McKenzie Leier

Master's in Public Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs




McKenzie is a master’s in public affairs student at the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). She is a fourth-generation North Dakotan who grew up with the extraordinarily flat land of the Red River Valley in her backyard. McKenzie is interested in public health and health policy, particularly around the stark health and economic disparities faced by Native Americans.

After graduating from Drake University with a degree in molecular biology, McKenzie worked for the Iowa Department of Public Health, then moved to Malaysia as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She then transitioned to a research assistantship at Boston Children's Hospital, focusing on nutrition and gastroenterology.

At Princeton, McKenzie is studying public health from both a domestic and international lens; she is interested in how decolonization frameworks can apply both in developing countries and in the Native American population. McKenzie is currently taking a year off from graduate school to work for Partners in Health on their U.S. Covid-19 response, focusing on building public health systems that better serve Black, Latinx, and Native communities.

Selected Publications