Cody Kugler

MPS '22, Global Development
  • Hometown: Closter, New Jersey, USA
  • Colleges attended and degree earned: Lafayette College: BA in Economics
What are the big challenges you want to tackle in the world?
  • Unpacking the complexities of our food systems and transitioning towards more sustainable processes
  • Facilitating smallholder farming opportunities, especially for women
  • Improving access to sustainable food SMEs in emerging markets
What were you doing before the MPS program?

For the past three years, I’ve been working for EnerGaia, a spirulina startup based in Bangkok. As is the nature of a startup, I wore many hats. The majority of my time was spent overseeing the establishment of our programs in Bangladesh and Indonesia. I did everything from baseline studies to process documentation and set up to grant management.

Prior to EnerGaia, I worked with Kiva, piloting a zero-interest crowdfunded microloan product for social enterprises. I also volunteered with Zawadisha, a product loan nonprofit based in Kenya. Before that, I worked as a project manager at JP Morgan in NYC for 3.5 years.

What does global development mean to you?

To me global development requires recognizing that societies are not created equal in terms of economies, access, and values. Then, it is identifying the inequities that require action and creating sustainable solutions.

What has been the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far?

A memorable moment from my career was winning a Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Explorations grant in innovating global health and development research. Our initiative was “Creating spirulina microentrepreneurs to solve malnutrition” in Khulna, Bangladesh and then having the opportunity to work with the women in that community to craft the program.

Tell us a fun fact about you.

I enjoy playing sports. While living in Bangkok, I dabbled in Gaelic football and rugby, but I grew up playing soccer and softball. I was even fortunate enough to play both for my college.

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