UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Spotlight on...Isha Reid

Isha Reid is IIPP’s Senior Teaching and Learning Administrator where she supports both our MPA and PhD students throughout their studies. Here she shares what she loves most about working at IIPP.


How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I have been working at UCL for too many years to mention! I used to work in the central admission’s office, which involved processing and making decisions on graduate applications.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

There was no predecessor when I started at IIPP so I had to learn everything from scratch – and quickly. The Master of Public Administration is unique and unlike any other programme UCL has to offer. I really believe in our ethos and our want for equality and rattling the cages to achieve this; no-one worthwhile ever made history asking politely! To be the first Teaching and Learning Administrator is a proud moment, and it has been a lot of work, but I think the thing I’m most proud of is my relationship with the students. They’re my literal joy and getting to hang with them every week is the genuine highlight of my job.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list.

There are so many aspects of our programme that sets us apart from the rest, and one is our placement project in term three. We are giving our MPA students first-hand experience working in global policymaking organisations who are dedicated to reimagining what public value looks like. Our Mission-Oriented Innovation Network (MOIN) is a huge contributor to our placement project and we’re so excited for the partnerships and collaborations that will come out of this.

What is your favourite album, film or novel?                              

My favourite film is 12 Angry Men. It’s a film from the 1950s and is an excellent portrayal of how our conscious and unconscious bias can cloud our judgement. It’s truly excellent; would highly recommend. As a bonus, my favourite book is Too Loud a Solitude, by Bohumil Hrabal. It’s a beautiful novella about literature, censorship and sense of belonging. I read it at least once every year.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

It would have been Maya Angelou. A black female activist, and the most incredible and inspiring writer.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Excuse me, I’m still young!

What would surprise people to know about you?

Probably that Radiohead is my favourite band or that I love film photography.

Favourite thing about working for IIPP?

I again have to say the students. Amongst other things, they’re engaging, forthright, intelligent, funny, hardworking and passionate. They’re going to change the world and our institute is very lucky to have them!