Lydia Casmier Derfler

2020 Heller MPP Segal Fellow

Lydia Casmier Derfler is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. As an organizer, activist, and St. Louis native, she is committed to developing equitable policy solutions for people of color, with a special interest in serving Black and undocumented communities. Lydia currently works as a Program Administrator in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Brandeis. She also serves on the Heller Student Association, as well as the President’s Task Force on Campus Sustainability. Before attending Heller, she was a Director in the Office of Precollege Programs at Brandeis.

Lydia taught high school English in Medellin, Colombia prior to moving to Boston. She also served as an AmeriCorps Member at the Mary’s Center Teen Program in Washington, D.C., where she continued to work as a Youth Development Coordinator for six years following her service. Lydia received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Howard University. She completed research assistantships at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies and in UCLA’s Department of History through the UC-HBCU Initiative. Lydia is excited to work on cutting-edge policy advocacy campaigns as a Segal Fellow this summer.