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Past Featured Alumni

Monica Adibe

Position: Partnerships and Business Analytics at Doximity
Class of 2013

"My career path post-college wouldn't have been possible without the skills I learned studying political science. The political science major teaches you to thoroughly analyze issues from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective, which gave me the foundation to ramp up quickly and excel in the various industries that I've worked in since college. As a result, I'...

Ahamed Nicholas

Nicholas Ahamed

Position: Data Scientist, Civis Analytics
Class of 2015

"My degree prepared me for my position in too many ways to count. In my courses, I learned how to design thoughtful and robust research. I developed skills in coding and statistics to actually carry out analyses. And, I learned substantively about elections and political behavior, so I...

Erin Alaimo

Position: Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Grants at Xavier College Preparatory
Class of 1988

"My Political Science studies prepared me with the analytical thought process and essential life skills that have enabled me to succeed in multiple different roles in government, business, banking, and education. My liberal arts education inspired a cultural awareness and understanding of humanity that have served me well throughout my career."

Sedef Albrecht

Position: Director Mergers, Acquisitions and Partnerships Boeing Defense, Space, and Security
Class of 2001

Working in the Defense industry I draw upon my Poli Sci background on a daily basis.

Darius Ameri

Position: Agency Development Manager, Google Marketing Solutions
Class of 2007

"The political science major taught me critical thinking, problem-solving, how to ​conduct in-depth research ​and analysis and, most importantly, strong public speaking and writing skills. These are skills I use every day that transcend industries and careers."

Kathleen "Kat" Anderson

Position: Administrative Officer/Local Representative and SF Rec and Park Commissioner
Class of 1986

"Everything I do is 'political'-- from representing workers as we advocate for fair work places to my 'side work' as an active Democrat and citizen activist in SF. The Mayor just appointed me to a 4-year term on the coveted SF Rec and Park Commmission."

Jaeleen Araujo

Position: VP General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Sealaska Corporation
Class of 1995

"My political science major contributed to my interest and involvement in public policy priorities for my company. These priorities primarily relate to issues of importance to Alaska Natives and American Indians. My career has consistently involved interactions with state and federal agencies and elected officials. This has included proposing legislative changes and...

Duane Beasley

Position: Attorney - Partner
Class of 1996

"I use the critical thinking and writing skills that I learned as a poli-sci major every day. It is most helpful when I negotiate difficult provisions of an agreement, and when I have to explain concepts to clients and opposing parties."

Andrew Blotky

Position: Global Director of Internal Communications, Facebook
Class of 2002

"My entire career until coming to Facebook was in politics and communications, which is what I studied at Stanford. My poli sci major helped start a career that ended me in a place that I really enjoy being."

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Akilah Carter Davis

Position: Barclays Investment Banking Associate
Class of 2006

"The quantitative and qualitative skills that I learned during my four years at Stanford have proven invaluable at every step of my career—but never more than now. The investment banking industry is sensitive to the ebb and flow of the political sphere, and having an academic background in political science provides me with a unique perspective."

Desiree Cormier

Position: Director, Africa Practice, Albright Stonebridge Group
Class of 2007

"I use the critical thinking and writing skills I learned at Stanford daily in my previous and current line of work."

Jim Crisfield

Position: Superintendent of Schools for the Wissahickon Public School District, Pennsylvania
Class of 1986

"My start in public education was as a high school U.S. history teacher, and political science was perfect training for fostering robust, interesting and insightful conversations with my students. Now that I have moved on to the district (superintendent of schools) level, my Poli Sci studies are just as relevant and informative, as I frequently have to navigate the...

Vanessa Delgado

Position: Managing Partner and City Councilmember
Class of 1999

"My degree in Political Science gave me a strong foundation into understanding the intended principles behind our government structure. In my career, I worked in, with and now serve in government agencies and having that background has made a significant impact in me and challenges me to consider varied leadership ideas as I tackle my daily work."

Bernard Fraga

Position: Assistant Professor
Class of 2008

"My decision to major in Political Science was, in many ways, an obvious one given my desire to pursue graduate study and a career as an academic. However, Stanford’s polisci program provided me with exceptional training in both political theory and quantitative political methodology, training that made me competitive for admission to...

Amanda Gelender

Position: Senior Manager of Social Impact at GitHub
Class of 2010

My area of concentration in Political Science was Political Philosophy. It provided me with an in-depth, robust theoretical orientation to the work I do every day. Grappling with the roles of our institutions and my role and responsibility as a social changemaker created the springboard for my post-collegiate work. I'm incredibly grateful for the political science...

John Girard

Position: CEO
Class of 1994

"I didn't choose a career where I was able to apply my coursework directly, but the critical thinking and communication skills that I learned studying political science have been invaluable."

Leslie Hatamiya

Position: Executive Director, San Bruno Community Foundation
Class of 1990

"I have benefited from the analytical and communication skills I gained as a Political Science major throughout my career. As a creation of the San Bruno City Council, SBCF is a quasi-public entity, subject to many laws governing local governments. In addition, much of the work I do is in partnership with the City, and as a result, navigating City politics is a...

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Jomayra Herrera

Investment Analyst, Education Technology at Emerson Collective
Class of 2015

"The Research Honors Track in the political science department helped me to develop critical thinking, quantitive and qualitative analysis, and problem solving skills that have been invaluable to my career. I remember my honors thesis focused on the predicative indicators for why a state might adopt new early childhood education-related legislation - that combination...

Abigail Johnson

Position: President, Roeder-Johnson Corporation
Class of 1977

"Politics and my goals in my college years heavily inform the work I do every day. In the same way as I had hoped to change the world through politics, I work with companies to help find a way to articulate how they are changing the world."

Patrick Kennedy

Position: Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.
Class of 2013

Patrick graduated with honors in Political Science as part of the first cohort of the Research Honors Track program. He was the Firestone Medal recipient for his senior thesis, titled "Destined to Diappoint? A Cross-Country Analysis of Executive Approval and Political Institutions".

Scott Kilner

Position: U.S. Foreign Service Officer, 1981-2013 (now retired)
Class of 1974

"A Stanford Political Science major, coupled with study at a Stanford Overseas Program, provided a superb intellectual foundation for a career in U.S. foreign policy. On top of this foundation I added a Masters degree in International Affairs and three years of practical experience in banking before joining the State Department. But during the three decades in...

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Robert Knott

Retired from Accenture Federal Services - I.T. consulting
Class of 1970

"Political Science helped me to understand the roles of government agencies, their interactions with private companies and the values at stake in their activities."

Sue Kwon

Position: Head of Communications
Class of 1990

“The Political Science major prepared me for a career with many twists and turns.  It started with an internship in the White House Press Office where I leveraged my ability to research, write, and release stress with an occasional Stanford primal scream.  My Poli Sci professors and classmates fueled my curiosity to see the world and passion to drive social change – So...

Sarah Letts

Position: Executive Director
Class of 1987

Developing real estate requires HCHC to engage with both elected officials and stakeholders in the community. Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles has become a big political issue and you have to be politically astute to make the case for convincing state, county and local government to commit more resources to affordable housing.

PoliSci Alum Michael Lyon

Michael C. Lyon

Position: Teacher
Class of 1979

"My liberal arts education and political science degree have helped develop the kind of reading/writing/thinking skills that have served me well in this career as well as all other career explorations preceding it."

Jamelia Morgan

Position: Litigation Fellow, ACLU National Prison Project
Class of 2006

"My political science degree prepared me well for my future legal studies. My courses in political science exposed me to a wide variety of topics within political theory, including, of course, justice, law, and rights. Classroom discussions on the rights and equality in my political science courses eventually sparked my interest in pursuing a career in civil rights law...

Enrique Medina Ochoa

Position: Executive Director, Az Fair Housing Center
Class of 1974

"Stanford truly prepares you for a professional experience at the highest level of private and public sector challenges!"

Jono Oliver

Position: Film, Television Director, Writer | Founder of Hope & Carry, Inc.
Class of 1987

With respect to writing and directing, the films I want to make have some tie to political science or public policy. My first film, Home, was about a man's struggle with mental illness. I’m writing my next film now - inspired by events in Flint, Michigan - about the residents of a building in Brooklyn who find out that lead...

Edith Paal

Position: Institutional Review Board Program Manager
Class of 1987

"Political science is the study of institutional decision-making and of figuring out how to bring people with sometimes competing interests together to find solutions. My current career relies on those same principles -- we have to make decisions that accommodate interests of our human research subjects, the institution, and our researchers, all while staying on the...

Yvette Palazuelos

Position: Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court
Class of 1984

"The major helped me develop the ability to spot and to analyze issues in order to solve 'real people' problems. The major also helped me to synthesize large amount of materials and complex information and to communicate the materials and information, either in writing or orally, to a wide variety of people."

Nadiv Rahman

Position: Associate, Global Strategy, Visa Inc.
Class of 2013

"My work transverses policy and business, and it requires strong intuition of what motivates people - regulators and clients in particular. I have worked on the ground in Russia and Angola, and have worked on projects in Southeast Asia and France.

Utility functions, rule of law, and morality are applicable to my work, since these structural and innate drivers...

Smeeta Ramarathnam

Position: Deputy Director of the Office of Credit Ratings at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Class of 1996

"My Stanford Political Science major formed the foundation for my passion for public service and it provided me the framework to navigate public policy. As a student I was privileged to attend Stanford-in-Washington and to learn from such Political Science luminaries as Professors David Brady and John Ferejohn. My public policy career has been shaped and inspired by my...

Ben Rattray

Position: CEO,
Class of 2002

"My PoliSci studies formed the foundation of the concept of democracies suffer from the structural problem of concentrated vs. diffuse interests to the detriment of the public good, and by lowering the barriers to collective action we aim to yield policy outcomes that better reflect the public rather than private...

Luz Reyes-Martin

Position: Director of Communications, Santa Barbara City College and elected School Board Member for the Goleta Union School District
Class of 2007

"My Political Science major greatly contributed to my knowledge of complex policy issues, gave me the skills to tackle new policy areas, the best practices to handle difficult political situations, and the diverse historical background that shapes my understanding of policy at the local, state and federal level."

David Schnabel

Position: Managing Partner, OS Growth Partners, LLC
Class of 1994

My Political Science major has been extremely helpful throughout my career. My studies helped me understand how the world operates and how events are often interconnected. This global perspective is useful when evaluating the likely prospects of a potential acquisition or strategic investment. Although the world has changed dramatically since I graduated, my...

Ottavio Siani

Position: CEO/Founder
Class of 2008

"The lack of available credit to small businesses in Latin America was one of the big findings of my senior thesis. After graduating, I worked for 6 years for Root Capital helping provide access to credit to agricultural businesses (mainly coffee producers) in developing countries. I now run a cafe that supports those same farmers by buying their products. My...

AJ Sugarman

Position: Junior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Class of 2014

While majoring in Political Science, AJ was part of the Research Honors Track. His thesis was entitled, "Do Counterinsurgents Make Good Neighbors? Insurgent Organization, Spillover Effects, and Violence in Iraq" for which he won the University Firestone Medal.

Stan Sze

Position: President, B.K. Kee Foundation
Class of 1990

"Myanmar is going through a once in a generation political transformation from authoritarian/military rule to an experiment in democracy. My Stanford political science education has been useful in understanding and analyzing this transition and the ever changing landscape on the ground. At Stanford, one of my political science professors pushed me to always delve...

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Nicholas Thompson

Position: Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine
Class of 1997

"The books I read, and the critical thinking skills I learned, have helped me in every stage of my career as a journalist. I also spent several years writing a book—"The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War"—that tied directly to what I learned as an undergraduate."

Lauryn Williams

Position: Junior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C.
Class of 2014

While majoring in Political Science, Lauryn studied nuclear nonproliferation and wrote an honors thesis on the impact of the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement through the Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Amy Woolf

Position: Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy
Class of 1981

"A graduate degree in public policy was a natural path for someone with an undergraduate degree in political science. But my career in nuclear weapons and arms control began at Stanford, in the Political Science Department’s undergraduate classes on nuclear weapons and arms control. I continue to interact with the scholars and experts at CISAC, which allows me to hold...