EMPA Graduation 2015

Samir Khan

Executive Class of 2017

Programme Officer at the International Budget Partnership



Samir Khan

School of Public Policy

Before joining the EMPA I was…

Trying to figure out how to formalise skills I had developed over the course of my career to pursue more policy-oriented career paths. Advancement in my field requires a formal Masters degree, and I wanted to get as much as I could from the investment of time and effort.

Why did you choose the EMPA?

While there were other options in terms of public policy degrees, the EMPA offered the right combination of rigour, flexibility, and exposure to international networks of academics and fellow students. As I said earlier, a Masters is a huge investment, and you want to make sure your getting new skills, but also access to new networks and opportunities.

As I work in the development sector, having access to coursework that would be relevant to development practices was very important. The strong emphasis on theory has turned out to be extremely important for my post-school pursuits.

How has the EMPA influenced your career?

The EMPA has greatly accelerated my analytical capabilities, and made me a much smarter consumer of academic and grey literature. It's helped me tackle challenges I face in my day job in a much more sophisticated way. It has also expanded the range of things I can do professionally.

What was your favourite thing about the EMPA?  

I was surprised at how fun it was to arrive in London after a redeye flight and jump into class the next day. London cures most forms of jetlag.

What advice would you give to an incoming EMPA student? 

Make sure you make time to hang out with your classmates at The George. Half of your learning (and fun) will take place over post-class social time.