Stories from Our Community

Rochana Cooray (MA 2018)

Prior to attending Johns Hopkins SAIS, Rochana was a research associate at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) where she worked on special education policy development. Projects at AIR were almost completely publicly funded and after a few years she began envisioning what their work would look like if more private philanthropic actors were involved in improving education in the United States.

It was this interest in the nexus between public private partnerships (PPPs) and the development sector that eventually inspired her application to the school. The International Development program curriculum combined with the school’s rigorous focus on economics made it the perfect program for her career interests.

One of her best experiences as a student had been spending time with a diverse set of intellectual peers who contributed a great deal toward both her personal and professional growth. Another defining academic experience for Rochana was the International Development practicum program which allowed her to design a Social Impact Bond to bring high-quality, low-cost private education to students in rural India.

After graduation, Rochana hopes to enter the field of impact investing. Equipped with a background in development finance and experience with social impact bonds, she hopes to develop innovative PPPs to further development objectives across the world.