Aaron Burr

 

Maryland School of Public Policy
Class of 2018

 

Aaron is originally from Madison, WI. After graduating from high school in Madison, he attended Washington University in St. Louis with the intention of studying engineering, but after a year and a half in mechanical engineering he realized that his true passion lied in the field of international relations. From that point onward, he has been focused on his goal of working in the international and development field. While in college, he spent a summer in East Africa and fell in love with the region with the hope of working in that region in the future. Upon graduating from college, he worked for a year in Washington DC to save enough money to support himself and bought a one way ticket to Kenya with a plan for a month and managed to stretch that into a year and a half. While in Kenya, he worked with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by conducting a small population survey, worked with an NGO focused on IDP policy and advocacy, and worked with a small community development organization helping them to set up their monitoring and evaluation processes in addition to working on projects in their health, environment, and education programs.

While in Kenya, Aaron decided to apply for the United States Peace Corps. Through the selection process, he was chosen to serve as a Community Economic Development volunteer in the Republic of Georgia in Eastern Europe. After completing three month of intense language and technical training, he was posted to a Georgian NGO in a small village in Eastern Georgia near the Russian and Azerbaijan border. While in the Peace Corps, he helped to found and build an employability center for Azeri’s in Georgia with his community organization and worked in their education and youth development programs. Additionally, he was the project manager on the National English Spelling Competition – Georgia (NESCGE), an NGO that ran an English spelling competition for Georgian students, and now serves on its Board of Directors. Finally, he helped organize the first regionwide event for individuals with special needs, which, in its second year, has branched into a national project with sustaining partners. He is excited to be studying at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and honored to receive the Robertson Fellowship. He hopes to continue serving others and believes that his Public Policy degree from UMD will help him to achieve his long term goals of service both nationally and internationally.