Maha A. Eskander

Nationality: Iraq
Program: One-year MAPP
Graduated: 2005
Current job: Public Policy Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Iraq Administrative Reform Project implemented by Management Systems International (MSI)
Location: Chicago, United States

Beyond Work

+1. What is your favorite city in the world?

London.

+2. What was your dream job when you were ten years old?

I wanted to be a maths teacher, for I loved my teacher at the time.

+3. Who is your role model?

My godfather, Mr. Behnam E. Puttrus, who is a high level public policy official.

+4. What helps you wake up on Monday mornings?

My responsibilities.

1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?

The first reason behind my choice to study public policy at CEU was my ambition to obtain a master's degree from an international university accredited in the United States or the European Union. Secondly, while working as a researcher at the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, I realized that public policy analysis is one of the main tools required for the planning and decision-making that goes into solving the socio-economic problems facing the country and affecting people's lives.

2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?

I remember that everyone at CEU made me feel like I was part of a big family. More generally, I have to say that at CEU I found far more than what I was looking for.

3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?

I returned home to work in the Ministry of Planning, contributing to policy analysis of regional planning and socio-economic issues. Afterwards, I started working for USAID on their project providing Iraqi government officials technical assistance with regards to policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. In this role, I am able to apply the knowledge gained at CEU to real-life situations.

4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?

Thanks to my studies at CEU, I am able to analyze cases, design sounds work plans, formulate and implement policies, and measure their impact. CEU's status as an international university added a lot to my resume. I would also like to mention the English language, presentation, negotiation, and discussion skills that I developed while completing my coursework and exams.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope I will still have the privilege of doing good work that is relevant to my studies and professional background.

6. Do you have any advice for current students?

My advice is not to miss any opportunity to build your skills, especially the skills that you need for real-world situations.

7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

Really, my favorite thing in Budapest was being part of CEU.

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