Alumni Ambassadors

Alumni Ambassadors are alumni representatives who embody the values and aims of the M.A. in Policy Studies program. As alumni working across diverse roles and sectors, they support prospective students, current students, and fellow alumni by sharing how they’ve translated their degrees and navigated their careers.

Learn about our Alumni Ambassadors and email them directly at iasalum@uw.edu.

Jean Balbon, '18

Photo of Jean BalbonJean Balbon is the WA-AK District Office Coordinator for AIG Retirement Services. He advocates for taxing the world's ultra-rich, free from loop holes, and accountability for the country's financial miscalculations in the past. He disfavors the 1% and their direct/indirect participation in manipulating and influencing economies. He disfavors their role in increasing shaky loans and feeding market speculation. Jean just wants a level playing field of opportunities for everyone.

Equipped with his personal and professional experience, Jean wants to decrease the U.S.' increasing gap in wealth disparity and the economy's recession and depression cycles by implementing fundamental monetary and institutional reforms. Make the proletariat great again!

Allyson Fredericksen, '10

Photo of Allyson FredericksenAllyson Fredericksen has dedicated more than 10 years to serving nonprofits. Passionate about social justice and mobilizing communities for change, she has found her calling as a strategic operations professional, helping organizations create efficient and effective internal systems so they can focus on their missions. 

As Operations Manager for Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, Fredericksen oversees internal operations, from budgeting and financial sustainability, to project management and planning, to human resources and staff development and support. She works to ensure that the Coalition’s internal systems and policies support their external work and 70+ members working to end homelessness in our region.

David Gordon, '16

Photo of David GordonDavid works for the Seattle consulting firm Nickerson & Associates as a Policy Analyst focusing on progressive transportation policies that reduce barriers to mobility. He is tasked with building a coalition of allies to support the creation of new revenue sources to fund public transportation in the Puget Sound Region. 

David holds an M.A. in Policy Studies ('16) from UW Bothell where he researched the negative effects of the United States sports betting prohibition (which may or may not have led to the Supreme Court overturning said prohibition in 2018!).  David received his B.A. in Law, Economics and Public Policy ('14) from UW Bothell.

Benjamin Studley, '18

Photo of Benjamin StudleyBenjamin Studley holds an M.A. in Policy Studies and B.A. in Community Psychology from University of Washington Bothell. He served his country as a Chief Gunnersmate in the United States Navy from 1998-2014, and after completing his bachelor’s degree in 2016, began working for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Veteran Case Worker & Field Representative. 

As the 1st Congressional District Veteran’s liaison in the Office of Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, he continues on his path of service by providing his fellow veterans with the resources and assistance they need to succeed. Ben believes in accountability and accessibility in order for the federal government to function at the highest possible level. “Not all soldiers come back home broken,” he says, “but we need to be there for the ones who do.”


Alumni Stories

Learn about other Policy Studies alumni.