P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Raie Gessesse, 2021

U.S. Public Policy Campaigns & Impact Team, TikTok

Raie Gessesse is the child of immigrants from Ethiopia

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MPP in Social Policy at Harvard University

Raie Gessesse is an award-winning advocate, scholar, speaker, and trainer committed to racial and gender equity with several years of experience working across sectors to drive positive social impact. Born and raised in Minnesota, she has helped lead several campaigns on impacting public policy at the local, state, and national levels, including targeted investments for increased economic opportunities for women of color. At IGNITE National, Raie played a pivotal role in advancing the organization's mission as one of the country's largest young women's political organizations focused on empowering the next generation of political leaders. In her capacity, she successfully expanded IGNITE's footprint across the region, providing young women with enhanced resources and tools to confidently pursue elected office. She is a proud of alum of several national organizations including EMILYs List, Supermajority, Justice + Joy Collaborative, New Leaders Council, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Raie is a recent graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School where she completed a Master in Public Policy degree as a 2021 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and Center for Public Leadership Fellow. She is also a recipient of one of the nation's most prestigious public service-oriented scholarships, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, representing the state of Minnesota in 2019. In 2022, she joined the White House Gender Policy Council where she helped direct the Administration's goals of promoting gender equity throughout the federal government. 

Her perspectives on policy issues at the intersection of race and gender have been featured in The Boston Globe, Star Tribune, MinnPost, and more. In recognition of her leadership, she was named a 25 under 25 Young Woman of Color to Watch by She the People in 2021.

Currently, Raie is on the U.S. Public Policy team at TikTok, where she helps lead campaigns and impact work across the company. 

  • MPP Social Policy | Harvard University 2023
  • BA Political Science and Public Health | Hamline University 2020
  • Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow
  • New Leaders Council Fellow
  • 25 Under 25 Young Woman of Color
  • Barbara Jordan Award for Women's Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School
  • Center for Public Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
Work History
  • TikTok, U.S. Public Policy Campaigns & Impact Team
  • IGNITE National, Midwest Program Manager
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