Kirton headshot

Leland Fellow

Lexi Kirton

11th Class, 2021-2023

After working in international trade and public procurement for several years, Alexandra Kirton made a career transition to focus on food systems and emergency management. She began this transition at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service where she earned her Master of Public Administration with a focus on international development policy and management. During her Master’s Capstone project, she led a team of students who wrote a report on the impacts of decentralized forms of government on coastal resilience efforts in the Philippines and Bangladesh. Upon commencement she received the Hammad Fund International Leadership Award for her contribution to the global experience, academic success, and exceptional capacity for international leadership.

Prior to becoming a Leland Fellow, Alexandra worked at several New York City government agencies where she worked closely with city officials on policy design and implementation. Most recently, Alexandra was a John D. Solomon Fellow at New York City Emergency Management where she served as a liaison for elected officials, city and state agencies, and community stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

Alexandra is a Colorado native who enjoys cooking and learning languages in her spare time.

Host Organization: Mercy Corps

First Year Placement
Washington, D.C. (remote)

During her first year, Lexi worked with Mercy Corps as a Program Specialist for Resilience, Sustainability & Integration. In this role, Lexi contributed to Mercy Corps’ work on the USAID Implementer-led Design, Evidence, Analysis & Learning (IDEAL) award and the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA). Under IDEAL, Lexi collaborated to design and execute activities that support and train food security implementing partners in their efforts to improve program design, implementation, and knowledge management. Specifically, she led the localization workstream and conceptualized several knowledge sharing events on local engagement and across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus attended by participants all over the world. She also developed a report on integrating the “graduation approach” into USAID resilience and food security programming.

With ZFRA, Lexi analyzed the impacts of flooding on food security and developed policy considerations. She also collaborated with the ZFRW advocacy team to host advocacy and influencing workshops in English and Spanish to partner teams.

Second Year Placement
Kathmandu, Nepal

Lexi is currently supporting the USAID funded BHAKARI activity in Nepal as the Program Specialist for Research Learning. BHAKARI is a multi-year emergency program  that focuses on short-term emergency shocks and long-term food security using a multi-sectoral approach with a strong emphasis on gender and social inclusion. In this role, she is leading the overall implementation of the BHAKARI Learning Agenda and the reasearch lead on a developing program evidence on sequencing, layering, and integration. She is based in Kathmandu with regular work in BHAKARI’s working communities in western Nepal to document learning.

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