JD, Harvard University
Rina Thomas is the child of immigrants from India
Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Harvard University
RINA THOMAS was born in New Orleans to parents from India. She attended a Catholic high school that blended tradition, liberal thinking and a focus on community engagement; values that remain important to her. Valedictorian of her high school class, she began her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. After Hurricane Katrina devastated her home city following her freshman year she immediately began fundraising for hurricane victims through the Wharton School's student council. She then created a program that connected undergraduate business students to the hurricane recovery efforts. After graduating with a joint BA/BS in international studies and business, she returned to Louisiana to work with the state's Department of Economic Development on projects designed to reverse the state's brain drain and to combat its high rates of poverty. She deferred her admission to Harvard Law School in order to accept a position as Governor Jindal's advisor on economic development, taxes and budget policy. Rina's current projects include passing economic development and public pension reforms through the state legislature.