Mai Yer Xiong

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Mai Yer Xiong is from Saint Paul, MN. She is proud of her dual identity as a Hmong-American, which inspired her aspiration to work with high-impact poverty alleviation and economic development efforts that target marginalized communities. At Wellesley College, Mai Yer majored in Economics and Spanish. She specifically focused her studies on inequality, women’s empowerment and social policy. Mai Yer strives to contribute to the achievement of the 10th Sustainable Development Goal by dedicating her career to reducing inequality within and among countries. She is a trilingual development practitioner with four years of experience working for multilateral and non-profit organizations. Her professional endeavors have spanned from the US to Latin America to Asia. After graduating from Wellesley College in 2014, Mai Yer moved to Panama to master the Spanish language and work in poverty alleviation as a Princeton in Latin America Research Fellow at the United Nations World Food Programme. She then completed a Princeton in Asia Fellowship in Laos with the desire to build community in her parents’ home country and foster mutual understanding between the two countries. After her Fellowship, Mai Yer served as a Monitoring & Evaluation Associate for Population Services International where she led a regional initiative in Asia to demonstrate the value of evidence-based decision-making and teach field staff how to interpret data. In her spare time, Mai Yer enjoys reading novels about immigrant experiences, discussing privilege and feminism, as well as improving her salsa and bachata skills. Mai Yer hopes to leverage her graduate education to support USAID’s efforts to ensure that by 2030, inequality within countries is significantly reduced.