Elaine Li

University of Chicago, Harris School, Masters of Public Policy

Elaine Li was raised in New York City by parents who immigrated from China. Elaine graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in International Politics and a certificate in Asian Studies. Her focus on Asia brought her to Qingdao, China in 2013 through the State Department Critical Language Scholarship where she studied Mandarin and became keen on a career in public diplomacy and international education. In 2014, she interned with the State Department’s Office of Foreign Assistance and Resources and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations where she focused on identifying gaps in foreign assistance and on conflict monitoring. Through this experience, she recognized the importance of education access and platforms that enable individuals to achieve their fullest potential as a means of alleviating poverty. Following graduation, Elaine worked as an education consultant for two years in Shenzhen, China where she mentored youths and led soft skills development curriculum and workshops for students and for local staff training. Elaine will be attending the University of Chicago (Harris) to pursue her Masters in Public Policy. She is eager to link her newfound passion in human capital development with her role as an Education Officer in the USAID Foreign Service.