STUDENT LIFE

Over its 20-year legacy of promoting professional and intellectual growth while advancing an international perspective on social sectors, the International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM) program at the USC Price School of Public Policy has served as a springboard for many global leaders.

Student Senate of IPPAM 25

Jo-Chen Lee (Liz)

Jo-Chen Lee, Liz, currently serves as president of the IPPAM Graduate Student Association and is a part of the IPPAM 26 cohort. She started off in Taiwan, where she worked as a journalist and news anchor for over five years, engaging with diverse stories and people that inspired her interest in community development. That’s where she got really good at telling stories and understanding what people care about. Then, she thought, 'Why not mix things up?' So, she headed over to the USC Sol Price School to explore public policy and management. Her work experience enhanced her skills in communication, research, and being a good listener. At USC, she continued to develop her leadership and project management skills, serving as the President of the IPPAM Students Senate and working on projects that required teamwork, strategic planning, and detailed analysis. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, Liz intends to return to Taiwan and advance into future leadership positions. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, working out, and music.

Kasymkhan Tazhikhan

Kasymkhan joins the IPPAM program with over two years of experience in the consulting sector. Kasymkhan serves as vice-president of the IPPAM Graduate Student Association and is part of the IPPAM 26 cohort. His journey started at one of the leading high schools in Kazakhstan - “The National School of Physics and Mathematics in Kazakhstan”. For the purpose of obtaining a BS degree at the Tianjin Polytechnic University, he moved to Tianjin City, People’s Republic of China. He obtained a BS degree with a major in International Economics and Trade. After graduating, Kasymkhan started his professional career at Ernst and Young Kazakhstan in the International Transaction and Tax Services Department as an intern. During his incredible two years at Ernst and Young, he specialised in providing Tax Due Diligence and Tax Structuring services for international companies. At the end of 2023, he decided to move forward and obtain his Master’s degree in International Public Policy and Management at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles City. After completing the IPPAM program, Kasymkhan will return to Kazakhstan, hoping to contribute to the country's development.

Qingxiao Zeng (Daphne)

Daphne has extensive experience and distinction in public affairs and international relations. She has extensive experience in finance, investor relations and non-profit organisations. She has participated in many public welfare projects at Youchang Consulting, served as Vice Chairman of G20YEA Shanghai Region, and Public Director of the Oxford Chinese Society of Public Affairs and International Relations Forum. He is also an alumnus of the ACCA International Certified Public Accountant and the PwC Anchor Program. In the field of investment, Daphne has worked at China Renaissance Capital and GGV Capital, the top domestic investment institutions, focusing on investor relations and market research. She has successfully published multiple research results on CNKI and the well-known American journal "ACADEMIC PUBLISHING HOUSE". In addition, she is a TEDx curator dedicated to promoting knowledge sharing and creative exchange. Daphne hopes to continue exerting influence in public policy and promoting social change and development. Her background and experience make her particularly well-suited to working in complex international environments and influencing public policy.

Moldir Tauipbayeva

Moldir began her career as a Purchasing and Accounting Coordinator at Weatherford, an American oilfield services company. After gaining five years of experience in an international company, she transitioned to a civil servant job at the City Park of Culture and Recreation in Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan. Thanks to her hard work and ambition, she was quickly promoted to the position of park director. Within three years, she made a significant contribution to the cultural development of her hometown. She managed a team of 50 people and worked with 85 entrepreneurs who conducted business in the park. This experience provided her with valuable knowledge in culture, entertainment, law, economics, gardening, attraction technology, safety, and personnel management. After that, she managed the Organizational and Inspection Department of the Kyzylorda Akimat for two years. For the last three years, she has headed the Public Procurement Department of the city of Kyzylorda, where her team organized the procurement of goods and services and worked for all divisions of the city hall.

Zhanel Rysbekova (Janelle)

Zhanel began her career in Europe, advocating for the rights of women, children, and access to education. She earned her LLB in International Law from KAZGUU in Kazakhstan and the University of Bologna in Italy. With over 7 years of experience in public policy, focusing on internationalization and educational policy, she worked at institutions such as the Academy of Public Administration under the President and the National Center for Higher Education Development (Bologna Process Center). She also served as the head of interaction with the government for the USAID children's rights project, and actively participated in projects with OSCE, UN Women, and the Malaysian MGTC. Currently, she operates a business in international education and career counseling for Kazakhstan's youth, her company named "Pro Grow" helped over 300 students to realize their professional dreams and obtain grants for studies in educational institutions. Zhanel joined the IPPAM program to contribute to the development of educational policy in Kazakhstan through internationalization and to fulfill her dream of opening a network of high-standard international schools, starting in her hometown of Taraz.

Student Senate of IPPAM 24

Hong-Sheng Hsu (Clark)

Clark currently serves as president of the IPPAM Graduate Student Association and is a part of the IPPAM 24 cohort. While receiving his BS in Maritime Police at Central Police University in Taiwan, he worked as a sergeant/director of training, where he implemented preliminary education training programs for incoming freshman students. After graduating, he went on to serve the Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan as an International Affairs Officer in the northern sector flotilla, going on search and rescue missions and attaining patrol training. When promoted to officer of the patrol section; fleet branch, Clark provided solutions pertinent to maritime casualties and arranged search-and-rescue joint drills with foreign countries. He currently serves as an officer in the intelligence division. Here, Clark collects and analyzes intelligence at sea areas near Taiwan for security purposes, acts as an international contact window for other countries, investigates cross-national crimes, and exchanges intelligence information with law enforcement. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, Clark intends on returning to Taiwan and advancing into future leadership positions. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, working out, and music.

Ting-Huan Ho (Huan Huan)

Huan Huan possesses years of work experience and accolades in media and journalism. She received her Bachelor of Education in Adult and Continuing Education from National Taiwan Normal University and then kicked off her career as a political journalist for TTV News. She went on to become a news anchor for several different segments and an in-depth report special topics journalist. In the 15th Republic of China presidential election, she served as a campaign spokesperson. Afterwards, she worked for the Broadcasting Corporation of China as a host, planner, and producer of radio, Youtube, and podcast for the strip program “Life is Full of Joys,” which covers topics ranging from current affairs to education to art. Joyce also holds experience as a financial journalist with the BCC. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, she hopes to enter the realm of politics and generate public policy change. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Joyce became a professional tarot card reader/lecturer and a certified Advanced Open Water scuba diver.

Fong Chung-Yu (Alan)

Alan joins the IPPAM program with over 11 years of experience in the governmental sector. His journey began as a senior officer in the personnel department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China, where he managed the rotation and promotion of high-level diplomats. He became a consular officer at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York City and went on to become a senior consular officer at the United Nations Task Force, where he was responsible for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the United Nations and observing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This responsibility deepened as he was promoted to executive officer in the International Organizations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his most recent role as section chief of the department, he oversaw Taiwan’s INTERPOL participation, deepened relations with Asia/Pacific Group on money laundering, and revived the Taiwan International Health Action, an inter-ministerial task force founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health and Welfare. Fong received his BA in Public Finance and BA in Korean Language and Culture at National Chengchi University and his MA in International Relations and World Order at the University of Leicester. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, Fong intends on pursuing his doctorate and making greater contributions to the Ministry.

Hamdan Alkhyeli

Hamdan Alkhyeli joins the IPPAM program with 5 years of experience in civil service and business development. Hamdan served as a senior officer for strategy in My Bill My Everything (MBME), one of the U.A.E.'s largest payment and government services platforms. During his tenure, he joined the Abu Dhabi Police force and worked in the transportation division. At ADP, he was responsible for investigating crimes, potential public health hazards, potential violators of the law, and supervised security and surveillance. At MBME, Hamdan initiated new client relationships, implemented strategic planning goals, and managed governmental partnerships. Hamdan possesses an intricate perspective on the intersection of the public and private sector. He received his BA in Business Studies and Finance from the University of Bedfordshire in the UK. Hamdan is passionate about the history of his culture and enjoys spending time with family. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, Hamdan looks forward to returning to the U.A.E. and developing effective public policy.

Madi Akylbekov

Madi Akylbekov joins the IPPAM program with 6 years of experience as a civil servant in Kazakhstan. At only 22 years of age, he began his career at the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan as senior manager of their international office, having organized events for international visitors and coordinated exchange exhibition programs with various other countries. Shifting further into the governmental sector as senior expert of the Department of Analytical Research, Madi coordinated trips and events to further peace policies between nations and performed data analysis of the interethnic relations of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He then served the Department of Higher and Postgraduate Education at the Ministry of Education and Science, coordinating everything from applicant selection to human resources. Madi received his BS in Philosophy from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and his MS in Philosophy from L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan. In his free time, he takes pleasure in playing soccer and leading the Ministry’s soccer team as captain. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, Madi hopes to apply his newfound leadership skills to better serve his home country in the public sector.

Melissa Sylvia Praast

Having been to more than 25 countries with multiple languages under her belt, Melissa holds a wealth of cultural awareness. She grew up in Ingolstadt, Germany and started off as an executive assistant at Audi AG. She was then promoted to coordinator in the international logistics department, where she was responsible for the execution of projects abroad in Russia and India. After attaining this work experience, she headed to the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, receiving her BA in European Management. Melissa went on to intern for the Embassy of Germany in Moscow, Russia in the Department of Press and Culture. Upon arriving in Southern California, she delved into the marketing and sales realm of luxury apartments when working as a customer support specialist for Equity Residential. Melissa currently serves as an administrative officer for the Consulate General of Austria in Brentwood, CA, assisting in a variety of responsibilities including management, staffing, accounting, and security analysis. Upon completing the IPPAM program, she hopes to work for the United Nations.

Phoebe Yang

Phoebe currently serves as a career coordinator for the IPPAM 24 student senatet. Born in Hong Kong, she grew up in Kunming and moved alone to the United States at just 14 years old. Phoebe possesses a variety of experiences across the globe. She has volunteered at the Denver Rescue Mission in Denver, Colorado and served as a health care research volunteer at Storyline Church in Thailand. She was co-president and treasurer of Lambda Pi Eta in Costa Mesa, CA, where she organized discussion panels with professors, activists, and professionals in the field of communication. Phoebe has also worked as an English and Chinese teacher at the Yage School of Arts in Kunming, China and a translator at Freelance Broker in Newport, CA. She served as a public relations specialist for Joy Caronie Art Studio in Aix-en-Provence, France, where she designed and coordinated art shows for local artists, curated marketing content, and presented unbiased news to the community. She is currently an International Mortgage Assistant at Ladera Ranch Home Loans in Irvine, CA, where she sells mortgage loans to international and domestic homeowners. She received her BA in Communications and Public Relations at Vanguard University of Southern California and briefly attended the IAU Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France. In the future, Phoebe sees herself becoming an international NGO, bridging the gap between China and the United States.

Jae-Eun Lee

With years of experience in public tax services and a desire to study public administration, Jae-Eun joins the IPPAM program. She began as an intern in the Budget Division of Gyeonggi Provincial Government, where she learned the ropes of developing performance budget plans and reviewing budget proposals regarding environmental policy. She then became director of the General Affair Division of the National Tax Service in Busan, South Korea. Transferring over to the Seoul branch, she served as director of the Individual Taxation Division, imposing VAT and income taxes to individual taxpayers and generating policies to reduce the amount of tax delinquency. There, she achieved the highest income tax report rates among all offices in Seoul. Jae-Eun then served as deputy director for the Investigation on International Transaction Bureau, where she directed more than 15 tax investigation cases on suspected multinational companies and adjusted for 3.5 million U.S. dollars of corporate and individual income hidden overseas. Now, she acts as deputy director for the Mutual Agreement Procedure Division, leading conferences to resolve international double taxation disputes in partnership with tax authorities from Switzerland, the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. Jae-Eun received her BS in Business Administration from Yonsei University with a minor in Economics, graduating with Highest Honors. Upon completion of the IPPAM program, Jae-Eun will return to Korea and identify global issues that will help shape new tax policy.