GRADUCon 2021 - Careers in U.S. Government


Are you interested in learning about how to leverage your graduate training for a career in the federal government? This panel, which features speakers from various executive branch agencies and diverse educational backgrounds, will offer attendees a range of personal experiences as well as practical advice on how best to prepare for a fulfilling career in public service.


Sapana Vora, Deputy Team Chief, Biosecurity Engagement Program, U.S. Department of State (PhD, Cancer Biology, University of Chicago, 2014)

Dr. Sapana Vora trained as a cancer biologist and earned her PhD in cancer biology at the University of Chicago where her dissertation delved into inherited risk genetics for acute leukemia. Prior to graduate school, she double-majored in biology and English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2015 she served as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy fellow and research associate at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and from 2015 to 2017 was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State working on biosecurity in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (ISN/CTR). Since January 2017, Dr. Vora has served as a Deputy Team Chief in ISN/CTR managing a wide-ranging portfolio including improving biosecurity and biosafety to counter biological threats in ISN/CTR’s partner countries through the Biosecurity Engagement Program; defeating WMD threats from terrorists in Iraq; countering the pursuit of WMD-applicable emerging and advanced technologies by America’s strategic competitors; and helping formulate and implement U.S. policies on nonproliferation, biosecurity, and other national security priorities in partnership with the National Security Council and the U.S. interagency.

Moizza Khan, Workforce Development Specialist, U.S. Department of Labor (MA, Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2006)

Moizza Khan received a BA in Communication, with a minor in Asian Studies, from DePaul University before finding work as a youth counselor in Uptown Chicago and as an English teacher in Japan. She returned to Chicago as a grant writer for nonprofits and got her MA in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago in 2006. Upon graduation, she joined civil service as a Presidential Management Fellow for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. She did a six-month rotation at the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and in two years with the State Department’s Office of Inspector General, she did fieldwork in nearly a dozen countries. Moizza was stationed in Egypt during the Arab Spring and returned to serve as a senior program analyst for the Middle East Partnership Initiative. Family obligations brought her back to Chicago in 2012, where she continued to consult for NGOs and philanthropic organizations before re-joining the civil service in 2016 as a project manager for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Job Corps.

Ann Stock, Public Health Advisor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Master’s in Social Work, University of Chicago, 2012)

Ann leads the policy, technical assistance, and communications portfolios for the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau where she helps support the implementation of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Ann started her career in maternal and child health as a home visitor in Philadelphia, and has since worked in early childhood policy at HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the White House Domestic Policy Council, and the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Ann received her Master’s Degree in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration from the University of Chicago’s Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College. Ann currently lives in Washington, DC with her husband and son.

Avshalom Rubin, Middle East Analyst, U.S. Department of State (PhD, Middle Eastern History, University of Chicago, 2010)

Avshalom Rubin has been a Middle East analyst at the Department of State since 2016. He provides all-source analysis, including written products and oral briefings, to senior Department policy makers and other national security officials. Previously, he worked in the Department’s Office of the Historian, specializing in the Middle East (2011-2016). He is also the author of The Limits of the Land: How the Struggle for the West Bank Shaped the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Indiana University Press, 2017)


Darryl Li, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences in the College; Associate Member, Law School, University of Chicago