Derya Honça works in the Harvard Kennedy School as Faculty Assistant to several professors, all connected to the Carr Center. She also holds a Research Associate appointment at the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where she manages a research initiative on contemporary Islamic societies. Trained as a prehistoric archaeologist at Carleton College and Indiana University, she later “shifted gears” to pursue public policy work and earned an MPA at the Kennedy School while employed there. Her decision to do so grew out of a recognition that like prehistoric studies, the arena of public policy is often beset by limitations to understanding complex histories, traditional knowledge and values of societies other than those considered to be local or contemporary. One of her goals is to help build bridges to better connect those who study the past, the present, and the future.