About Niki Ottolia
An Oregon native raised by Latino parents, Niki grew up in a bi-cultural household where she grew to appreciate cross-cultural exchange and diversity. Her interests include Sino-Latin American relations, anthropology, human rights, and international development.
Prior to Tsinghua-SAIS Dual Degree Program, Niki lived and worked in Managua, Nicaragua, for two years as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. While there, she was an assistant social worker and social educator serving women and children who were victims of sexual exploitation and violence. Her time in Nicaragua was also marked by the re-election of President Daniel Ortega, and an investment deal between the Nicaraguan government and Chinese billionaire, Wang Jing, to build an interoceanic canal. This coincidence increased her interest in international politics and Chinese investment in Latin America.
A Boston College alumna, Niki has lived, studied, and worked in the US, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Nicaragua, and China. She loves the adventure of living abroad and adapting to new cultures. Fluent in Spanish and English, she is continuously searching for people to practice her Portuguese and Italian while doing her best to learn Chinese. In her spare time, Niki enjoys swimming, drinking yerba mate, and dancing wherever she goes.