Editorial Board

Editor in Chief Jiwon Ma
Chief Executive Officer Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela
Managing Editor for Print Samir Kumar
Managing Editor for Digital Pranav Ramkumar
Managing Editor for Business Priya Ponnapula
Senior Editor
(Spring/Summer 2020)
Daniel Sorek
Senior Editor
(Spring/Summer 2020)
Aidan Berkey
Senior Editor
(Fall/Winter 2020)
Monica Hunter-Hart
Features Editor Daniel Propp
Production Director Elizabeth Anderson
Director of Operations Kyle Staron 
Director of Alumni Relations Shannon M. McKenna
Assistant Features Editor Yuchen Wu
Business and Marketing Associate Pekun Bakare
Assistant Editor (print) Ahmad Jamal Wattoo
Assistant Editor (print) Sanya Batra
Assistant Editor (print) Nick Chun
Assistant Editor (print) Marisa Durham
Assistant Editor (digital) Liz Olson
Assistant Editor (digital) Kylie Lan Tumiatti

Board Biographies

Jiwon Ma, Editor in Chief

Jiwon is a second year Master of International Affairs candidate concentrating in International Security Policy and specializing in Technology, Media, and Communications and East Asia regional. Prior to SIPA, she worked as an Executive Assistant in the Dean's Office at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In addition, she worked on a cybersecurity publication as a Research Assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. At SIPA, Jiwon's academic and research focus is on cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and defense strategies. 


Francisco Javier Pardinas Favela, Chief Executive Officer

Francisco Javier is a Master of Public Administration candidate focused on Sustainable Development, Business and Finance. Prior to SIPA he worked as a corporate finance analyst in the private sector where he focused on financial valuation, country risk analysis, project evaluation, and business plan strategies. Most recently, he provided consulting services to financial institutions and banks. Currently, he is a research assistant for the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment.


Samir Kumar, Managing Editor for Print

Samir Kumar is an MPA student concentrating in economic and political development, primarily interested in the practice of building stronger polities and markets in emerging economies through investment and entrepreneurship. Previously, he was a policy researcher on South Asia in Washington, D.C., and a Fulbright student in Sri Lanka.


Pranav Ramkumar, Managing Editor for Digital

Pranav is an MPA candidate concentrating in International Finance and Economic Policy.  With prior experience in data management, risk management and strategy within the ranks of a large international bank, Pranav is training to be a development economist and innovator. His research interests include Intenational Trade, Financial Inclusion, Climate Policy (specifically Urban Heat) and Precision Monitoring of Conflicts.


Priya Ponnapula, Managing Editor for Business

Priya is a first year, International Finance and Economic Policy concentrator, originally from Hyderabad, India. Her background lies in International Development, specifically gender based development in South Asia. Prior to SIPA, Priya worked at Asia Initiatives, a New York-based non-profit, working to promote skill building and resource training for young girls and women in Asia and Africa. As a Project Manager, she developed frameworks to cultivate and utilize financial potential of below poverty line women, through education, job training and digital literacy programs. After SIPA, she wants to combine her passion for Finance with her background in development to create strategic development frameworks for vulnerable communities to enhance livelihood opportunities and create sustainable growth.


Daniel Sorek, Senior Editor (Spring/Summer 2020)

Dan is a first-year MIA student concentrating in international security policy with an interest in the Middle East. Prior to enrolling at SIPA, he worked in investment banking and advised public and private clients on acquisition financing mandates across North America. He hopes to apply his analytical skills towards public service. While working, Dan was selected to multiple delegations that were formed to represent youth interests and advise high ranking Canadian government officials. He graduated from McGill University majoring in finance and minoring in Chinese and Russian. In his spare time, Dan is an avid runner and tries to cross off as many New York City bucket list items as possible.


Aidan Berkey, Senior Editor (Spring/Summer 2020)

Aidan Berkey is a Master of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where he studies Economic and Political Development and International Security Policy. Immediately prior to Columbia, he spent several years as a consultant at The Beacon Group, where he developed and delivered growth strategies to Fortune 100 clients across the firm's Defense, Healthcare, Industrial, and Technology practices. He has also previously worked in the finance and non-profit development spaces, and holds a Bachelor's degree with High Honors from Wesleyan University's College of Social Studies, where his research focused on intersections of urban economic development and the memory of political violence. In his spare time, Mr. Berkey is an aspiring linguist and avid kayaker.


Monica Hunter-Hart, Senior Editor (Fall/Winter 2020)

Monica Hunter-Hart is a dual degree student at Columbia earning an MIA from SIPA and an M.S. from the Journalism School. She aims to become an analyst of foreign affairs after graduation and particularly hopes to write about Turkish politics, human rights abuses in conflict zones, and money laundering and financial corruption. Before entering graduate school, Monica spent several years writing aggregated news stories for a variety of websites. She also worked at the International Rescue Committee in New York finding housing for refugees and spent a year in Turkey teaching English on a Fulbright grant. Monica grew up in Massachusetts and received a B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio.


Daniel Propp, Features Editor

Daniel is a first-year MPA student concentrating on Energy and Environment. He earned his undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College in 2018 and then spent a year in Accra, Ghana, where he served as the West Africa Policy Analyst for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform. He is using his time at SIPA to study strategies for decarbonizing the global energy system.


Elizabeth Anderson, Production Director

Elizabeth Anderson is a second-year Master of International Affairs candidate concentrating in Economic and Political Development with a focus on sustainable energy development and geopolitical consequences of transitioning to a renewable energy-based economy. Prior to SIPA, Elizabeth was a Senior Budget Analyst at the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee responsible for the agriculture, energy, environment, and parks budget.


Kyle Staron, Director of Operations

Kyle is a Master’s in International Affairs candidate, concentrating on International Security Policy.  Prior to SIPA, Kyle served as a Civil Affairs officer in the US Army and worked to understand sources of local instability in communities in the Middle East and North Africa. His interests include understanding how policymakers construct goals for international conflict and military professionalization in Africa.


Shannon M. McKenna, Director of Alumni Relations

Shannon is a MPA in Development Practice Candidate focusing on the intersection of conflict resolution and sustainable development.  Prior to SIPA, Shannon served as a Civil Affairs officer in the United States Army where she worked to understand drivers of instability, paths to radicalization and the intersection of economic development and security in Central Asia and the Middle East. She is particularly interested in the policies and programs surrounding the integration of migrants following periods of conflict.


Yuchen Wu, Assistant Features Editor

Yuchen Wu is a first year MPA student concentrating in Energy and Environment. Her primary interest is in climate change policy and sustainable development. She loves reading, writing and traveling. She is excited to be working with JIA as an assistant features editor. After SIPA, she would like to work in the public sector to help improve urban sustainability, resource allocation and public understanding of policies and evidence. 


Pekun Bakare, Business and Marketing Associate

Pekun is currently an MIA/MBA candidate concentrating on International Finance and Economic Policy.  Prior to SIPA, Pekun worked for the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on the US$2 billion Nigeria Infrastructure Fund and at FBN Merchant Bank in the Project & Structured Finance division where he was responsible for raising capital for infrastructure projects in the oil and gas, power, telecoms and transportation sectors of Nigeria. His primary academic interest is studying the cross section between public policy and infrastructure development in emerging markets.  Pekun completed a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Durham University and is an avid football, rugby and tennis player. 


Ahmad Jamal Wattoo, Assistant Editor (print)

Ahmad Jamal Wattoo is an MPA student from Lahore, Pakistan who is concentrating in International Finance and Economic Policy at SIPA. Ahmad spent twelve formative years at Aitchison College in Lahore, before moving to London to complete his Bachelors in Economics and Politics from SOAS, University of London. While earning his degree at SOAS, Ahmad was very active in student government; he was elected International Students’ Officer at the University’s Students Union, Student Representative of the class of 2018 as well as President of the Pakistani Students Association. He was also Editor of the University’s only student-run newspaper, ‘The SOAS Spirit.’ Before joining SIPA, Ahmad participated in several political campaigns for the 2018 General Elections in Pakistan and worked at the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade as well as the Burki Institute of Public Policy, a think-tank headquartered in Lahore.

Sanya Batra, Assistant Editor (print)

Sanya is a first year MPA student from Delhi, India and was working as a development professional with non-profit organisations before SIPA. She has worked extensively on grant making, program evaluation and implementation with government departments of India. Her work spans across sectors in health, education, livelihood and human trafficking and she also holds a Masters in Development Economics from SOAS, University of London. 


Nick Chun, Assistant Editor (print)

Nick is a Master of International Affairs Candidate concentrating in Human Rights/Humanitarian Policy and specializing in Technology, Media, and Communications. Prior to SIPA, Nick received his undergraduate degree in Political Science with a minor in French from the University of California, Berkeley. He is very interested in North Korean refugee rights and has worked at the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea where he conducted research on the regime’s use of cryptocurrency. In his free time, Nick loves playing guitar and going to concerts.


Marisa Durham, Assistant Editor (print)

Marisa Durham is currently a second-year MIA candidate, concentrating in Economic Political Development, and specializing in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Prior to her time at Columbia University, she lived in Washington DC and worked as a political pollster and consultant for several election cycles. 


Liz Olson, Assistant Editor (digital)

Liz is an MIA student at SIPA focusing on human rights and humanitarian policy. Before SIPA, Liz worked at a human rights non-profit in New York City where she advocated for gender sensitive interpretations of international law, focusing on justice for mass atrocity crimes. Liz also spent several years in Beijing at a local non-profit raising awareness of environmental conservation issues and climate change.


Kylie Lan Tumiatti, Assistant Editor (digital)

Kylie Lan Tumiatti

Kylie is an MPA candidate concentrating in Economic and Political Development and specializing in International Conflict Resolution. Prior to SIPA she has worked in the fields of education, refugee migration, and philanthropy management. She is a 2017 Undergraduate Thomas R. Pickering Fellow who will be joining the Foreign Service upon graduation. Kylie is passionate about empowering underrepresented communities, building more equitable systems of government, and mastering the art of baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.