Nine students join the DPhil in Public Policy in the School’s largest ever intake

Eight of the DPhil students starting in 2021 with Ngaire Woods and Julien Labonne

Photo by John Cairns

Eight of the DPhil students starting in 2021 with Ngaire Woods and Julien Labonne

A record-breaking nine DPhil in Public Policy students join the Blavatnik School of Government today for the next three years as they carry out their doctoral research. 

The School’s doctoral programme is designed to hone the students’ research skills in ways that are relevant to policy-focused research so that they develop an interdisciplinary understanding of policy challenges. The students will undertake original research in an area of interest that makes a real contribution to the development and analysis of public policy to mitigate current challenges facing governments worldwide. 

The class of 2021 is made up of academically excellent candidates from eight different countries and a range of different academic and professional backgrounds. 

  • Rayan Semery-Palumbo is a policy researcher and advocate whose research focuses on inequality, its effects and strategies for its mitigation. He also works part-time with a company that has developed a device to decarbonise freight trucking.
  • Diego Dewar has spent his career so far as a diplomat for Mexican government. His research interests lie in the functioning and reform of international organisations, and their coordination of in-country programmes to achieve sustainable development. 
  • Caroline Jeanmaire researches models of international coordination to ensure the safety and reliability of AI systems. She was the director of strategic research and partnerships at the Center for Human-Compatible AI, focusing on building a research community around AI safety.
  • Jocelyn Perry’s research will focus on community engagement in climate adaptation policymaking, including what types of and whether greater participation improve outcomes and resilience. Jocelyn joins the School with a range of experience in global policy research.
  • Claire Walsh joins the School from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, where she has worked with partners around the world to promote evidence-based policies to reduce poverty and scale effective climate solutions.
  • Angus Barry is interested in money laundering and corruption, and how digital methods can be used to prevent both. His research will first focus on beneficial ownership policy in emerging economies.
  • Aisha Jore Ali’s research will explore patterns of change in bureaucracies and examines the consequences of change on institutional culture and performance. She has experience carrying out academic, programme and policy research on civil service reforms and efforts to strengthen the public sector.
  • Amirah Sumarto is a politician from Indonesia with a range of experience as a public sector consultant, providing advice on e-government, civil service reform and public financial management. 
  • Tianyi Wu is an advocate of inclusive China-Africa development cooperation; her previous research has unpacked state-business relationships and multiple stakeholders involved in China-Africa electricity investment.

Graduates of the DPhil in Public Policy will be prepared to lead on devising, implementing, and evaluating innovative policy solutions. They will also join a growing community of DPhil alumni whose subsequent careers range from working on COVID-19 recovery and resilience plans at the European Commission to researching and formulating plans as to how the US administration can align human rights, information campaigns and denuclearisation in an innovative policy approach towards North Korea. Follow our alumni news page for further updates.

Applications for 2022 entry are now open. For further information about the course and how to apply, visit our DPhil pages. The application deadline is Friday 7 January 2022.