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Hannah Balikci

Pearson Fellow

MPP Candidate

Hannah Balikci is an MPP student at the Harris School of Public Policy. Her areas of interest include forced migration, humanitarian aid, and emergency response programs. Hannah serves as the co-publisher for the University of Chicago Public Policy Podcast Network (UC3P), producer of the Pearson Institute’s Root of Conflict podcast, and career chair of the Harris International Development Policy Association (IDPA).

Prior to her studies at the University of Chicago, Hannah worked at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a project manager. She was responsible for strategic planning and content production for the organization’s global marketing, social media, and communications teams, developing more than a dozen emergency fundraising campaigns. After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021, she deployed as an emergency volunteer to support the initial processing of evacuated Afghans at a U.S. military base. Through this work experience, Hannah developed a strong interest in emergency humanitarian programs.

With the Pearson Institute, Hannah worked as a research assistant for Professor Austin Wright, focusing on a project that used remote sensing to measure opium production in Afghanistan. She worked at Mercy Corps in Bogotá, Colombia serving as an intern for the Advancing the Future program, which provides Venezuelan refugees and vulnerable Colombians livelihoods, health, and protection services. She also worked at Opportunity International in Washington, D.C. as a business development intern and was responsible for revitalizing the organization’s corporate capability statements for their Agricultural and Education Finance programs.

Hannah completed her B.A. in Economics and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Varsity Women’s Rowing team as well as a Teaching Assistant for the Economics Department.

Baidoa, Somalia

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