Hallway Talks with Social Entrepreneur & NYU Alum Kristin Van Busum

By Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal

Kristin Van Busum, an NYU Wagner ‘10 alum and founder of the social enterprise Project Alianza, describes the merits, challenges, and takeaways of starting your own business. She explains the bottom-up educational solutions that her organization provides within farming communities of Latin America.

In this podcast episode with Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal, Kristin describes the importance of working with local governments, the challenges of fundraising, and key takeaways from her time education experience at NYU Wagner. 

This podcast is also featured on Spotify and Apple Music.


[00:00] Welcome from Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal.

[01:32] Kristin Van Busum discuss her career aspects and journey to social entrepreneurship.

Guest Speaker

Kristin Van Busum is founder and CEO of Project Alianza, a woman-led social enterprise that provides education for children living in remote farming communities in Latin America, and a NYU Wagner alumni, having finished her MPA in 2010. She is cofounder of WomenSpeaks, a BostonSpeaks initiative that champions the advancement of women as effective communicators and leaders. She is a TEDx and keynote speaker, Fulbright Scholar, Aspen Institute Fellow, and was a Gold Winner in the MassChallenge Boston accelerator for high-impact startups where she is currently the Social Impact Entrepreneur in Residence. Prior to founding Project Alianza, she worked at RAND Corporation, a global policy think tank.


Rhea Almeida is second-year MPA international student at NYU Wagner hailing from Mumbai, India. In the past, she has worked in the fields of policy, advocacy, and development for a women’s working rights group in India. Prior to that, she worked as a TV news journalist in New Delhi. Her areas of interest include workers’ rights, gender equality, grassroot level advocacy and coronavirus response policy. In addition to being contributing editor for The Wagner Review, she serves as senator for the Wagner Student Association, and events chair for the Wagner Policy Alliance. She is also the co-founder of the ‘What’s up with Coronavirus Policy’ discussion group.

Luisa Portugal is a second-year MPA student at NYU Wagner specializing in International Development Management & Policy. She earned an LLM in Constitutional Law and Theory in Brazil. Her main topics of interest are international development, climate change and the coronavirus crisis. Luisa will serve as Co-Chair of Events for the Alliance for Climate Change and Environment (ACE) in the upcoming year. She is also the co-founder of the ‘What’s up with Coronavirus Policy’ discussion group.

Also on Spotify and Apple Music!

Music credit: Deadly Roulette Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0; License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Feature image credit: Photo by C-Span