The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences


Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Shaun Sengupta ’17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

In today’s technology environment, there are great engineers, designers, and developers. However, there is a certain lack of leadership within this domain – a type of leadership that wisely meshes others’ skills together to create an environment of innovation, efficiency, and satisfaction in one’s work. From my experience in the automotive technology industry, I observed a gap in cohesion between scientists and engineers. Seeing this disconnect, I strive to be the person that can bring together such people’s talents to accelerate future technology. With the interpersonal, speaking, and teamwork skills developed and applied in RLF, I will transform these goals into a more palpable reality.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: William Johnson

William Johnson ’19 is from Short Hills, New Jersey and graduated from The Pingry School.

During his First-Year Fellow summer internship, Will worked in the Government and Finance Division, specifically the Legislative and Budget Process Section, at the Congressional Research Service with alumni mentor Elizabeth Rybicki ’96.

While there, he was a witness to history in the making--so to speak. “On my second day in the office, my mentor received a request from a member of Congress about the House precedent on members standing in the well,” recalls Will. He was then tasked with going through Deschler’s Precedents to see if such action had ever even occurred in the history of the House. He also did other research for his mentor and the congressmen interested in holding the sit-in.

“Because I knew about the protest before it actually occurred and was involved with the process through every step of the way,” says Will, “I felt like I was contributing to something bigger than myself. It was amazing to realize that I was actually taking part in creating public policy.”

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Priya Ramaiah ’17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

During my time at Dartmouth, I have learned the most from opportunities that allowed me to constantly question the belief systems and structures operating around me as well as within me, and use these critical moments as the basis for dialogue and development. This reflective process is one of the reasons I chose my course of study – an anthropology major modified with women’s and gender studies and a public policy minor. RLF’s emphasis on knowing and understanding oneself in the context of leadership is what drew me to the program, because I believe that strong leaders are based on strong principles.

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Benjamin Rutan ’17

This series introduces the 2016-2017 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

Leadership is a learning curve, where perfection is unattainable but must be strove for regardless. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is often more important than your abilities themselves, for it is only by knowing one’s limits that one’s leadership potential can be reached.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Lillian Jin

Lillian Jin ’19 is from Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Northview High School as an AP Scholar with Distinction. At Dartmouth, she intends to major in Economics and English, and pursue minors in Public Policy and Quantitative Social Sciences.

During her first-year summer, Lily interned at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with mentors Jay Matson ’91 and Nancy Bowler ’84. One of the most rewarding parts of her fellowship was learning about the intricacies of the energy market and the process of an investigation, observing first-hand FERC and Office of Enforcement’s approach to determining instances of market manipulation and their effects.

Lily is passionate about volunteerism, forms of legal advocacy, and environmental activism. On campus, she competes as a member of Dartmouth’s debate team, volunteers with children at the Upper Valley Haven, and interns in the Finance Center. Lily is also a student facilitator for the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors program.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Kevin Griffee

Kevin Griffee ’19 comes from Ojai, California and graduated from The Thacher School and plans to pursue a major in Neuroscience with a minor in Chinese at Dartmouth.

As a First-Year Fellow, he interned at the Center for Perinatal Advocacy at Providence Hospital with mentor Gabriela Garcia ’01.

“Since I am leaning toward a career in medicine,” says Kevin, “it was incredibly valuable to work in a hospital setting.” He spent a large part of his time at Providence supporting the Safe Sleep initiative, which aims to reduce the incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death).

On campus, Kevin works as a research assistant at the Reading Brains Lab and volunteers with the “The Recollections,” a singing group for people with memory disorders. He is also involved in the Dartmouth Endurance Racing Team, Dartmouth Outing Club, and Dartmouth College Gospel Choir. 

After graduation, Kevin plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in global health.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Michael Everett

Michael Everett ’19 comes from Los Angeles, California and graduated as valedictorian from Chaminade College Preparatory. At Dartmouth, Michael plans to study biological sciences and government focusing on the intersection between biological factors and conflict and development.

As a First-Year Fellow, Michael worked at the Charles Group, a government consulting firm, under the mentorship of Bobby Charles ’82.

“I found my fellowship experience rewarding,” says Michael, “because although I was researching many of the same topics I was studying back at Dartmouth, I got to conduct my work in the epicenter of the global security environment.”

While in DC, Michael also continued his involvement in a government department research project on genocide at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC over the summer.

At Dartmouth, Michael is co-chair of the Mountaineering Club, an athlete on the Competitive Climbing Team, a War and Peace Fellow, and a senior editor of World Outlook, Dartmouth’s Undergraduate Journal of International Relations. He spent this past winter break studying biological anthropology in South Africa.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Rick Dionne

Rick Dionne grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts and graduated from Milton Academy, where he was captain of the Debate and Cross Country teams and a national semifinalist in Congressional Debate. At Dartmouth, Rick is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. He is also the President of the Parliamentary Debate Team, a teaching assistant in the CS Department, and a Jack Byrne Scholar.

As part of the 2016 First-Year Fellows cohort, Rick worked for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan budget and deficit watchdog, where he specialized in producing interactive web content. Rick’s FYF mentor was Cathy Solomon ’82.

During the summer, Rick was able to put his data analysis and web development skills to good use by designing the web-app for a new interactive “Debt-Fixer” tool that CRFB recently launched. With this tool, users can see for themselves the significant adjustments needed in order to put our national debt on a sustainable path.

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels ’19 is from Topsfield, Massachusetts and plans to pursue a major in Government with potential minors in either Public Policy or Geography while at Dartmouth.

During his first-year summer, Mark interned in the Language Programming Office at Voice of America under the mentorship of John Lippman ’71, the department’s Deputy Director. During the summer, Mark was part of a team that created impact models for 13 different counties.

“The most rewarding part of my fellowship experience was meeting and working with a range of different people throughout VOA,” says Mark. “Because I did a variety of tasks during the summer, I had to collaborate with people across divisions in the agency: Public Relations, Special Events, the Latin American Division, and many others in addition to the Language Programming office where I was placed. Everyone I worked with was eager to help me learn about what they did and how I could help, allowing me to have diverse experiences week to week.”

Class of 2019 First-Year Fellow: Tara Burchmore

Tara Burchmore is a Government major and Public Policy minor from Sun Valley, Idaho. At Dartmouth, Tara is a D-LAB Facilitator, a ski instructor, and races for the Alpine Club Ski Team. She has been a trip leader, works as a teaching assistant at Thayer School of Engineering, and is a member of Alpha Phi. 

For her First-Year Fellowship, Tara was placed in the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand '88 (D-NY) where she worked as the Defense Intern, focusing on policies surrounding Senator's position on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Throughout the summer, Tara took meetings with constituents and lobbying interests, attended committee hearings and briefings to compose summarizing memorandums, and prepared background memos to ready the Senator for meetings.

One memorable moment was when she was asked to provide real-time updates of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing via email, which were being read to the Senator as she made her way from her office in the Senate to the hearing.


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences