Sustainable Development


The Master of Global Affairs – Sustainable Development concentration prepares students for high-impact careers as international development practitioners and policymakers with the professional skills to design, manage, implement, and evaluate programs and policies that promote inclusive, sustainable solutions. Students in this concentration receive rigorous training in advanced quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis; explore the latest approaches in systems thinking, human-centered design, and impact evaluation; and have extended interaction with partner organizations engaged in hands-on project-based work through the Integration Lab (i-Lab).

The Sustainable Development Concentration is directed by Lakshmi Iyer, Associate Professor of Economics & Global Affairs.

2017-18 Curriculum & Courses 

All MGA students take part in the Keough School Policy Seminar, which brings invited guests from around the world to explore topics and geographies essential to a broad understanding of the world of global policy. Invited guests will include policymakers and business leaders from several different countries; representatives of international organizations; officials from different branches and departments of the U.S. government and military; advocates from non-governmental organizations; activists from local NGOs and social movements; as well as journalists and academics from across the world.

Sustainable Development is a vision for human dignity, economic well-being, social justice, and preservation of nature on the global level. In 2015, all 193 United Nations member countries signed on to the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which articulate a vision of globalization along with concrete economic, social, and environmental goals. In addressing world leaders at the United Nations in October 2015, Pope Francis called for a holistic and moral vision and encouraged the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Keough School — founded just as the world was rallying to the implementation of the SDGs — is making Sustainable Development central to its research, policy outreach, and educational programs for students. Students who choose this concentration will prepare for careers at the forefront of the global effort to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals “to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.”

The Sustainable Development concentration builds on the programs and expertise of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.


sustainable development web

Career opportunities: Development practice and management in government agencies and departments; local, national and international nongovernmental organizations; the private sector, and organizations focused on issues such as the alleviation of poverty, environmental sustainability, education, economic development, international migration, good governance, and religion and development.

Other concentrations:

Global Affairs  + Specialization
International Peace Studies