2018 PODS Fellows

The 2018 PODS fellows were chosen from a highly competitive field of 250 applicants. 

Aliya Allen-Valley

Aliya completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill with joint honours in Political Science and International Development Studies. Through her research at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Caribbean Public Health Agency, she is pursuing a career in health policy, specifically international responses to epidemics and improving access to healthcare for marginalized communities.


During PODS, Aliya interned at the McGill Observatory on Health and Social Services Reform with Dr. Amelie Quesnel-Vallee and explored data on Long Term Care policy options in Canada.

Aliya is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Marine Colon de Franciosi

Marine has conducted research in various settings, from Handicap International Montreal to ELIMU Impact Evaluation Centre in Kenya with Professor Matthieu Chemin to identify effective poverty reduction measures through randomized experiments. An accomplished marathon runner and a graduate in Economics and International Development Studies, she is excited to apply data science techniques to her future development research projects. 

During PODS, Marine interned at Laboratoire d'Innovation Urbaine de Montreal (previously named Smart City) and worked with datasets related to the recent Open Data Policy.

Marine recently completed her her MSc Economics for Development at Oxford, and is now a Research Assistant at the World Bank.

Juliette Deshormes

As a multilingual graduate from a joint honours degree in International Development Studies and Political Science, Juliette wants to work in the field of refugee protection and promotion of their basic human rights. Her work at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Centre for Human Rights Education has given her insight that she hopes to build on through learning more about data science and its application.


During PODS, Juliette interned at Prospered Project, led by Arijit Nandi, at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, where she analyzed the coverage of India's Integrated Child Development Scheme.

Juliette is currently working as a video journalist for the French media company, Brut. She often creates datasets in order to backup reports with facts and figures.

Dexter Docherty

Prior to PODS, Dexter conducted archival research with Dr. Cindy Blackstock into the history of the School of Social Work. He also worked with Dr. Laura Madakoro, researching the history of refugee claims in the Commonwealth. Dexter is an Honours History graduate who is passionate about criminal justice reform, and has dedicated himself to educating youth about social justice issues through various conferences, such as SSUNS and Junior Peacekeepers.


During PODS, Dexter interned at the Institute for Research on Public Policy, and worked with data on cannabis black markets in Canada to inform new marijuana legalization policies.

Currently, ​Dexter is an MSc Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation candidate at the University of Oxford.

Emma Ebowe

During her joint honours degree in German Studies and Political Science, Emma worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Jacob Levy and was a member of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies. While working as analyst for a consulting firm in England, she was on the functional design team of a national benefit reform system for the UK Department of Work & Pensions. Emma hopes to pursue a career in the field of welfare policy, and believes that quantitative analysis will help her improve these systems.

During PODS, Emma interned at Nexalogy Environics, where she worked with data pulled from Twitter to inform policy surrounding white supremacy movements.

Emma is now pursuing her PhD in Political Theory at Harvard University.​

Olivier Xie Cheng Li

Olivier graduated with a degree in Honours Sociology and has extensive experience in the field of policy, including work with the Energy Policy Division of the G20 Research Group, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy, and the United Nations World Food Programme. He is excited to apply the skills he will learn in PODS to research the intersections between public policy, international affairs, and media communications.


During PODS, Olivier interned at the Conference Board of Canada (Institut du Québec) and used data on Canadian patents as a proxy for analyzing innovation in the region.

Currently, Olivier is a MPhil Planning, Growth and Regeneration candidate at the University of Cambridge.

Emily Xing

Emily graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and has conducted research at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and Dr. Jeremy Cooperstock’s laboratory. She has dedicated her time to the McGill Peer Support Centre, and she is passionate about using data analysis to increase the accessibility of services and technologies.

During PODS, Emily interned at Data Sciences Inc., where she worked with Facebook marketing data. Her project focused on automating the extraction of data and creating business logic to automate decision making for campaigns.

Emily is currently a User Experience Research Assistant at Google.