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The NAAHP Haitian American Leadership Award Scholarship application is open through April 26  Apply Now

Rose Fadija Leila Joseph

Student, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University

My name is Rose Fadjia Leila Joseph. I am enrolled in the Master of International Affairs program at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University, with a concentration in Economic and Political Development and a specialization in Data Analytics and Quantitative Analysis.

Born and raised in Haiti, I got my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics at the Centre de Techniques de Planification et d’Economie Appliquee (CTPEA) in Haiti. During my studies, I have exemplified high character, confidence, and professionalism, with hard work and outstanding academic excellence as valedictorian during my Bachelor’s degree in Haiti. As an Erasmus Scholar at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain, my stellar work was awarded Honors in Econometrics, Monetary, and Financial Economics.

When I started my studies in Applied Economics at CTPEA in Haiti, I was shocked to find only five girls in my class, a class of fifty students. I did not have the exact explanation for this gap, but I knew it was an issue. That is why I eagerly joined the Association de la Gent Universitaire Feminine at CTPEA aimed to promote gender equity through advocacy, education, and research. In 2019, I became the executive board President, building on my prior role as Director of Communication and Public Relations. As the President, I have developed the strategic directions for the board and engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including development entities and high-level public sector leaders, to deliver impactful activities, steering the upcoming cohort of future female leaders in Haiti.

In 2020, I was the first Caribbean Girls Hack (CGH) ambassador in Haiti. I have served as a community youth leader focusing on bridging the gap for girls in tech. During this time, I have singlehandedly enrolled 38 students to receive training to devise tech innovations on SDG solutions as part of the CGH hackathons for International Girls in ICT Day. I have also served as a facilitator for STEM Access for Girls, where I delivered training sessions for young girls to help them build strong STEM identities, concurrently equipping them with social and emotional leadership skills to embark on future careers in STEM.

After my degree, I embarked on my commitment to international affairs. Over the last year working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Haiti, I learned a tremendous amount during a crisis time. These crises (assassination of President Jovenel Moise, the earthquake of august 14, 2021, and the ongoing migration crisis for Haitian nationals) have given me first-hand experience as part of the team working to manage the pressures of socio-political and economic realities facing my island nation. These issues compel me to gain in-depth knowledge and specialization through a Master in International Affairs (Economic and Political Development Concentration) at Columbia University, where I can best harness my skillsets with my commitment to do my part to craft innovative solutions to drive human development and sustainable growth in my community.

Being accepted to my dream school, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, is a giant step in my career path. I am sure that the curriculum of the stellar SIPA program will prepare me to gain the skills and experiences necessary to achieve my career aspirations.