- MEM Primary Concentration: Management Concentration: Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP)
- MEM Secondary Concentration: Environment Concentration: Coastal and Marine Systems (CAMS)
- Expected Graduation Date: May 2025
What is your previous work experience?
I spent my first decade out of university working in Hollywood. Like many, I began in the mailroom of a large talent agency, soon becoming an assistant to an independent film finance agent. Soon after, I moved over to Warner Bros. where I spent several years working in corporate finance. All the while, I was producing short films and music videos, with the hopes of one day making feature films.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
I've lived most of my life in Manila and in Los Angeles, two cities that are dramatically though very differently affected by extreme weather events. Over the course of my lifetime, the Philippines has increasingly become battered by typhoons that kill or displace hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, in the decade I spent in California, we sank deeper into a mega drought and our communities and wilderness were ravaged by wildfires. Although my paychecks were coming from the film industry, my heart and mind were captured by the need to protect our environment and to do my utmost to help vulnerable people.
In searching for a master-level program that could bring me back to my academic base of economics in order to develop a public service-oriented career, I found few programs that could match the breadth and depth of what the Nicholas School offered. It was a close call between coming to Duke or heading to a university in Scandinavia, and I am confident that I chose correctly.
What are you looking forward to as an incoming Nicholas School student?
I am excited to take advantage of the new program that brings us more concrete support in a secondary topic of our choice. While economics is my first love, I want to ensure that I leave Duke fully prepared to lend a hand to the vulnerable people in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. In my mind, that means focusing on the coastal and marine issues, such as fisheries, pollution, and coastal resilience and adaptation, that are the foremost concerns of the communities most impacted by extreme weather events in the region.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I have already provided research assistance to The Nicholas Institute's Plastic Pollution team, as well as taken a course in aquatic pollution. I have also co-founded a student SCUBA Diving club that hopes to find opportunities to link Nicholas students with opportunities to utilize their SCUBA skills for environmental and scientific purposes. Our use and misuse of the natural and built environment, especially in coastal and marine zones, are of special interest to me as an island native and diver.
What are your current career aspirations?
I hope to contribute to proper economic and government policy in the Philippines, possibly by working directly in the national government, or working at NGOs or multinational institutions that are doing important work to help provide economic development, and environmental resilience and adaptation to Filipinos.