2017 Incoming Class: Esther Ongay-Gonzalez

Esther Ongay

Meet Esther – First year MA in International Development Studies from Mexico!

I have lived the past 11 years in Mexico City but I was raised in the small city of Xalapa.

During my BA in Political Science, I had the opportunity to have an exchange term in Ottawa. My favorite class there was Professor Stephen Augustine’s Aboriginal Peoples course. He was an awesome person who taught me about his culture – Mi’kmaq -, and expanded my understanding of the world.

I have been working in public policy think tanks since I graduated from my BA. In my last job I specialized on public budget and government accountability, both doing research and promoting government policy changes. Through this time, I had the chance to meet Congresswomen, public officials, and other think tank colleagues, and I even got some interviews on TV in a Bloomberg news program.

Before starting my life in DC, this summer I will travel to the South. I am planning to backpack with my girlfriend all the way from Colombia to Bolivia. I expect to meet new people there and do some wonderful sightseeing. I am really excited about it!

I have wanted to work to alleviate poverty since I was 12 and I feel that every step in my career has led me to start the International Development Studies Master program this Fall. I am delighted by the possibilities that I will have at GWU. I am looking forward to meeting other students, and dedicate the next two years of my life to learning as much as I can about development issues.

My plans involve coming back to Mexico to start an NGO or continue to work in think tanks doing analysis on inequality and poverty topics. I hope that the experiences to come will shape me on a deep level, and I will see what comes from there.

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.