Each one of our policy centers is led by at least one director. All policy Center Directors are on the Roosevelt board and are in charge of leading their respective initiatives during the semester.
Foreign Policy: Meher Malik
Meher Malik is a junior in Columbia College majoring in Political Science and English Literature. She grew up in Dubai but is from India. On campus, she is involved with the Global Recruitment Committee, conducting admissions interviews and representing Columbia at high-schools abroad. She is also a member of the Sapna Project and an event chair for the South African Millennials' Conference. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be a vet, but got older and the dream changed to being a forensic anthropologist (thanks Bones). Then, she took her first high school biology class, did a 180 and settled on diplomacy, so that's what we're rolling with. Her interest in foreign policy stems from a fascination with the dynamics of international relationships and how these are shaped by the intricacies of policy but also language, etiquette and behaviour on an individual level. She is so excited to be the centre director for Foreign Policy this year and to explore these interests with Roosevelt at Columbia.
Energy and Environment: Charles Harper
Charles Harper is a senior in SEAS studying Environmental Engineering and Political Science. He is the Energy and Environment Center Director. Charles is also the Co-president of Columbia EcoReps, the University’s largest sustainability student group, where he is engaged in a Sisyphean struggle to get students to recycle, compost, and turn off the lights. This past summer, he interned in Washington, DC for the State Department’s climate office, which represents the US in all international climate negotiations. The summer before, he was an intern at the Center for American Progress, a DC think tank, working on energy policy. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Charles hopes to work on climate and energy policy full-time after graduation. In between problem sets, Charles enjoys acting, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Education: Lexie Lehmann
Lexie Lehmann is a sophomore in Columbia College from Wellesley, Massachusetts. Lexie is currently pursuing a degree in Urban Studies and Political Science. She was appointed to the position of Education Policy Center Director after participating in the center's initiative to desegregate NYC public schools last year. Outside of Roosevelt, Lexie is involved with Bwog, Columbia Democrats, and the Columbia Bartending Agency. She has held internships at Hillary for America and the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. This summer, Lexie completed paralegal work for a criminal defense attorney, attended a program on urbanization at London School of Economics, and spun her way through a boatload of indoor cycling classes.
Healthcare: Sarah Lubin
Sarah Lubin is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Biochemistry and aspiring to minor in Political Science. Growing up in a household that resonated with NPR and MSNBC, Sarah has been surrounded by politics for her entire life. As a “born and bred premed,” Sarah has also been immersed in all things medicine and healthcare. In addition to the Roosevelt Institute, Sarah is an active member of the Peer Health Exchange and Gamma Phi Beta and is working on founding a Planned Parenthood Generation Action group on campus. Although she spends most of her days in a lab, Sarah likes pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and is not into yoga.
Economic Development: Stephanie Grove
Steph Grove is a junior studying Economics and Human Rights. Last year in Roosevelt, she worked on Columbia Roosevelt's Education Initiative which seeks to address racial segregation in New York City Public Schools. She continued this work during the summer as an incubator fellow with Roosevelt National. Here, she also learned a lot about Roosevelt National's "Public Goods Framework" and looks forward to bringing this to Columbia's chapter. Steph also interned at the Manhattan Office of Assembly Member O'Donnell, which gave her the opportunity to build on her experience in policy research and implementation with Roosevelt. While at home in "the mitten," she loves relaxing by the water, long hikes through the woods, hanging out in Detroit and weaving textiles on her floor loom.
Democratic Access: Michael Pusic
Michael Pusic is a junior in Columbia College majoring in Economics-Political Science and Comparative Literature. He is really passionate about issues of democratic access, having worked on a number of municipal campaigns. He is especially interested in issues around voter rights laws and the criminal justice system. Outside of Roosevelt, he runs Columbia's Project for the Homeless (which staffs two shelters in the City) and works on a start-up he helped found to make information about homelessness services more easily accessible. He’s also on Columbia's debate team, and loves running and cooking.
Human Rights: Ali Fraerman
Ali Fraerman is a junior at Barnard College, majoring in Human Rights and Political Science. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs and has worked extensively with Chicago-based criminal justice organizations such as the Chicago Innocence Center and Northwestern Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, as well as the Correctional Association in New York and progressive law firms. This will be her third year in Roos and second year as HR Center Director, and she plans to continue to focus initiatives on important reforms in New York City and State along with initiative coordinator Emma Gomez. Ali is also a Barnard Speaking Fellow and a Chicago Cubs enthusiast.