People

Vineesha Badabhagni, MSSP'19

Vineesha Badabhagni, MSSP’19

  • Social Research Data Scientist, Department of Human Services, City of Philadelphia

Vineesha was an international student from India. She did her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from IIT Madras and Master’s degree in Social Policy from SP2. She wants to work with the governments in various capacities to make the lives of people better through both data-driven and evidence-based research in policy. Vineesha has been pushing her boundaries from time to time to bring out her best. Life was not easy. It pushed her hard. It knocked her down. But she picked herself up every single time drawing strength from the moments that inspired her. Vineesha’s journey has taught her a lot about justice, inequality, and, most importantly, courage to stand up for a cause. She knows she has a purpose to make this world a better place and she is going to be at the lead facing all the challenges that come along. Vineesha is a leader, a changemaker, and a contributor.

Having both engineering and policy background empowered Vineesha to bring a unique skillset onto the table to do amazing, impactful work. After graduation, she started working with Kente Master, a Social Enterprise based in Ghana, that aims to economically empower local handloom weavers. Vineesha worked on formulating and implementing a strategic plan of action through fundraising campaigns to launch the products of Kente Master into the global market. She is currently leading the Data Analysis for City of Philadelphia’s Diversion programs around Truancy, Permanency, Youth & Child Welfare. She is also building evaluation tools and identifying indicators using communimetrics for Prevention and Domestic Violence.

“MSSP gave me the right tools and exposure to build a better world for disadvantaged people out there. Through the coursework at SP2, I learnt the practical dimensions of policymaking, analysis, and policy communications. I applied my multidisciplinary research skills to author several papers and presented my work at summits and conferences in the World Bank, United Nations, and several universities. One has to deal with the sensitive issues of different ideologies and perceptions in the process of making and implementing policies. At Penn, I developed an expertise in decision-making process that takes into account the political elements as well as the dynamics of institutions to tackle real-world problems with effective policies. Also as the elected student representative for the MSSP program, I got an in-depth exposure to the administrative processes. As a part of the MSSP summer internship, I worked with the Mayor’s Office Philadelphia evaluating truancy and permanency policies through data-driven research. In a nutshell, I learnt a lot more than what I expected from the MSSP program. It gave me a big push of confidence needed to build a better world.”

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