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Gonzalo Pons

MPP '19

Gonzalo Pons holds an undergraduate degree in social psychology from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where he co-founded the nonprofit organization, Comunidad de Apoyo a los Pueblos Amazónicos Perú (CAPA Perú). CAPA continues to work in three rural communities located around the Orosa River (Peruvian Amazon rainforest) to promote sustainable development projects and support these communities during floods and other natural emergencies.

In 2013, Pons joined the Peru office of Innovations for Poverty Action. As a research associate, he co-managed the impact evaluation of a program sponsored by the Peruvian Ministry of Education and the World Bank. The project aimed to teach socioemotional skills to at-risk students in Lima while reducing school violence and increasing academic achievement. He also participated in several activities to promote evidence-based policy in the Peruvian government. These included supporting the initial projects of MineduLAB, a unit within the Ministry of Education that develops and evaluates low-cost interventions. Additionally, Pons worked as a research fellow and data analyst at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Student Social Support R&D Lab. In this position, he managed the data and quantitative analyses of multiple randomized field experiments that apply behavioral science to educational settings.

At The Pearson Institute, Pons worked as a research assistant for Professor Austin Wright, contributing to a project on corruption and poppy eradication in Afghanistan, and completed a consultancy with the World Bank building regional measurements of development and vulnerability in Central Asia. In the summer of 2018, he completed an internship with the University of Chicago–Consortium for School Research as well as an internship in the World Bank's Mind, Behavior and Development Unit in Washington, DC. He is currently working as a behavior science consultant at World Banks eMBeD unit.

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.