2023 Alumni Impact Awards: Shub Dhakal, Jessica Muirhead & Chelsea Ross

Photos of alumni impact awardees Shub Dhakal, Jessica Muirhead & Chelsea Ross

Jessica Muirhead, MPA Fellow ‘20, Director of MyCTSavings, CT State Comptroller

Jessica Muirhead (MPA ’20) is the Executive Director of the CT Retirement Security Program, or MyCTSavings,a statefacilitated automaticIRA savings program for employees who lack access to a retirement benefit at their workplace. The fourth program of its kind to launch in the country, MyCTSavings was established to help employees easily and automatically save for retirement through their paychecks. Joining the effort in 2020 through the Office of the State Comptroller, Jessica lead the execution of MyCTSavings and its policies, finally ushering in the pilot program and statewide launch in 202122. Jessica has spoken nationally about CTs program, and with the States Comptroller, leads an effort to establish a New England multistate collaborative for state autoIRA programs. MyCTSavings now serves thousands of employers and their employees across the CT, helping to build a more financially secure future for the states private workforce.

A Connecticut and Hartford County native, Jessica has found fulfillment in a career of public and nonprofit service at Brown University, the University of Connecticut, the Capitol Region Council of Governments, and the State of Connecticut. Jessica was honored to be named an AARP Retirement Security Champion in 2023 and is also a UConn alumna twice: prior to the MPA Executive Track program, Jessica also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (’09) from the University of Connecticut.

Shub Dhakal, MPP ‘19 Contingency Underwriter, Beazley

Shub Dhakal graduated from the Public Policy program in May of 2019 and continued working with his former company, Beazley. He transitioned into an underwriting role focusing on the underwriting, sales, and development of Beazleys US Contingency portfolio. The portfolio includes event cancellation, political violence and terrorism, nonappearance, weather, and prize indemnity risks. Shub is inspired in his work by his desire to improve these products by working handinhand with brokers and other stakeholders to improve the satisfaction of his consumers, who consist of both private and public entities. Outside of work, he enjoys playing and watching soccer, going on hikes, as well as exploring tech gadgets.

Chelsea Ross, MPA ‘11, Interim Executive Director, Partnership for Strong Communities

Chelsea Ross, a proud UConn School of Public Policy, MPA graduate, serves as Interim Executive Director for the Partnership for Strong Communities (PSC). She joined PSC in 2020, previously serving as Deputy Director. She is responsible for leading and supporting staff on their mission to promote equitable change in Connecticut housing policy by coordinating advocacy, advancing research, and uniting diverse partners. She has spent the bulk of her career working on affordable housing and the needs of our unhoused neighbors across Connecticut and New England, including roles at the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

Chelseas work is centered in facilitating, nurturing, and leveraging relationships with and among people to improve our collective quality of life. She serves on the board of directors for Girls on the Run Greater Hartford and The Community Child Guidance Clinic, and was recently nominated by Governor Lamont to serve on the board of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Chelsea also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UConn and a Bachelor of Social Work from Western Connecticut State University.