Campus & Community

Three seniors will pursue public service as Richardson Fellows

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The Class of 2008 recipients of the Elliot and Anne Richardson Fellowships in Public Service will help others in locations from South Africa to Brazil, documenting human rights abuses, improving sanitation, and helping young women to gain economic autonomy.

The Richardson Fellowships aim to encourage and enhance the pursuit of careers in public service, emphasizing Harvard’s commitment to the value of such endeavors. They pay tribute to Elliot and Anne Richardson, who as individuals and as a pair embodied the ideals of public service. Elliot Richardson held three successive Cabinet posts during the Nixon administration, as well as an ambassadorship and another Cabinet post in the Ford administration. Anne Richardson joined the national efforts of “Reading Is Fundamental” during its infancy and served as its chair from 1981 to 1996. Both enjoyed long and diverse records of service at Harvard and remain the only husband and wife to serve on Harvard’s Board of Overseers.

This year’s fellows are as follows

David Hausman, a social studies concentrator, will join the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in its Cape Town, South Africa, office as an intern. ICTJ assists countries pursuing accountability for past human rights abuses. Hausman is interested in both international human rights law and journalism, and will use this year to gain firsthand experience with countries that have recently undergone disruptive political transition.

Eric Kouskalis, a joint concentrator in sociology and economics, plans to work with KOMAZA, a nongovernmental organization serving rural communities along Kenya’s coast. Kouskalis will focus on KOMAZA’s agricultural development program. He would like to increase the success of this project by improving planning and performance metrics, creating public-private partnerships, and formulating expansion proposals. Kouskalis expects to earn a graduate degree in development project management.

Elizabeth McKenna, a concentrator in social studies, will work as an associate for the Developing Minds Foundation, a nonprofit organization that builds schools and creates educational programs in impoverished and violent areas of the world, such as favelas, urban slums, and regions of armed conflict. McKenna will design an educational module for women microentrepreneurs in slum communities in Brazil and Colombia. After this experience, she plans to become an educator and community organizer.