Nowicki headshot

Leland Fellow

Marisa Nowicki

10th Class, 2019-2021

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Marisa Nowicki graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master’s in Public Policy and Management—Global Track. In addition to traditional coursework, Marisa consulted on six client projects with the local government, international NGOs, and local nonprofits. For example, her group capstone, completed in collaboration with 412 Food Rescue, resulted in a comprehensive, replicable model to reduce food waste and improve food security in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and beyond. Prior to attending graduate school, Marisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Texas. Her junior year, she completed a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship at Princeton University. Through this program she developed a professional interest in understanding the root causes and consequences of international conflict. She went on to gain professional experience with the U.S. House of Representatives, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and the U.S. Department of State. Marisa aspires to work towards global peace and security by addressing topics like food security, gender equality, environmental protection, and diplomacy.

Host Organization: Bioversity International

First Year Placement
Nairobi, Kenya

Marisa Nowicki is currently working with Bioversity International in Nairobi, Kenya as a Policy Analyst and Behavior Change Specialist. Marisa and her team are launching a 3-year research project aimed at improving local farm and diet diversity. Communities will learn to utilize agrobiodiversity to increase farm resilience, enhance incomes, and improve dietary diversity. After analyzing the lessons learned from their pilot project in Vihiga County, Kenya, the team will expand their project to Turkana County, Kenya and Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Marisa is currently analyzing the benefits of their community-led, participatory approach, and how to replicate it. Moreover, Marisa is documenting the food landscapes and policy contexts in each of these areas. For consistency, she is developing a methodology to analyze these systems more holistically. This process includes extensive research, on-site focus groups with past and present participants, coordination with local academics, and numerous key stakeholder interviews with government officials.

Second Year Placement
Nairobi, Kenya