Meet the McCourt School of Public Policy’s 2024 Howard Scholar

Georgetown University is where Natalia Cooper (G’26) found “alignment with [her] interests and goals,” says the McCourt School of Public Policy’s 2024 Howard Scholar. The Howard Scholars Program, launched in Fall 2021, awards students and alumni of Howard University—a Historically Black University in Washington, DC—a full-tuition scholarship to McCourt’s master’s degree programs in data science for public policy, international development policy, policy management, or public policy. The program was established through a partnership between Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and Howard University, and is part of a larger commitment to deepen ties between the two institutions.

“The McCourt School aspires to be the most inclusive top public policy program in the world,” Maria Cancian, dean of the McCourt School, said when the program was announced. “The creation of the Howard Scholar at McCourt program will help us deliver on our commitment to broadening the diversity of perspective and life experience at McCourt.” Howard students and alumni who apply and are admitted to the McCourt School’s graduate programs are automatically considered for the scholarship. 

‘Solutions to big problems’

Originally from South Florida, Cooper is dedicated to improving the economic and social mobility of historically marginalized communities. At Howard University, she pursued a double major in political science and economics, which “helped open up a new world to me,” she says. “I uncovered new information and set new goals.” 

Cooper currently works full-time as a policy and data analyst at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality (GCPI) while attending classes in the evening as a part-time student. Her academic pursuits on racial equity issues often inform her work at GCPI and her future ambition to advocate for solutions that blend economic and social policy. 

“My McCourt education is giving me more perspective to think about solutions to big problems,” she says.

Read more about Natalia Cooper’s journey to Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

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