Shawn took advantage of the Huntsman Program's flexibility to pursue diverse academic interests: he completed an additional major in French and took courses in Sociology, Ethnomusicology, African History and even Drumming. While studying Public Policy in the Wharton School, Shawn was very active in politics, both on-campus and off. He drew political cartoons for the Daily Pennsylvanian and staged a 9-day sit-in of College Hall with other members of United Students Against Sweatshops, pressuring the university to use responsible clothing manufacturers. His community service work during college included painting murals with UPENN's art program and a city program in Philadelphia public schools and he served as Site Manager and Regional Coordinator for Rebuilding Together, an organization dedicated to home renovations for low-income homeowners in Philadelphia. Shawn also assisted Civic House, Habitat for Humanity and a number of other organizations with art, posters, rallies and fundraisers. During summers, he had internships with various non-profit organizations and spent one summer working for SEIU and the AFL-CIO organizing institute.
A semester abroad in Senegal exposed Shawn for the first time to some of the pitfalls of traditional development policy. Post-Penn, Shawn continued to pursue his interest in public policy, spending three years as Senior Program Associate with CEDPA, managing women's empowerment projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He moved on to University Research Co. managing a youth health and advocacy project in Jamaica and a health care project in Benin. Currently, he is the Associate Director for Administration for the Health Care Improvement project - one of USAID's flagship global health programs, leading quality improvement initiatives in multiple clinical areas (HIV/AIDS, maternal health, infant and child health, TB, malaria, orphans and vulnerable children) and in over twenty nations worldwide.
Shawn says that his Wharton education prepared him to win and manage government contracts and grants and helped him to bring good financial and organizational management skills into the non-profit sector. At the same time, his Huntsman multicultural skills come in handy while managing his project field offices in 21 different countries and during his many short-term assignments overseas, most recently in Uganda, Mozambique and Afghanistan. In his spare time, he is still painting murals, doing community work, playing drums and folk music, and being an activist.