Diego Gonnet Ibarra

Meet Diego, a graduate who combined his academic career with work as a policy analyst.

Diego Gonnet Ibarra

Underdeveloped countries (such as Uruguay) face countless problems, seriously hampering people’s abilities to achieve even the most basic goals in life. I have always seen politics and public policy as activities with great potential to positively transform this reality. This is why I studied political science and why I directed my research efforts towards serious issues affecting the community. But, though interesting, analysing problems from an office in a university may not be enough. Sometimes you feel you have to get more directly involved in searching for solutions and implementing them. So I decided to combine my academic career with working as a policy analyst and adviser.

The Master of Public Policy programme provided me with the preparation I was looking for. Teachers here merge strong knowledge of the theory of public policy and public management with sharp insights on how institutions and rules are actually put into practice. Moreover, most of my classmates were experienced public servants from New Zealand and abroad, who enriched the courses with highly valuable contributions. In my opinion, this unique mix of world-class academics and practitioners from different jurisdictions makes the School of Government Post Experience programmes a great option for those interested in a gratifying and challenging career in the public sector.

Diego Gonnet Ibarra is from Uruguay, and graduated in 2005 with a BA in Political Science (with Honours) from Universidad de la República, Uruguay. Between 2004 and 2008 he worked as a researcher for that University. He investigated on democracy and civil-military relations, defence policy, United Nations peacekeeping operations and military law.

Thanks to his NZAID scholarship, Diego completed the Master of Public Policy programme in 2011. In his research essay, he discussed how universities can contribute to fostering economic development by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation among its students.