Student and Alumni Spotlights

Beauty Okungor, MPP MPI

Beyond Borders: Navigating Public Policy for Socio-Economic Progress

Beauty Okunbor

Master of Public Policy, Class of 2024/
Master of Public Informatics, Class of 2025

Concentrations: Education Policy, Economic Development of Marginalized Communities
Activities/Organizations: Social Media co-chair, Bloustein Graduate Student Association; Bloustein School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellow; Grading Assistant, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.
Personal interests: cooking, hiking, badminton, dogs, travel, writing. 

One of Beauty’s biggest pet peeves is time wasted. 

As a dual public policy/public informatics master’s degree candidate, she is not wasting any time working towards her goal of helping eliminate the declining socio-economic conditions in her home country. 

“I pursued a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, which broadened my understanding of how policies can impact a country. I was eager to understand how developed countries achieved their status and how Nigeria, often labeled as a “developing country,” might emulate this success,” she said. 

With a strong foundation in research and communication, Beauty is the recipient of the Bloustein School’s Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Scholarship and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholar Award.  

“I applied to Rutgers’ Bloustein School following a recommendation from a friend and alumus of the university, who believed it would be an excellent match for me due to its high academic standards,” she continued. “And my experience has exceeded my expectations.” 

Her late father, Major General Joseph Okunbor, played a pivotal role in her choice to pursue public policy. Regularly bringing home newspapers for Beauty to read after completing homework, her father emphasized the importance of education and staying informed about current events.  

“He even used to quiz me on the contents of the newspapers he provided!” Beauty said. “Initially, he envisioned a career in law for me, but his actions inadvertently sparked my interest in politics.” 

Motivated by those experiences, Beauty chose to study public policy with the aspiration of becoming a public policy analyst. She will also complete the dual MPI degree at Bloustein, which she hopes will complement her policy skills. 

The dual degree, she says, will enable her to provide insightful analyses and recommendations on policies that drive sustainable growth, improve governance, and address socio-economic challenges like the declining education system. 

“The financial, academic and emotional support I have received here has been remarkable, from both professors and staff,” she said. “Not to mention the diverse and welcoming community of friends.  

As a Public Policy New Voices Fellow and former intern at the Capital Research Center in DC and the New Jersey Senate Majority Office in Trenton, Beauty understands the impact that policy—both good and bad—can have on people. “I want to be part of the process that prevents the implementation of bad policies. There are so many opportunities available at the Bloustein School. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience, and my primary objective now is to put everything I have learned into practical use.”