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Welcome! August 5, 2008

Posted by ippg in Uncategorized.

If you’re reading this, you’re either just about to enter GSPP and get a big heaping pile o’ policy, or you’re coming back to GSPP for seconds. You are all new to this site, however–so welcome to IPPG’s blog/community space/rumpus room. Granted, it’s a bit sparse right now, but at least it’s not as chilly as Room 250 (first-years, you’ll understand soon enough).

Jason Burwen

Jason Burwen

Allow me to make the first introduction. My name is Jason Burwen, and I’m a returning second-year to GSPP. I came to GSPP after several years in social-benefit NGOs, culminating in co-founding a disaster relief non-profit after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I have also spent good time around the world, spending the most time in Brazil, India, and Nepal. My interests generally fall under the concept of “development,” although I don’t like the term; I find myself most drawn to information technology in development, poverty alleviation, and international economics, but I also like getting into topics ranging from security to the natural environment. (I am happy to talk endlessly about any of those subjects, too.) I am a Bay Area native and lover of all things San Francisco. I play guitar, practice capoeira, dance dance dance, cook delicious food, and enjoy the outdoors–be that nearby redwoods or my own backyard. I’m just finishing up a summer at the US Government Accountability Office and am looking forward to getting back to school and meeting all of you!

I encourage you all to introduce yourselves–just say hey at the least if you don’t want to write an extensive intro. Until I figure out how to add users, I suppose just respond in the comments thread. Looking forward to (virtually) meeting y’all!

UPDATE: I think I have figured out how to let people post to the group blog. You’ll need to send me your email address that you’d like to use. Drop me an email at jason [at] burwen [dot] com.


1. Jerrod Mason - August 11, 2008

Hey everyone,

I guess I’m the first response to this post, which is pretty unfortunate for me since I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to blogs (I’ve been a little slow on the uptake when it comes to Web 2.0…)

I’m coming to GSPP as a first-year student, after a six year enlistment in the Navy during which I was an Arabic linguist. I’m also a native of the Bay Area (Bay Area-ite? Bay-Arean just sounds wrong), and I’m glad to be back after several years hopping around the country and around the world. While in the service, I lived in Bahrain for a little over a year and spent a good amount of time in various places in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Horn of Africa.

I’m really glad this forum (and the group it represents) exists, because I’m particularly interested in policy analysis as it applies to foreign policy, especially economic development and security studies. I’m no expert in anything, except maybe bicycle maintenance, but I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the next two years at GSPP, where I plan to absorb as much as possible from you-all and maybe give some back as well. Cheers!


2. mattiematt - August 13, 2008

Hi There!

Thanks Jason for setting this up! I am super excited to get to know everyone and hear more about all of your very interesting backgrounds. It sounds like there are some great people at GSPP and I’m psyched.

I have been blogging a little over the summer for Policy Matters, the GSPP journal. If you feel like checking out my posts, I just copied them over to


Arguments/comments/links very welcome!

See you all in a couple weeks…

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