Islam headshot

Emerson Fellow

Maria Islam

30th Class, 2023-2024

[email protected]

A naturalized Texan, Maria Islam is a doctoral candidate in Public Policy and Political Economy at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her passion and research interests are in food systems policy, particularly anti-hunger and sustainability policies. Maria hopes to help reimagine current systems and make nutritious and delicious food accessible to all. In her free time, she participates in cultural and faith-based community activities. She also enjoys reading economic and political works so she can better contribute to conversations about social change.

Field placement: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As part of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's Government Affairs team, Maria is helping launch the food bank's Neighbor Leadership Council comprised of people with lived expertise. Maria is overseeing the selection of the first class of Councilmembers and is building the foundation of their leadership program curriculum.

Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center

Washington, D.C.

Maria Islam is working with the Food Research and Action Center to investigate and document Healthy School Meals for All efforts on federal and state levels. She has been assisting with research efforts on the benefits of school meals for all through an annotated bibliography and has provided administrative support for panels on Summer EBT and the Community Eligibility Provision. She is also preparing to lead a conversation about diversity in school food at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference.