Katsi Pena

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Focus: Environmental Policy and Management; Public Finance and Budgeting

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Bio: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and then later moved to Florida. I attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO where I graduated with a B.S. in Rangeland Ecology with minors in Conservation Biology and Environmental Affairs. Now I am finishing up my first year at the Evans School, where I am focusing on Environmental Policy and Public Finance. I am also involved with Evans People of Color (EPOC), Green Evans, and the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program.

Last year, I completed an internship with the City of Seattle as a Community Outreach Intern with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). I analyzed and recommended inclusive public engagement strategies, wrote a proposal for SDOT leadership and the Mayor’s Office, and participated in Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) work. This year I have been working as an Advocacy Coordinator for a local environmental nonprofit where I am advocating for effective climate action in the Washington State Legislature. As a young woman of color, I am extremely passionate about environmental justice centered around empowering communities of color and creating equitable outcomes that result in resilient ecological and social communities.

Why did you choose Evans? To pursue a career in public service with the goal to enhance inclusion, equity, and sustainable climate action. My motivation for pursuing an MPA is to further my experience in achieving effective climate action with a racially equitable focus within local government.

Ask me about: Going straight from undergrad to grad school, first-year curriculum/ experience, moving to Seattle for grad school, public finance, environmental policy, being a POC at UW, EPOC, GOMAP, working at the City of Seattle

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