the Heller Board of Advisors at the Heller School. Sponsored by the the Center for Global Development and Sustainability and their event series titled A Global Policy and Justice Series.

The First 100 Days Event Series: Can Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Deliver Peace?

March 18, 2021

The Biden-Harris administration has issued a directive requiring federal agencies to identify barriers to racial equity and to put in place plans to address them. This new policy could have far-reaching implications for U.S. conflict resolution and development programs, which will need to become more participatory and inclusive—particularly in fragile states, where aid delivery tends to be top down. The Global Fragility Act and U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace and Security offer tools for realizing these goals and build upon decades of lessons learned from research and programming in the field. USIP and the Heller School had a discussion on how applying the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion can contribute to more effective U.S. peace and development programs around the world. Panelists considered efforts to meaningfully engage marginalized or underrepresented groups such as women, youth, and social movement actors to support locally driven peacebuilding. Moderated by Dr. Pamina Firchow with panelists Dr. Corinne Graff (USIP), Dr. Susanna Campbell (American University), Rosa Emilia Salamanca (Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE) in Colombia), and Joseph Sany (USIP).

Black Lives and Anti-racist Development

March 17, 2021

The Center for Global Development and Sustainability is hosting a series of webinars, A Global Policy and Justice Series, confronting critical national and global issues that will shape sustainable development efforts for decades. This webinar featured Professor Alfred Zack-Williams with Heller Moderators/Discussants: Professor Joseph Assan and Dr. Maria Madison. This talk focused on the structural racial discrimination, ethnic supremacy, and xenophobia, globally and how such tendencies undermine the development of oppressed minorities and marginalized groups. They examined policy strategies in achieving anti-racist development and discuss efforts to ensure social mobility and the attainment of racial and economic equity.

A Conversation with Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.: Brandeis 21-Day Equity Challenge for a More Inclusive Community

March 16, 2021

The three Brandeis Graduate Schools hosted a live conversation with Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., creator of the 21-Day Equity Habit Building Challenge©. Dr. Moore, along with our guest panelists, discussed the roots of the 21-Day Challenge and its significance in this moment of escalated hate crimes - including anti-Asian hate crimes - and racial reckoning. The conversation included how to use this resource to be a more effective champion for equity and justice in life, school and career. Read about the Heller 21-day Challenge here. Panelists included Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Founder & Educational Consultant, America & MOORE, LLC; Founder and Director, The White Privilege Conference; Creator of the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge©; Barbara Nobles Crawford, PhD '84, Professor of the Practice in Organizational Behavior and Director of Executive & Leadership Coaching for MBA Working Professional Programs, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, and Heller Board of Advisors Member; Teresa Rodriguez, Associate Director of International and Diversity Recruitment, Brandeis International Business School; and Pierrce Holmes, Master of Public Policy Candidate 2022, Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Fellow, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Watch the recording.

Brandeis Alumni, Parents, and Friends in Africa - Zoom Reception and Q&A with President Ron Liebowitz

February 23, 2021

Calling all alumni in Africa!  Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz and his wife Jessica hosted a Zoom Reception and Q&A for Heller and Brandeis Alumni, Parents, and Friends in Africa. "Brandeis in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond" Moderated by Heller alum and Board of Advisors member, Charles Nalyaali, MA SID’98, P’20. Heller Professor Joseph Assan joined as moderator for the Q&A portion of the program. Watch the recording.

Unfair and Unequal: Covid-19 and People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Feb 22, 2021

The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and the Community Living Policy Center hosted a webinar discussion between disability community members, self-advocates, and policy researchers. This conversation will elevate the policy and lived experience impacts of COVID-19 among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Leaders and experts from the disability community will consider lessons learned, future federal policies, and ways that policies that promote Home and Community-based Services can provide more equitable social justice during this pandemic. This discussion will include: Moderator: Joe Caldwell, Director of the Community Living Policy Center; Angel Miles, Healthcare/home and Community Based Services Policy Analysis at Access Living; Julia Bascom, Executive Director at Autistic Self Advocacy Network; Nicole LeBlanc, National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems Group Coordinator, Disability Policy expert; and Scott Landes, Associate Professor of Sociology, Aging Studies Institute, Syracuse University. If you have questions contact the Lurie Institute at lurie@brandeis.eduWatch the recording.

5th Annual Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture: The Health and Health Care Agenda in a Post January 6th World

February 3, 2021

The 5th Annual Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture featured special guest speaker Chris Jennings, Founder and President, Jennings Policy Strategies Inc. Mr. Jennings served as Senior Advisor to the President for Health Policy under Presidents' Clinton and Obama and most recently appointed to represent President Biden on the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force. Heller’s Stuart H. Altman, PhD, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, moderated the discussion and David Weil, Dean and Professor, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, gave opening remarks. The event recording will be posted soon.

To make a gift to the Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture Series, you can make a gift online by including “Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture” to the “Please indicate your preferred designation(s)” field.

The U.S. Supreme Court and the Future of Equality in the United States featuring Anita Hill

January 18, 2021

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we invite you to join Anita Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as she discusses the U.S. Supreme Court and Future of Equality in the United States. Featured Speaker: Anita Hill, JD, University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Brandeis University. Discussion moderated by: Maria Madison, ScD, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity and Director, Institute for Assets and Social Policy (IASP), The Heller School, Brandeis University and Cindy Thomas, PhD'00, Associate Dean for Research, The Heller School, Brandeis University
Watch the recording.

21-Day Racial Equity Challenge

January 4– 25, 2021

We invited alumni and friends to join us by engaging in a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge based on Dr. Eddie Moore’s 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. The Heller School developed a program for the month of January, with different tracks being offered to faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. The purpose of the self-study program is to engage in deep self-reflection and practical thinking on how to integrate racial equity into your life and career. Heller provided an activity tracker as well as the suggested readings and recommended resources. The content shared was consistent with the material that students read in a credit bearing pro-seminar “Racial Equity: Intersections of Race, Power, Privilege, Supremacy and Oppression” and was largely selected and curated by current Heller students.

Heller Alumni and Friends Virtual Town Hall

December 2, 2020

David Weil, Heller Dean and Professor, hosted our very first Heller Alumni and Friends Virtual Town Hall featuring the panelists below. Topics included an overall update about Heller, our plan for addressing systematized racism, an update on the student experience during COVID-19, and many ways alumni and friends can interact with and help the Heller School. Even though the Heller School looks different this year compared to previous years, we push forward with hope and vision for a better world. Watch the recording.

Panelists included Benny Belvin, Assistant Dean, Career Development; Ravi Lakshmikanthan, MA SID'99, Assistant Dean, Academic and Student Services; Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity and Director of the Institute for Assets and Social Policy; and Nicole Rodriguez, MPP'14, Heller Alumni Association Board President.

Election 2020 Conversations with the Dean: "Politics and Policy: The Path Forward"

November 17, 2020

With the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, what does the road ahead look like in terms of progressive social policies and socio-political movement trends? Dean David Weil facilitated a discussion among four panelists who bring a wealth of experiences and perspectives to this question. Watch the recording.

Panelists: David Weil, Dean and Professor (Moderator); Archon Fung, Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Robert Kuttner, Meyer and Ida Kirstein Professor in Social Planning and Administration, The Heller School at Brandeis and Co-founder and former editor of the American Prospect; Chris Lu, Senior Fellow, University of Virginia Miller Center and Former US Deputy Secretary of Labor, Obama Administration; and Carmen Rojas, President and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Founder of Workers Lab.

50 years of International Human Rights and Development: A Conversation with Prof. Laurence Simon

November 5, 2020

Laurence Simon, professor of international development at the Heller School, discussed his nearly 50 years advancing human rights and building institutions to solve problems of hunger and poverty in developing nations. Professor Rajesh Sampath interviewed Professor Simon about historic and contemporary issues that are woven like a tapestry throughout Professor Simon’s career. Topics included social exclusion and caste oppression, landlessness, failed aid programs, losses of humanitarian food aid, and pesticide poisonings among small farmers. Professor Simon shared brief excerpts from a forthcoming memoir to illustrate the need for a philosophy of development that avoids false generosity and instead moves us through empathy and love to the ethics of emancipation. This event is co-sponsored by the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Brandeis University Alumni Association. Watch the recording.

Meet Oudou Sanogo, MA SID'18 

October 28, 2020

The SID Program invited student and alumni to meet Heller alum Oudou Sanogo, MA SID'18. He currently works as a Virtual Exchange Program Manager at United Planet. He shared his love for education and his journey from Mali to South Carolina to New York to the Heller School and now as a practicing development professional.

Election 2020 Conversations with the Dean: "The Act of Democracy"

October 27, 2020

In the words of John Lewis, "Democracy is not a state. It is an act." The Heller Dean, David Weil, facilitated a panel discussion of democratic participation, civic engagement, and voting access in advance of Election Day. Panelists included David Weil, Dean and Professor, The Heller School, Brandeis University; Anita Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Brandeis University; Fernando Torres-Gil, MSW'72, PhD'76, Director, Center for Policy Research on Aging and Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy, Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California; and Daniel Kryder, Louis Stulberg Chair in Law and Politics, Brandeis University. Watch the recording.

A second Conversation, "Politics and Policy: The Path Forward," will take place after the election and information on that event will be shared in November.

Heller Social Impact Startup Challenge: Pitch Presentations and Winners Announced

October 25, 2020

The 2020 Heller Startup Challenge is the 8th annual social enterprise initiative to help Brandeis and Heller students develop entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems. Alumni and friends joined the Sunday pitch presentations as each group pitches to a set of judges for a chance to win up to $1,000 to develop their venture. For more information contact

Disability Rights are Civil Rights: A Conversation on Inclusive Democracy

October 8, 2020

The Lurie Institute’s Sandy Ho held a conversation with Rebecca Cokley (Center for American Progress) and Claribel Vidal (Ford Foundation) to learn how they’re working to encourage and support the civic participation and leadership of people with disabilities. Sponsored by the The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy. For more information contact Watch the recording.

MPP Program Virtual Event - Honoring Retiring Faculty Member Professor Bob Tannenwald

October 1, 2020

MPP alumni, faculty and staff gathered virtually along with Provost Lisa Lynch and Dean David Weil to honor retiring faculty member Professor Robert Tannenwald and his nine year career at the Heller School. Professor Tannenwald taught almost all MPP alumni. Imparting his years of experience and knowledge in the areas of public finance and budgeting, he helped guide Heller students as they pursued their MPP degree.

Heller Community Reading for Social Justice: Teach-In with Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

October 1, 2020

As a community dedicated to the pursuit and diffusion of knowledge advancing social justice, we are launching our first Heller community reading initiative this academic year. Throughout the year, beginning with incoming students at Orientation, we will read and discuss From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, published in 2016. This ongoing conversation will include everyone in the Heller community: faculty, researchers, administrative staff, students and alumni. 

Dr. Taylor is Assistant Professor and Charles H. Mcilwain University Preceptor, Department of African Studies at Princeton University. She writes and speaks on Black politics, social movements and racial inequality in the United States. Dr. Taylor was recently named among the first cohort of Freedom Scholars, an initiative supporting progressive academics who are at the forefront of movements for economic and social justice. Learn more about Dr. Taylor by watching her TedxBaltimore presentation.

Following the conversation with Dr. Taylor, attendees were invited to join a Bridge to Beloved Community with Joy von Steiger from the Brandeis Counseling Center. This short, informal and interactive session is intended intended to help deal with the many pressures we are all facing in these difficult times.

Watch the recording.

Access to the book is remains available free of charge to members of the Heller community. For information to access the book, alumni can email

Heller MBA Program Team Consulting Projects

August 20-21, 2020

The Heller MBA program culminates in the Team Consulting Project, real-world, practical experience providing students with the opportunity to apply their analytical and problem-solving skills to help an organization or business unit more effectively pursue its social mission. Working under the supervision of a faculty advisor in teams of three to five, students provide consulting services to a mission-driven organization over a four-month period. Students have the opportunity to self-organize into teams and select from among a wide variety of organizations in the for-profit, nonprofit and public sectors. Together, they tackle a management challenge, conduct sophisticated analyses, and submit recommendations. The TCP is accompanied by a workshop series and culminates in a formal presentation and report.

Passing State Legislation to Protect the Rights of Parents with Disabilities

July 27, 2020

Nearly 30 states have introduced or passed legislation aimed at protecting the rights of parents with disabilities. This webinar featured Senator Sara Gelser of Oregon and Kimberly Tissot of Able South Carolina and moderated by Robyn Powell, PhD'20. It focused on strategies that advocates and state legislators can use to pass these bills. Presenters discussed their experiences working on legislation, including the barriers they encountered and their recommendations for overcoming these challenges. Webinar attendees learned about drafting legislation, securing sponsors, building coalitions, and testifying in support of bills. This webinar is for disability rights advocates, state legislators, attorneys, child welfare system professionals, policymakers, and others interested in ensuring the rights of parents with disabilities. This event is sponsored by the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. For more information contact Watch the recording.

"Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired": A Conversation on Anti-racism and Equity Momentum in America

July 13, 2020

This was a cross-disciplinary discussion on racism as a public health and economic crisis, with a focus on action. Presenters included Leah Wright Rigueur, PhD, Harry Truman Associate Professor of History, Brandeis University; Bill Rodgers, PhD, Chief Economist, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University; Anita Hill, JD, Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, Brandeis University; and moderated by Maria Madison, ScD, Associate Dean, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, The Heller School, Brandeis University. Watch the recording.

As we approach the next presidential election, we are reminded of the people helping to pass voting rights through the 15th, 19th and 26th Amendments to the Constitution. Fannie Lou Hamer captured the frustration with her famous quote we use for the title of this session. We are also mindful of the role of the political and moral determinants of health and financial equity. These variables partnered with our outrage over continued violence by police against black and brown bodies, fuels our desire for this conversation now across multidisciplinary scholars. This session highlighted the historical and current context of racism in the United States. Carrying forward the legacies for activism established throughout history, participants discussed structural, systemic and personal methodologies, for social justice activism.

This event is sponsored by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, the Heller Students Association and the Office of the Dean at the Heller School, and by the Department of African and African American Studies and Brandeis Black Graduate Student Association, Brandeis University.

“Vaping in America” with Professor Constance Horgan, Meredith Berkman, and Alexandra Kritikos, PhD’20 Candidate

June 30, 2020

This discussion explored vaping among youth in the U.S., an emerging public health crisis. First introduced in the early 2000s as a “healthier” alternative to smoking, electronic vaping devices have become a cultural phenomenon in 2020. Discover the affects of vaping on millions of youth and the challenges facing public health and medicine today.

Constance M. Horgan, professor and director of the Institute for Behavioral Health at the Heller School, moderated a dialogue with Meredith Berkman, one of PR Week’s top 50 Health Influencers and co-founder of Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes (PAVe), a national advocacy and education organization, and Alexandra F. Kritikos, a vaping researcher and Heller PhD candidate.

Reconnecting the First 25 Years of Heller Classes

June 24, 2020

All PhD alumni between the years 1959-1984 gathered for a virtual reunion! This was an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, get an update on today's Heller School, and exchange memories. Attendees shared their fondest memories of Heller as well as how they integrated their social justice training throughout their career.

Brandeis Alumni of Color Network Community Check-in

June 17, 2020

This was a special briefing call for members of the Brandeis Alumni of Color Network hosted by the AOC committee. Hear from President Ron Liebowitz and Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mark Brimhall-Vargas about the impact of the #BlackLivesMatter protests and COVID-19 on the AOC community. We discussed how Brandeis is responding as well as opportunities for advancing social justice against systemic racism. Watch the recording.

America’s Racial Reckoning: Black Lives and Black Futures in Historical, Political and Legal Context

June 12, 2020

As the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others have shown us yet again, entrenched systemic racism threatens the very lives of Black people in the United States. United by both our commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and as a community that considers social justice central to our mission, this event examined this issue in the larger society and at Brandeis itself. Moderated by Chad Williams who is the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Chair in History and the Chair of the African and African American Studies department. This panel brought together University Professor Anita Hill, Daniel Kryder who is the Louis Stulberg Chair in Law and Politics, and Leah Wright Rigueur who is the Harry Truman Associate Professor of History, for an in-depth discussion from multiple scholarly perspectives of this moment, its historical precedents, and possible outcomes. This discussion was sponsored by the Department of African and African American Studies; Department of Politics; Department of History; Heller School for Social Policy and Management; Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Office of the President; and the Office of the Provost. Watch the recording.

Sankofa Community Conference: Co-Constructing Racial Justice through Life and Work

June 2-3, 2020

Racism is not an isolated incident, but rather a belief and system entrenched in American society. Brandeis and Heller alumni are invited to join us for a student center Zoom conference to advance racial justice. Each author will discuss the core points of their paper and propose a solution to the racial issue they identified in their paper. Watch a video about the event. Topics discussed include: COVID-19 and Race by Dr. Callie Watkins Liu, PhD'16; Racialized Disability: A New Framework of Rights by Anna Clements, PhD candidate; Restorative and Transformative Justice Towards Truth and Racial Reconciliation (The need for reparations) by Ona Wang, MA COEX'20; and Survival within Inequality (Two interwoven personal narratives about two people of color who grew-up in the Boston area) by Milan Friedman, Stonehill College '20.

For more information, contact Learn more about the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. The recording will be posted in the near future. Read more about this event.

Heller's Virtual Graduation Celebration

May 31, 2020

Alumni and friends joined Heller in honoring the Class of 2020 to commemorate their achievements as students, celebrate them as graduates and welcome them as alumni.
The guest speaker was Dr. Ihsan Kaadan, MS'16. The program also included remakrs from the Heller Dean, David Weil, featured student presenters from each class, remarks from Nicole Rodriguez, MPP'14, President of the Heller Alumni Association and the awarding of the Barbara Wakefield Award to Prince Mujumbe Salama, MA SID'20.

Watch the full program and read full transcripts here.

Health Care and Public Health in the Era of COVID-19

May 26, 2020

The third and final event in the COVID-19 and its Social Policy Implications: Heller Perspectives event series.

  • Stuart Altman, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion & Diversity, Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Christine E. Bishop, Atran Professor of Labor Economics
  • Diana Bowser, Associate Professor, Heller School, Brandeis University
  • A.K. Nandakumar, Professor of the Practice, Director, MS Program in Global Health Policy, and Director, Institute for Global Health and Development, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University
Read more Heller COVID-19 stories. Watch the recording.

Navigating a US Job Search: Resources, Strategies, Encouragement, and Perspectives from International Heller Alumni

May 14, 2020

We know a US job search for international students may present challenges. Yet, many international Heller alumni have successfully connected to a job or other professional opportunities in the US. How did they do it? What strategies and tips made them successful? What resources were helpful? What were some of the challenges in connecting to opportunities in the US? Attendees learned about key tips, strategies, and resources for navigating a job search in the US by hearing from 4 alumni and 1 current student who have made connections and opportunities work in their favor.

Bryan Kanney, Assistant Director, Heller Career Development Center, moderated the panel which included Samira Bari, MA SID'20, Staff Planning and Support Lead (COVID Response), American Red Cross; Martins Francis, MS'19, Senior Associate, Policy Analytics, Avalere Health; Nittaya Saenbut, MA SID'14, Program Associate & Administrator, True Costs Initiative; Ye (Zhang) Pogue, PhD'19, Research Public Health Analyst, RTI International; and Davron Mirsagatov, MA SID'16, Program Manager, American Councils for International Education.

Understanding the Economic Repercussions of COVID-19

May 13, 2020

The second event in the COVID-19 and its Social Policy Implications: Heller Perspectives event series.

  • Lisa Lynch, Provost, Brandeis University
  • Robert Kuttner, Meyer and Ida Kirstein Professor in Social Planning and Administration, Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy; Director, Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University
  • David Weil, Dean and Professor, Heller School, Brandeis University

Read more Heller COVID-19 stories. Watch the recording.

COVID-19 Lessons from the Korean Peninsula & Beyond: Enhancing National, Regional and Global Cooperation

May 8, 2020

The first event in the COVID-19 and its Social Policy Implications: Heller Perspectives event series.
  • Jerome Kim, MD, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute, Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • Mike VanRooyen, MD, Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Chairman, Brigham & Women's Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine, Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
  • Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion & Diversity, Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Alain Lempereur, Alan B. Slifka Professor and Program Director, MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, Heller School, Brandeis University and Harvard Program on Negotiation
Read more Heller COVID-19 stories. Watch the recording.

Farewell to Professor Brian Roach

May 8, 2020

The SID Program wished a fond farewell and best wishes to Professor Brian Roach.

Farewell to Professor Eric Olson

May 7, 2020

The SID Program wished a fond farewell and best wishes to Professor Eric Olson.

Brandeis Alumni Community Check-In

May 6, 2020

President Ron Liebowitz, Provost Lisa Lynch (and previous Heller Dean) and Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance Stew Uretsky had a virtual Alumni Community Check-In. This was an opportunity to come together as a community during this difficult time and learn about Brandeis' response to the COVID-19 crisis. Lewis Brooks '80, P'16, president of the Brandeis Alumni Association, will offer a brief welcome and facilitate the Q&A. A recording of the event will be posted soon.

Maximizing Your First Year on the Job

May 5, 2020

The first year at your new job may possibly be the most important year of your career. It is a time of significant transition. The first year is where you will set the stage for understanding your supervisor and how to manage up, as well as learn the dynamics of working on a team, how to navigate political challenges in an organization, managing your professional development, and how to advocate for yourself. In this interactive online session, attendees were provided strategies and key tips to increase confidence and success in navigating your workplace. Sponsored by the Heller Career Development Center.

COEX Spring Capstones

May 1, 2020

Heller Alumni were invited to observe COEX students as they present their annual Spring Capstone Presentations. These presentations are the culmination of COEX student's work on topics ranging from the Syrian civil war, Iranian Nuclear Deal Negotiations, Youth Development in Conflict, the use of technology in peace-building and more.

Prof. Alain Lempereur presents "How the Red Cross Negotiates in the Humanitarian Frontline, From Henri Dunant Until Now"

April 30, 2020

Henri Dunant, who ended up founding the Red Cross, was a businessman. When he witnessed the aftermath of the battle of Solferino, in North Italy, in 1859, he was appalled by the human tragedy of the thousands of people dying and wounded. He then leveraged negotiation to save as many lives as possible. Times have changed, but today, the Red Cross continues to use the power of responsible negotiation in the frontline to mitigate the consequences of nature-made or human-made disasters.

Alain Lempereur is the Alan B. Slifka professor at Brandeis University, and the director of the Heller Conflict Resolution and Coexistence Program. He is an affiliated faculty and executive committee member of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. He also supports the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Geneva-based Center of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiations. He is a consultant for the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and MSF (Doctors without Borders).

Entrepreneurship and Working with Nonprofit Entrepreneurs Post-Heller featuring Simone LaPray, MBA/MA SID'15, Executive Director of TiE Boston

April 29, 2020

Simone LaPray, MBA/MA SID’15, Heller Alumni Association Board Member and the Executive Director of TiE Boston, an organization that fosters entrepreneurship through networking, mentoring, education and funding, presented. Emerging as a social movement among entrepreneurs 25 years ago, TiE now operates in 18 countries with a network of over 15,000 entrepreneurs. Simone shared her perspectives on navigating the MA startup ecosystem, how to get plugged in if you are a founder or looking to work with founders and share some of the major pitfalls that can set founders back. This session is for anyone interested in pursuing their startup, working in an accelerator/incubator, or individuals interested in exploring non-traditional post-Heller opportunities in tech/for-profit startups in Massachusetts.

Heller Awards 2020 - Celebration and Winners Confirmation

April 24, 2020

Recognizing and celebrating excellence in our community is of crucial importance. One way we do so is through our annual Heller awards. Dean David Weil announced the staff, faculty and student winners of the Heller Teaching; Teaching Assistant; Mentoring; Staff Service; Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; and Early Investigator Awards for Academic Year 2019-2020. Read more on the winners announced here.

Can You Move to Opportunity? Evidence from the Great Migration featuring Ellora Derenoncourt

April 22, 2020

Racial composition shocks during the Great Migration (1940-1970) lowered black upward mobility in the northern United States. The Migration’s effects on children are driven by location factors, not negative selection of families. Migration led to persistent segregation and higher police spending, crime, and incarceration from the 1960s onward. The changes induced by the Migration explain 27% of the region’s racial upward mobility gap today. Co-sponsored by the Heller School and Economics Department Joint Seminar Series. Listen to the recording.

Ellora Derenoncourt is an economist who works on labor economics, economic history, and inequality. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University Department of Economics. In July 2020, she will join the faculty at UC Berkeley, in the Economics department and the Goldman School of Public Policy. She received her PhD in Economics from Harvard University.

Resiliency on the Job Search

April 22, 2020

Searching for and landing a professional opportunity is a full-time job, and it can sometimes be a discouraging process. Even the most prepared seekers will hear "No" more often than "Yes." As you prepare for your next steps, it's essential to find ways to stay mentally and physically healthy and resilient. In this dynamic session, participants were provided with strategies and key tips to increase resiliency and ability to reframe challenges in order to be successful as they search for a job or internship. Sponsored by the Heller Career Development Center. Watch the recording.

Virtual Career Trek: University Research Corporation (URC)

April 15, 2020

URC is a global company dedicated to improving people's quality of health care, social services and education. They manage projects in over 30 countries, including the United States. Their mission is to provide innovative, evidence-based solutions to health and social challenges worldwide. In this “virtual” career trek, you will learn more about their work on specific projects, their approach to delivering solutions to healthcare problems through quality improvement, health systems strengthening, social and behavior change, and research and evaluation. Additionally, they are interested in recruiting new talent and representatives from 5 departments discussed careers at URC, what skills they look for in candidates, and how to connect to internships and full-time opportunities.

IMPAQ INTERNATIONAL: Virtual Information Session

April 9, 2020

Impaq International is a global policy research and analytics firm delivering evidence that shapes the world. With nearly 400 diverse researchers, economists, innovators, data scientists, and other professionals Their mission is to bring clear answers to the most important questions in health care, economic development, and human services through cutting-edge research, analytics, and technical support. The Heller Career Development Center invites you to this virtual information/Q&A session where professionals will share their expertise as researchers, economists, and program managers and will highlight the work they do, how they got into their fields, and discuss internship and full-time opportunities.

International Women's Day: Priorities for Reducing Gender Disparities

March 9, 2020

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Professor Anita Hill hosted a virtual gathering of Heller School alumni and students. The webinar involved a panel of experts comprised of Heller alumni who have contributed significantly to advocating for greater gender equity. Panelists included: Odgerel Dashzeveg MA SID'07; Seraphine Mukankubito, MA SID/COEX'12; Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson '80, PhD'06; Chhoeki Penjor, MA SID'11. Professor Hill lead the discussion on reducing gender disparities and areas where greater emphasis needs to be placed during this new decade. Listen to the recording.

17th Annual Washington, DC Heller Alumni Reception

February 20, 2020

Over 150 Heller alumni, students, faculty, and staff gathered in Washington, DC to socialize, reconnect, network and enjoy light refreshments. This event was co-hosted by Heller Alumni Relations and the Heller Career Development Center as part of their annual Washington, DC Career Trek. The event included concurrent panel sessions focused on domestic and international policy, chaired by Michael Doonan, PhD'02, Associate Professor and Director, MPP Program and Ravi Lakshmikanthan, MA SID'99, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Services. Domestic alumni panelists included Elle Chang, MA SID'15; Sarah Leonard, MA COEX/MS'19; Phoenicia Lewis, MA SID/COEX'17; Brett Jordan, MPP'16; and Darley Tom, MA SID'11. International alumni panelists included Amira Abouhussein, MA SID/COEX'17; Pertula George-Redd, MA SID'08; Burhan Razi, MA SID'15; Prapti Sherchan, MBA'13; and Indalecio Vallejos, MA SID/COEX'13. Panel sessions were followed by an alumni and student networking reception.

The Joy of Negotiating: Be Aware and Empower Yourself! in Kigali, Rwanda

February 16, 2020

Welcoming remarks and presentation by Alain Lempereur, SJD, Director, MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence Program. Professor Lempereur, wrote "The First Move. A Negotiator’s Companion," a bestseller that sold tens of thousands of copies in 15 languages, presented a series of first moves to invite you to do first things first in negotiation, increase your power as a negotiator and also enjoy everyday dealmaking and conflict resolution.

How the 2020 Election Could Change Healthcare for a Generation at Goulston & Storrs, Boston, MA

January 30, 2020

Candidates are running on a platform of change, specifically in the way our nation delivers and pays for health care. As the 2020 elections approach, we heard from a panel of experts who outlined and discussed the major healthcare policy challenges and opportunities and their potential impact on our country, our commonwealth, and ourselves. Panelists include Dr. Carole Allen, Executive MBA’17, Vice President, Massachusetts Medical Society; Michael Doonan, PhD’02, Associate Professor and Director, Masters of Public Policy Program; and Cindy Friedman, Massachusetts State Senator. Moderator: Elana Margolis ’97, senior director of state government and regulatory affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Hosted by: Doug Rosner ’88, Goulston & Storrs, Boston, MA. Read full biographies.

Understanding the Opioid Crisis: A Timely Discussion with Heller School Faculty Member Andrew Kolodny, MD in Hollywood, FL

January 12, 2020

The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis: More than 100 Americans die every day from overdosing on opioids. Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Heller School faculty member, medical director for OPRC, a national expert on the opioid crisis and an outspoken critic of Purdue Pharma and other opioid makers, discussed how a flood of prescription opioids resulted in an epidemic of addiction and what’s needed to bring the crisis to an end.

Ford Hall: Closing the Disparity Gap

January 21-22, 2020

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Ford Hall anniversaries, Sankofa Community Conversations presented by the Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity offered a two day event, titled "Ford Hall: Closing the Disparity Gap." On Tuesday, January 21, 2020 was "Ford Hall Commemorative Community Discussion & Film" with Kwesi Jones '21. On Wednesday, January 22, 2020 was "Revisiting the 'N-Word': Intent vs. Impact in Communication" presented by Liz Pryor, Associate Professor of History at Smith College followed by "Charge to Remember" presented by Heller PhD candidate Jarvis Williams.

Heller School Student and Alumni Social in NYC

January 9, 2020

The Career Development Center and the Department of Alumni Relations gathered with alumni and current students for drinks and hors d’oeuvres as we laugh, converse, and enjoy a night of Heller in NYC. Come support current students as they explore some of the worlds most important international, governmental, non-profit, and non-governmental organizations.

The Joy of Negotiating: Responsible First Moves to Empower Yourself and Others in Deal-Making and Conflict Resolution in India

January 5, 2020

Welcoming remarks: Ravi Lakshmikanthan, MA SID'99, Assistant Dean, Academic and Student Services

Presentation by: Alain Lempereur, SJD, Director, MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence Program

Ravi Lakshmikanthan and Alain Lempereur were in Mumbai, India and hosted this event to bring together Brandeis and Heller alumni and prospective students. Alain Lempereur, who wrote "The First Move. A Negotiator’s Companion," a bestseller that sold tens of thousands of copies in 15 languages, presented a series of first moves to invite you to do first things first in negotiation, increase your power as a negotiator and also enjoy everyday dealmaking and conflict resolution.

Heller School Coffee Hour in Kigali, Rwanda!

January 4, 2020

Sarah LaMorey, MA SID/COEX'19, Program Coordinator, Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, hosted alumni and prospective students at the Camellia Restaurant in Kigali, Rwanda.

Heller School Coffee Hour in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!

January 2, 2020

Sarah LaMorey, MA SID/COEX'19, Program Coordinator, Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence, hosted alumni and prospective students at the Holiday Inn in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Fall Semester

  • September 19, 2019, Conversation with the Dean: Carmen Rojas, CEO and Co-Founder, The Workers Lab, came to Heller for the first Conversation with the Dean of Heller’s 60th anniversary school year. She and Dean David Weil discussed ways to improve the lives of U.S. workers, and she offered a critique of traditional philanthropy, described the innovative methods of the Workers Lab and shared her own background and journey. The Workers Lab collaborated with Heller's Institute on Assets and Social Policy earlier this year on an occupational segregation report titled, "Not Only Unequal Paychecks: Occupational Segregation, Benefits, and the Racial Wealth Gap."
  • September 25, 2019, Student Coffee Break: The Heller Alumni Association welcomed new and returning students by inviting them to enjoy coffee and the legendary muffins from the Gingerbread Construction Co. 
  • October 7, 2019, Heller School Coffee Hour in New Delhi, India: Featuring Allyala Krishna Nandakumar, Professor of the Practice; Director, Institute for Global Health and Development; Director, MS Program in Global Health Policy and Management at Le Meridien Hotel New Delhi, Windsor Place, India.
  • October 28, 2019: PhD Alumni Panel for a Non-Academic Career Track: The Heller School PhD Student Association welcomed the following alumni to come and present about their career outside of academia. Panelists include: Pieta Blakely, PhD'17, Blakely Consulting, LLC; Danielle Fuller-Wimbush, PhD'14, Director, Partner Support and Grantmaking, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC); Kate Giaponni Schneider, PhD'17, Research Scientist, Heller School; Julie Johnson, PhD'15, Director of Research, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Sponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and Career Development Center.
  • October 30, 2019, The Evolution of Conflict Transformation: A Conversation with John Paul Lederach: The COEX program held a panel discussion with the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize Award winner John Paul Lederach. Panelists included Isabella Jean, MA COEX'06, Pamina Firchow, Ted Johnson, and Sandy Jones; moderated by Alain Lempereur, COEX Program Director. Lederach is Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he previously served as director of the Peace Accord Matrix research initiative, and was the founding director for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Lederach works extensively with Humanity United as a practitioner in conciliation processes in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast and Central Asia. You can learn more about the Gittler Prize on the Brandeis website.
  • November 1, 2019, Arthur Pollock Legacy Award Event: The Heller School Center for Youth and Communities and The Treehouse Foundation and leaders from across the country discussed re-envisioning foster care in America. Remarks were given by Prof. Susan P. Curnan, Judy Cockerton, Founder & Director, Treehouse Foundation, andPhyllis N. Segal, Founding Chair, The Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program & Vice President, The Keynote address was given by Marc Freedman, Founder & CEO, Lynn Price, Founder, Camp to Belong, was presented with the Arthur Pollock Legacy Award. The Arthur Pollock Legacy Award honors extraordinary individuals, age 55+, who use their life experience to enhance the lives of our nation’s children and youth living in foster care and promote a Re-Envisioning of Foster Care in America. 
  • November 14, 2019, Student and Alumni Networking Night 2019: Students came to meet, greet, learn from and share community with Heller School alumni, Heller Board of Advisors Members and Heller Alumni Association Board Members who are engaged in wonderful work in healthcare, non-profit management, government, policy, advocacy and non-government organizations. In this moderated program that follows a "speed networking" format, they had conversations and made connections.
  • November 16, 2019, Heller School Alumni Meetup in Washington, DC: Hosted by: Isaac Cudjoe, MA COEX'18, Heller Alumni Association Board Member, and Adam Motenko, MBA'16. Heller alumni met up for this fun event to socialize and meet alumni from the DC area. The Heller School covered the full cost of this event for alumni attendees and 40% of the event expenses will go back towards the Heller Annual Fund, dedicated to supporting students and their academic experience.
  • November 19, 2019: Heller MPP alumni gathered for a special event to recognize Janet Boguslaw for all she has done for the Heller MPP Program. She has had many accomplishments as the Associate Director of the MPP program and as the poverty alleviation concentration chair and will continue to work at Heller in a new role. The program is collecting donations in honor of Janet to benefit the MPP summer internship program, of which Janet has been such a champion. Click here to make a gift (please designate “Other” and put MPP Internship Program in the text box).
  • November 20, 2019, The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy: 2019 Annual Distinguished Lecture: Using Population Data to Inform Autism Policy in the U.S.: Featuring Dr. Paul Shattuck, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, who discussed the importance of data in policies that help or hinder quality of life for people on the autism spectrum. In his lecture, Dr. Shattuck shared the development, strategies, and impact of the National Autism Data Center and the Research Program in Life Course Outcomes. Learn more about the Lurie InstituteWatch the full lecture here.
  • December 5, 2019, Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture: Healthcare in 2021 Ingredients for Change: Featured Speaker: David Blumenthal, MD, President & CEO, The Commonwealth Fund
    The 4th Annual Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture was sponsored by the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy. To make a gift to the Stanley Wallack Distinguished Memorial Lecture Series click here. To watch the full video of the lecture, click here.

Spring Semester

  • Jan. 23, 2019, Conversations with the Dean: Chuck Rosenberg: Impeachment, treason and the complexities of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation dominated the conversation as Chuck Rosenberg, former senior FBI official, U.S. Attorney and DEA administrator, visited the Heller School for a “Conversation with the Dean” with Dean David Weil. 
  • Jan. 30, 2019, Marshall Ganz described his experiences learning "the craft of organizing," first as a volunteer with the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964 and later in his work with Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Association in California.
  • Feb. 15, 2019 "Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in the Trump Era": Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld led a panel of negotiation experts, who discussed Trump’s unpredictability, need for personal gratification, use of private sector tactics in the public sector, as well as lessons learned from labor union negotiations and the challenges of moving society forward in an age of tribalism.
  • Feb. 20, 2019, 16th Annual Alumni Reception and Career Panels in Washington, DC: Heller alumni, students and faculty gathered in Washington, D.C. to share career advice, network and reconnect with old friends.
  • March 20, 2019, US News Rankings Celebration: Cupcakes for everyone! The community celebrated Heller's #7 ranking in social policy from US News & World Report with tasty blue treats at our Heller Town Hall.
  • March 20, 2019, International Mother Language Night: Heller students came together for International Mother Language Day, organized by Brandeis Bangladeshi Students Association. 
  • April 1, 2019,  Conversations with the Dean: Tom Perez: Democratic National Committee Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez joined Dean David Weil for part of the Conversations with the Dean speaker series. The event featured a wide-ranging dialogue on Perez’ life and career, his thoughts on progressive politics and his strategy for advancing Democratic candidates in 2020.
  • April 3, 2019, Heller Awards 2019: The Heller School presents awards each spring to members of the community for outstanding service in teaching, mentoring, teaching assistance, staff service, research, and equity, inclusion and diversity.
  • April 5, 2019, MBA Distinguished Management Lecture 2019: Mo Cowan, president of Global Government Affairs and Policy at GE, delivered the 2019 MBA Distinguished Management Lecture.
  • May 4, 2019, Africa Night is Heller’s annual celebration of African intellectual achievements, cultural heritage and diversity. It included a panel discussion and debate, live music, dance, poetry, oratory, free food, fashion show, hip-hop, student-produced documentary, live theater, and performances by emerging artists from the Heller community. 
  • June 24, 2019, Alumni Gathering in Ginza, Tokyo: Jeanette Takamura, PhD’85, Heller Alumni Association Board member, hosted a gathering that included Mutsuhisa Ban, a prospective student, Akiko Mera, MA SID’05, Yuki Kondo, MA SID’14,  Hajime Takizawa, MA SID’07, Jeanette C. Takamura, PhD'85, and Ayumu Osawa, MA SID’13.