During the summer of 2014, fourteen students will be working in 7 different government ministries in Tirana, Albania. Many form part of “Black Belt Teams” comprised of experts from different ministries, the private sector and academic institutions and responsible for tackling some of the most pressing challenges to economic growth that the country is currently facing. CID has put together an outstanding team with a wealth of professional experience in public, private and nonprofit sectors around the world to support the Government of Albania in its development efforts.
Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship
He (Charlie) Tian (MPA/ID 2015) is a Chinese national working with the Black Belt Team for Industrial Zones in the Ministry of Economic Development. The team is working to identify the problems that have prevented concession agreements from generating progress towards functional industrial parks. Before coming to Harvard, Charlie worked for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants where he led multiple projects for national and provincial level industrial zones in China, helping to analyze internal capability and external environment and design strategies to attract domestic and international investment. Charlie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Russian Studies from Peking University and has a particular interest in the political economy of transition economies.
Juan Espinosa (MPA/ID 2015) is a Mexican national working with the Black Belt Team for Industrial Zones in the Ministry of Economic Development. He is working with the team to identify problems preventing industrial parks from generating progress and contributing to growth. Before coming to Harvard he worked as a Senior Analyst at National Financiera, a development banking institution in Mexico, focusing on industrial policy and financial reform. He also has experience analyzing monetary and fiscal policy as a Senior Analyst for Evercore Partners. Juan holds a Bachelor of Economics from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM).
Hanieh Mohammadi (MPA/ID 2015) is an Iranian national working with the Ministry of Economic Development’s Black Belt Team for the Fason sector. The team is examining the sector’s value chain to more precisely identify bottlenecks and opportunities to improve productivity. Hanieh has a background in engineering and experience working in private sector business development, carbon reduction policy analysis and international contract management. She holds a Master of Science in Strategic Management and Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran.
Ministry of Agriculture
Nicolas Ajzenman (MPA/ID 2015) is from Argentina and is working with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Black Belt Team and local university experts to examine the value chain in fruit farming and identify constraints to productivity. He has previous experience evaluating the effectiveness and the implementation of water and sanitation programs in Peru, Tanzania, Indonesia and India for the World Bank and analyzing investment strategies in the steel industry in Argentina and Mexico for Techint Group. Nicolas holds a Master in Economics from the Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires.
Boban Paul (MPA/ID 2015) is an Indian national working with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Black Belt Team to undertake a value chain analysis and identify key bottlenecks in the Medicinal & Aromatic Plants sector. He has experience conducting agriculture value chain analysis in India and worked as a Management consultant for Bain and Company in India and Singapore. He also led an effort to improve implementation capacity at Pratham Education Foundation by using SMS and MIS based systems. Boban holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College in New Delhi.
Koji Ito (MPA/ID 2015), from Japan, is working with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Black Belt Team and academia to analyze the current Poultry sector and to propose strategies to boost its domestic production. Before coming to Harvard, Koji worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on free-trade negotiation issues. He gained extensive experience in agriculture policy and community development as a field extension worker, dispatched from JICA, at the Kiboga District Local Government, Uganda. Koji previously studied at Sophia University, Georgetown University, and the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO).
Ministry of Energy and Industry
Francisco Mejia (MPA/ID, MBA 2016) is an Ecuadorian national working with the Ministry of Energy to develop policies that improve the oil sector’s efficiency and the government’s revenue. He has prior academic experience in natural resource management and field experience in petroleum services in Argentina. Francisco also worked in project management, financial analysis and donor relations with the United Nations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Francisco is an MBA Candidate at MIT Sloan School of Management and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics from Washington and Lee University in Virginia.
Ozair Ali (MPA/ID, MBA 2016), from Pakistan, is working in the Ministry of Energy and Industry to provide a plan for the restructuring of the power sector and to analyze the problem of non-technical distribution losses. Before coming to Harvard, Ozair worked for the State (Central) Bank of Pakistan on projects involving energy and financial markets. He also has experience in mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring with a corporate advisory firm. Ozair is an MBA Candidate at Stanford University and completed his undergraduate education in finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ministry of Tourism
Karina Baba (MPA/ID 2015) is a Brazilian national working with the Ministry of Tourism’s Black Belt Team to design and implement a strategy to address constraints facing tourism in key locations in the country. Before coming to Harvard, Karina worked at the World Bank in Finance and Private Sector Development in the Latin America and Caribbean division. There, she focused on development projects in Haiti. She first joined the Bank as a fellow in CGAP’s Technology Program, when she coordinated surveys on mobile money and branchless banking for unbanked populations. Karina holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Escola de Administracao de Empresas de SP. At Harvard she hopes to deepen her understanding of policies that foster entrepreneurship and financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid.
Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth
Nick Khaw (MPA/ID 2015), from Malaysia, is conducting empirical research to provide the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth with an unemployment/migrant profile for Albania and to identify characteristics that impact the Albanian labor market, particularly with regards to issues on unemployment, labor supply shocks and diaspora. Before coming to Harvard, Nick served as an economist in Khazanah Nasional, the strategic investment arm of the Malaysian government. His work included research on macroeconomics of emerging and frontier markets, spatial and urban economics, as well as development economics. Prior to this, he served as an economist in Malaysia’s Economic Planning Unit, where he was directly involved in several national development projects. Nick completed his undergraduate studies in Economics at Harvard College.
Ministry of Finance
Konstantine Kintsurashvili (MPA/ID 2015) is a Georgian national working with the Ministry of Finance to help formulate the Public Finance Management reform agenda, develop strategies aimed at improvement of the country’s credit ratings, provide advice on public debt management and explore possibilities of establishing the Development Bank. Before coming to Harvard, Konstantine worked in various high-level positions at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia. He has extensive experience with the Ministry managing the public debt portfolio, developing fiscal policy and coordinating with international and bilateral development institutions. Konstantine holds a Bachelor of Economics from the Tbilisi State University, Georgia and a certificate in Advanced Finance and Law from Duisenberg School of Finance, Netherlands.
Maria Qazi (MPA/ID 2015), from Pakistan, is analyzing the economic considerations of integration between Albania and Kosovo, in particular the potential for and the benefits of integration in four markets: goods, services, labor and capital. She is also involved with the Black Belt Team in the Ministry of Tourism, consulting on developing a strategy to attract foreign investment into the tourism sector. Before coming to Harvard she worked for The Resource Group in Pakistan as a Strategy Analyst, involved in the planning and implementation of technology solutions. In particular, she worked on developing technological initiatives to facilitate regional trade between Pakistan and India and to improve educational access in urban slums in Karachi. Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan.
Ministry of Education
Evelien Blom (MPA 2015) is a Dutch national from Germany and is working with the Ministry of Education to support the higher education reform by designing a performance based budgeting system for higher education institutions. Before coming to Harvard, Evelien worked as a Senior Consultant for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants where she focused on regional development, higher education and marketing. She also worked for the University of Hamburg to develop a new financial budget plan and improve the university’s financial system transparency. Moreover, she managed the project future concept for the university administration. Evelien holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn and a Certificate in Public Sector Modernization from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.
Karen Vanderwillik, a Canadian national, is providing overall support to the project, with a specific focus on documenting the internship experience and preparing communications stories and reports on the various project initiatives. Her prior experience includes communications and program management in the non-profit sector and humanitarian project implementation for the United Nations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Karen holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from York University in Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.