3 graduates, 3 diverse paths in global affairs

Notre Dame master of global affairs graduates Emma Hokoda, Daniel Onyeanuna, and Renée Perez have exciting plans after graduation—diverse plans that highlight the variety of career paths available to the program’s 37 graduates. 

Emma Hokoda has received a Fulbright Research Award to study community-based disaster risk management in Guatemala. Hokoda, who is from the United States, will conduct fieldwork in the country’s Western Highlands, a region whose agricultural production and social well-being has been dramatically impacted by climate-induced events such as hurricanes and unpredictable rainfall patterns. 

Partnering with INCEDES — the Central American Institute of Social Studies and Development — Hokoda will help develop risk management solutions and systems that increase climate resilience in the region. INCEDES is a member of the Central America Research Alliance, a scholarly partnership between the Keough School’s Pulte Institute for Global Development and more than a dozen higher education, research, and human rights institutions in the U.S., El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.

Hokoda’s research will identify where active citizen engagement and participation in disaster risk management occur and explore opportunities to integrate community-based approaches with municipal and regional policies. An aspiring environmental policymaker, Hokoda looks forward to her international fieldwork.

“My ultimate career goal is to influence national and international environmental policy, building climate resilience for the most vulnerable,” Hokoda said. “The Fulbright award will provide me with vital research experience to support my future policy work.” 

Prior to the start of her Fulbright program, Hokoda will spend six months in Washington DC interning at the World Resources Institute, a global sustainability research nonprofit. She will support monitoring, evaluation, and learning efforts for the Forest Data Partnership project, which provides open-source data on forest loss and restoration. 

Daniel Onyeanuna will join the accounting firm Deloitte in McLean, Virginia as an analyst on the sustainability and environmental, social and governance services team. Originally from Nigeria, Onyeanuna is an agricultural economist and market analyst who interned for Deloitte in the summer of 2023. In his new role on a team of certified public accountants and sustainability specialists, Onyeanuna will guide companies in sustainability reporting and contribute to decarbonization initiatives and climate risk assessments.

“It’s an incredibly dynamic role that will allow me to help companies reach their sustainability goals,”  Onyeanuna said “This kind of work is becoming increasingly important with mandatory sustainability reporting increasing in the U.S. and abroad,”

Onyeanuna said the internship opportunity at Deloitte, which enabled him to apply knowledge from his policy and environmental sustainability coursework in a real-world setting, proved invaluable in shaping his career trajectory. He also praised the numerous professional networking opportunities provided by the Keough School during his two years at Notre Dame. 

Renée Perez will join the Inter-American Development Bank, the leading financier of development in Latin America and the Caribbean, as a consultant in economic research on agricultural productivity. Originally from Venezuela, Perez will work from the bank’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

“I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to do precisely what I set out to do with my MGA degree,” Perez said. “My vision has always been to leverage economic tools to improve the quality of life for Latin America’s most vulnerable.”

Perez will support the bank’s flagship study on declining agricultural productivity in the Latin American and Caribbean region, which will examine the drivers of the decline and propose policy and programmatic solutions. 

“I’ll be able to use numerous skills I developed in the MGA program,” Perez said. “These skills include everything from statistical analysis to spatial analysis to review of economic literature and policy documents. It’s gratifying to put these skills to work in service of more effective and sustainable development across Latin America.” 

Hokoda, Onyeanuna, and Perez all earned a concentration in sustainable development within the master of global affairs. Hokoda and Perez were recipients of a Keough Career Launch Award, an award that supports short-term post-graduate experiences for recent master of global affairs graduates. 

Global affairs graduates at all levels — undergraduate, master’s and PhD – will be honored in the Keough School’s May 18 recognition ceremony in the Leighton Concert Hall at Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Top photo: From left, master of global affairs graduates Emma Hokoda, Daniel Onyeanuna, and Renée Perez.

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