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Sommer Scholars

Nicolae Done

PhD Student, Health Policy & Management

He was only 4 years old when rebels overthrew the communist government of his native Romania in 1989, but it’s not a stretch to say Nicolae Done’s ambitions were shaped by revolution. Although the uprising lasted only days, the effects have persisted into the present—eight years after his move to the United States. “It was a very difficult time with a lot of social transformation,” says Done, an amateur photographer. “It was a political and economic phenomenon playing out on so many levels. I was fascinated by the transformations taking place around me.” He enrolled to study biochemical sciences at Harvard University but found that working in a lab wasn’t suited to his personality. A couple of courses in health policy convinced him that public health was a better fit. After graduating with a biochemical sciences degree and health policy certificate, Done remained at Harvard to work as a research analyst. “The most important project to me was on health care reform in Vermont,” he says. “I got to see reform actually playing out.” Done chose to come to the Bloomberg School because, he says, “it is the undisputed leader globally. Its proximity to D.C. also gives it a huge advantage in terms of U.S. health affairs.” Done envisions himself working as a researcher and advising governments on how to devise better health care systems. “As social systems keep adapting to new challenges,” he says, “there’s always more work to be done.” 4: Number of languages Done can understand much better than he can speak