Matthew LoCastro (Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, 2017) has won a Luce Scholarship, one of just 18 awarded. He heads to Indonesia to study energy and infrastructure at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia. He also intends to master the national language, bahasa Indonesia.
“What made me interested in Indonesia is that its potential influence in the region is undervalued in the global community,” LoCastro says. Muslim-majority Indonesia, a democracy, has vast resources and the world’s fourth-largest population living on 13,000 islands. “I’d like to understand their system and energy market and bridge the gap between Indonesia and the United States.”
Foreseeing a career in law and international trade, LoCastro praises the opportunities at Macaulay and Hunter. With their help, he interned with a Criminal Court judge, the city Economic Development Corporation, the state Regional Economic Development Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
A Macaulay course with visiting professor David Petraeus, a former general and CIA director, during his junior year proved pivotal. “That refined my interest in energy investment and infrastructure,” LoCastro says. As a senior, he worked full-time on Petraeus’ team at the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts investment firm.
To gain international experience, last summer LoCastro volunteered with Lighthouse Relief, helping refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. “Seeing the optimism among people who had made the dangerous crossing made me a stronger person,” he says.
Rounding out an already impressive resume, he spent 2017-2018 as a New York City Urban Fellow, working on renewable energy in the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget.