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Ph.D. Connections Conference Career Panel: Nonprofit Organizations

March 15, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm EDT

Careers in nonprofit organizations tap into the expertise of Ph.D. holders from a variety of academic backgrounds, and utilize skills including scientific expertise, program management, research, administration, and more. Panelists working on issues such as disease surveillance, sustainability, energy, health outcomes, environment and public policy, economics, and politics will share their own career stories and provide insights on careers in the nonprofit field.


Meg Ahern completed her joint Ph.D. in English and women’s studies in 2012. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the history and sociology of science at the University of Chicago, she moved to Washington, DC to work in international development. Since then, she has worked primarily as a consultant for UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education, focusing on gender equality and other equity issues. She also worked on USAID’s organizational learning and development program.

Grace Cho serves as director of federal relations at World Central Kitchen (WCK), a nonprofit organization that provides hot, nourishing meals to communities affected by humanitarian, climate, and community crises. Prior to her work at WCK, Grace spent over a decade at the US Government Accountability Office, where she worked on a range of domestic policy issues, including K-12 education and disaster response. At WCK, she combines her federal government experience with on-the-ground relief work to develop relationships on Capitol Hill and federal agencies. Grace received her Ph.D. in political science in 2011. Her studies at the University of Michigan on race in American politics continue to shape her work today in finding ways to ensure that disaster response is equity-centered. She lives outside Washington, DC, with her husband, two children, and two crazy cats.

Ashley Huderson is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and completed her undergraduate training at Spelman College (2006) and a certificate in health policy (2012) and doctoral work at Meharry Medical College (2013). Previously, she served as the director of engineering education and outreach at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), where she leads the Engineering Education and Outreach department in designing, planning, organizing, overseeing and implementing educational programs and projects that define ASME’s role and impact in K-12 STEM education, engineering education and scholarships. Currently, she is a STEMNext fellow at the Department of Education and is responsible for developing and refining a department-wide STEM strategy, focused on strong models of excellent and inclusive STEM education from PreK-16. She has published over 12 peer reviewed articles, including two book chapters on urban STEM education and counter spaces for minority women in STEM. She has also been the recipient of several awards and honors, including the 2019 McD #35 Alum of the Year award, the 2020 BEYA Modern-Day Technology Leader award, and the 2020 UNCF WIAC Grace Walker Phillips Leadership Award.

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March 15, 2023
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm EDT
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Livestream / Virtual