CHCI-Amazon Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: Chicago, IL
School: DePaul University
Degree: B.A. in Economics
Placement One: U.S. House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress
Placement Two: Office of Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia
Kasandra Negrete (She/Her) was born and raised on the south side of Chicago in a predominately Latinx neighborhood. At an early age, Kasandra was able to discern the socioeconomic differences by area; train tracks are common markers that divide neighborhoods by race and income. While attending high school, Kasandra witnessed the inequities that underserved communities face – all concentrated in specific zip codes. This is when Kasandra’s passion for social change began to develop.
Kasandra graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Economics. During college, Kasandra interned with two financial industry leaders: Blackrock, the largest asset management firm in the world, and Ariel Investments, the first African American investment firm in the nation. Working at these firms, Kasandra was exposed to wealth building, financial literacy, investment concepts, and, most importantly, the impact of inclusion.
In 2018, Kasandra started her professional career in government, working for Chicago’s City Treasurer’s office. Kasandra served as a Portfolio Manager, in which her responsibility was cash management of Chicago’s investment portfolio. Additionally, Kasandra executed the Offices’ diversity initiatives such as the Broker-Dealer Diversity Scorecard, created to score and evaluate Broker Dealers’ diversity and inclusion practices. Outside of work, Kasandra served as the Chicago Fellow for IGNITE National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women to become civically engaged. Through this organization, Kasandra hosted events for women in college about civic engagement, voter rights, and gender equality.
Kasandra’s experience in government, nonprofits, and financial businesses has elucidated the successes and challenges black and brown people face within these sectors. Kasandra’s professional career surrounding money management and inclusion – two essential concepts that are continually lacking in her city – has only increased her motivation to pursue public policy.
As a CHCI-Amazon Public Policy Fellow, Kasandra is looking forward to researching the following policy issues: education, government operations and technology, and economic development.