As the mixed-race daughter of immigrant parents who served in the US Marine Corps, Ecaterina knew from a young age that she wanted to right the wrongs she saw in the world, especially when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable in our society: low-income children and seniors. After spending a year as a social worker, Ecaterina became a community organizer where she learned firsthand that people deeply care about shaping policies that directly impact their lives. Her work with the California Hunger Action Coalition, which is a statewide advocacy group focused on advancing policies that end hunger and poverty, inspired her to return to graduate school to learn how to be a better catalyst of change for the social movements.
Ecaterina chose GSPP because she knew it would equip her to shape and understand the analytical underpinning of all policy debates. GSPP’s emphasis on real-world projects appealed to her desire for experiential learning. By the time that she walks away from GSPP, she will have a mastery and familiarity with data and policy analysis that she will be able to use in the community with everyday people and government officials. Her time at GSPP has been split between starting New Leaders Council Oakland (a local offshoot of a national leadership program for young progressive professionals), teaching undergraduates the wonders of the human brain as a Psychology Graduate Student Instructor and participating in Students of Color in Public Policy.
Ecaterina graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University in 2008, with an A.B. in Psychology.