Meet MGA Students


Current students and alumni from the master of global affairs program in the Keough School of Global Affairs represent more than 60 countries including:

Afghanistan; Argentina; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belize; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Democratic Republic of Congo; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Ethiopia; Finland; The Gambia; Ghana; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Mali; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Pakistan; Palestine; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Sierra Leone; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Syria; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; Uganda; the United Kingdom; the United States; Uzbekistan; Venezuela; Vietnam; Yemen; and Zimbabwe.

Our students bring a wealth of professional experience in international development, education, peacebuilding, environmental conservation, human rights, humanitarian assistance, journalism, and other fields. All students in the class have received fellowships thanks to a number of generous families, as well as foundation support and funding from institutes and the university more widely.



Zakira Rasooli

Zakira Rasooli

International Peace Studies, 2024

Afghanistan

Zakira Rasooli is an Afghan human rights activist who most recently worked as a country representative for iProbono, a legal organization strengthening civil society, representing people in need and advocating for justice. In 2019, she co-founded Afghanistan Unites, a grassroots conflict transformation youth movement that promotes nonviolence and peace. Zakira has seven years of experience working for peace and women and children’s rights in Afghanistan with national and international nongovernmental organizations and institutions. She has also worked as a researcher on peacebuilding, security challenges, and women’s participation in peacebuilding in Afghanistan. 

Zakira graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration and a minor in law from the American University of Afghanistan. At the Keough School, Zakira aims to deepen her knowledge and skills in conflict resolution. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Aung Myo Hein

Aung Myo Hein

International Peace Studies, 2024

Myanmar

Aung Myo Hein is a development and peacebuilding professional dedicated to helping Burma/Myanmar become a more peaceful, democratic and developed nation. As the social cohesion program manager at Search for Common Ground from 2018 to 2022, he oversaw and implemented projects to prevent conflicts and build social cohesion in different parts of the country, including his home state, Rakhine, where he sought the resolution of conflicts between Rakhine and Rohingya communities. From 2015 to 2017, he served as the program development officer for the USAID Office of Transitional Initiatives and supported local civil society organizations and nongovernmental organizations in developing projects on conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Aung Myo has experience with the Early Warning and Early Response system, facilitating interfaith and inter-communal dialogues, countering mis/disinformation and hate speech, and digital peacebuilding. He seeks to build social cohesion through better governance and increase public participation in law reform and peace processes. At the Keough School, he plans to learn more theory and build practical skills to prevent further conflict and find resolutions that will create durable peace in his homeland. As a master of global affairs student, Aung Myo is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Ciera Griffin

Ciera Griffin

International Peace Studies, 2024

United States

Ciera Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her undergraduate research focused on post-conflict reconciliation, modern-day genocide, and the impacts of international peacekeeping. She also served as a Charlotte Research Scholar, vice president of Model United Nations, and International House’s citizens diplomacy intern. Ciera joined the Peace Corps after college as an education volunteer, serving in South Africa and specializing in primary English literacy, community development, and monitoring and evaluation. 

Ciera began working for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after her Peace Corps service was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ciera focused on improving equity and accessibility within the EPA’s hiring and outreach practices, as well as developing gender equity and career development educational programming. At the Keough School, Ciera will return to her research roots and examine the relationship between human rights policy, international peacekeeping, and international inaction. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Fatima Faisal Khan

Fatima Faisal Khan

International Peace Studies, 2024

Pakistan

Fatima Faisal Khan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Lahore University of Management Sciences. She has worked at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan with international donors, government officials, and legislators on two projects centered on freedom of expression, association, and religion in Pakistan. She also established a network of 3,000 human rights defenders across the country, training them on their rights and developing resources for them. She contributed to fact-finding reports and policy briefs for the organization and authored a chapter of The State of Human Rights in 2021 in Pakistan.

Fatima has been an active participant, volunteer, and organizer for the Aurat (Women’s) March in her city and supports left-wing movements for students’ rights and against enforced disappearances. As a student, she led Project KIN, a campaign in collaboration with Peer2Peer and Facebook, aimed at eradicating ethnic stereotypes in Pakistan. Fatima is passionate about social justice issues, aims to use technology as a tool for interstate and intrastate peacebuilding, and hopes to study the implications of a virtual global landscape on rights-based advocacy. As a master of global affairs student, Fatima is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Matthew Bocanumenth

Matthew Bocanumenth

International Peace Studies, 2024

United States and Colombia

Matthew Bocanumenth recently served as a program associate at the Washington Office on Latin America, where he supported human rights research and advocacy on matters related to Colombia and the US-Mexico border. His work helped monitor Colombia’s peace process with a specialized focus on Afro-descendant, Indigenous, women’s, and LGBTQ+ rights. In 2021, he volunteered with Annunciation House and the Hope Border Institute in El Paso, Texas to help provide a safe, orderly, and humane welcome to thousands of asylum seekers affected by the Remain in Mexico policy.

Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in international and area studies and political science from New College of Florida. His undergraduate thesis examined an urgent issue for the peace process in Colombia and for post-conflict stabilization in general: collectively reintegrating former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia into civil society. Matthew’s research interests include gender-inclusive peacebuilding, transitional justice, and human mobility. As a master of global affairs student, he is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Halkano Boru 

Halkano Boru 

International Peace Studies, 2024

Kenya

Halkano Boru is a peace and conflict prevention practitioner with extensive experience in the support, development, and implementation of governance, peacebuilding, and conflict prevention, including projects preventing and countering violent extremism targeting Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia (Oromia region). Halkano graduated from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology with a BS in disaster management and international diplomacy. He has served as peace and cohesion cluster coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme in Kenya, where he worked to implement the Deepening Foundations for Peacebuilding and Community Security program with government agencies. 

Halkano is skilled and experienced in conducting participatory research on natural resource management, conflict, governance, and violent extremism. He is also an alumnus of the YALI Regional Leadership Center, East Africa program, a US Department of State initiative that trains young African leaders. At the Keough School, Halkano plans to study the intersection of violent extremism, non-state armed groups, organized crimes, migration, illicit financial flows, and state fragility. As a master of global affairs student, Halkano is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship. 

Aleithia Low

Aleithia Low

International Peace Studies, 2024

Singapore

Aleithia Low most recently ran the communications team for Yara International’s digital agriculture team. Prior to that, she managed the philanthropic activity of a family foundation, supporting anti-trafficking, climate resilience, and sustainable livelihood initiatives across Southeast Asia. She also has experience in impact investing, agriculture, environmental, and arts education.

Aleithia graduated from Yale-NUS College’s inaugural class with a BA (honors) in arts and humanities. As a Social Impact Fellow, she conducted research on the legacy of war in Vietnam and its portrayal in photography and literature. After graduation, she co-founded YNPACt, an alumni network that promotes nonprofit and social impact work.

Aleithia’s professional goal is to establish more equitable funding ecosystems and organizational structures, particularly for environmental organizations in Southeast Asia. As a master of global affairs student, Aleithia is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Noha Elsebaie

Noha Elsebaie

International Peace Studies, 2024

Egypt

Noha Elsebaie holds a master’s degree in gender and development from Cairo University. She has more than seven years of experience managing and evaluating humanitarian aid and peacebuilding projects. Most recently she worked as a senior project officer in the gender, peacebuilding, and partnership department at Catholic Relief Services. In that role, she led the technical implementation of interreligious community action projects with the goal of reducing conflicts and creating a peaceful environment in Upper Egypt while taking gender into account. Noha also worked as field coordinator at the Caritas Egypt Refugees office on a project in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency to improve socioeconomic conditions for Syrian refugee sin Egypt. 

Noha is deeply committed to women’s empowerment and works to inspire more women to actively contribute to peace, conflict resolution, and state-building. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Eskandar Ataallah

Eskandar Ataallah

International Peace Studies, 2024

Syria

Eskandar Ataallah graduated from the University of Tishreen with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also completed an intensive course on nonviolence and human rights through the Academic University College of Non-Violence and Human Rights in Lebanon and has worked for the United Nations Development Program’s Social Cohesion and Gender Justice program. 

After the 2011 crisis in Syria, Eskandar began his humanitarian work as a field monitor with a local nonprofit, the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. There he was promoted to field monitor, to head of monitors, and finally to community center coordinator. Eskandar speaks Arabic as his native language, English as a second language, and has started studying Spanish. He plans to play a fundamental role in helping countries that are suffering from crises to achieve peace. As a master of global affairs student, Eskandar is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Adeela Firdous

Adeela Firdous

International Peace Studies, 2024

India

Adeela Firdous is a human rights lawyer who recently worked as a legal trainee with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights  in Berlin, Germany. She has also worked as a law and advocacy officer with Citizens Against Hate, focusing on minority rights in India. In 2019, Adeela graduated from the School of Law at the University of Kashmir. While studying there, Adeela worked with human rights organizations including the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Movement, and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. 

Adeela also has independently engaged in scholarly work on human rights challenges in Kashmir. Three of her academic papers were selected by the Association for Asian Studies for presentation at conferences in the USA with the support of the International Exchange Award and the Henry Luce Foundation Award. At the Keough School, Adeela plans to focus on strategic peacebuilding so that she can more effectively engage in grassroots peace and justice projects. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.


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