Leah Kaplow '04
Leah has been living in Nigeria since August, 2014 where she is working for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. As a consultant at McKinsey, she is helping to completely transform the vaccine supply chain in Nigeria, and has been helping create a system to ensure stock of vaccines to remote local government areas. Leah applied for a fellowship to do this work because she wanted to help people living in poverty who do not have access to vaccines.
She accepted this fellowship instead of accepting the opportunity to spend this year at the McKinsey Boston office, where work would have been easier, she would have felt safer, and she would not have been an ethnic minority, because she thought that this was a unique opportunity to participate in tikkun olam.
Executing her work has been extremely difficult; she often has to work over sixteen hours a day, for weeks at a time, and negotiate with people who are not ready to hear her ideas. However, she has made tremendous progress, and many regions of Nigeria that were not receiving vaccines now are. It would not be surprising to learn if her work saves the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. In addition, her success has inspired McKinsey to consider improving vaccine distribution in other parts of Africa, so she may indirectly enable many more millions of people living in poverty to gain access to vaccines.