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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Leda Bloomfield, 2013

Special Assistant, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Public and Indian Housing Office

Leda Bloomfield is an immigrant from South Korea

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MA in Urban Planning at New York University (NYU)

Leda calls herself one of Korea's lost children. Born in Korea, she was adopted by an American couple and grew up in a majority Latino and African-American communities in Connecticut. She reflects on the triple bind of her growing up: foreigner in her home country, her adopted country and within her own family, from which she was estranged as a teen. Her keen desire to work in underserved communities is a product of her complex immigrant and minority identities.

Leda made her way, however, to Barnard College where, with scholarships and part-time jobs, she graduated magna cum laude. Leda subsequently worked as a corporate legal assistant for a major New York-based international law firm and as Associate Director of an African-American think tank affiliated with Columbia Law School.

Leda received a master's degree in urban planning with a focus on affordable housing finance at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service. She was awarded the Martin Dworkis Memorial Award for academic achievement, participation in school activities, and public service. While in school, she worked as a paralegal at a civil rights law firm, where she was a Spanish translator and helped to represent victims of housing discrimination.

Education
  • MA Urban Planning | New York University (NYU) 2014
  • BA Urban Studies | Barnard College 2009
Awards
  • Martin Dworkis Memorial Award
Work History
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Public and Indian Housing Office, Special Assistant