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.



Emma Hokoda

Emma Hokoda

Sustainable Development, 2024

United States

Emma Hokoda is driven by her passion for human-centered sustainable development and a desire to be a culturally competent and proximate learner and leader. She holds a BS in environmental studies from Santa Clara University (SCU), where she graduated magna cum laude. While at SCU, Emma contributed to several local and global research projects in Santa Clara, Reykjavík, and Tanzania. She was awarded the Environmental Studies Senior Research Award by department faculty.

Emma has contributed to climate action and community development in both the public and nonprofit sectors. She ran community engagement programs focused on sustainability as a Climate Corps Fellow for Sunnyvale, California, and conducted donor and project research for Catholic Relief Services’ climate change and land restoration team. Emma also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the International Rescue Committee in Seattle where she provided financial education and coaching to immigrants and refugees. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Keough Family Fellowship.

Kathryn Gibson

Kathryn Gibson

Sustainable Development, 2024

United States

Kathryn Gibson is an experienced and passionate public servant. For the past two years, she has served her hometown of Las Vegas as a bilingual federal investigator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), investigating charges of discrimination and enforcing civil employment laws. Before that, Kathryn attended Tufts University, earning a BA in international relations, focusing on economic development, with a minor in economics. She received honors for her senior thesis, which reviewed the impact of access to microfinance institutions on marginalized Ecuadorian populations. 

After graduation, Kathryn served as a community economic development Peace Corps volunteer in a rural agricultural community in Colombia. During her service, she focused on providing education on entrepreneurship to high school students. Thanks to her time living and studying in Latin America, as well as her work with the EEOC, Kathryn is fluent in Spanish. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship.

Colleen Maher

Colleen Maher

Sustainable Development, 2024

United States

Colleen Maher graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in international studies. After graduation, she taught English in Cambodia with the Peace Corps. Colleen has also served as a trail crew member for the American Conservation Experience in southern Utah and as an Americorps VISTA member for New Roots for Refugees, an agricultural training program in Kansas City. Following her VISTA service, Colleen worked as an assistant for the Afghan placement and assistance program at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. As a master of global affairs student, Colleen is the recipient of a Keough Family Fellowship.

Valena McEwen

Valena McEwen

Sustainable Development, 2024

Sierra Leone

Valena McEwen was a Mastercard Foundation Scholar, graduating magna cum laude from Ashesi University in Ghana with a BSc in business administration. Most recently, she managed projects for the Mayor’s Delivery Unit of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. She helped plan and implement the sustainable urban development project Transform Freetown Agenda, provided strategic communications support to the Transform Freetown interventions (funded by partners including World Bank, Catholic Relief Services, and Bloomberg Philanthropies), managed the city’s social media, and developed the annual Transform Freetown Reports. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Valena co-led the municipal government’s community engagement efforts. She was also part of a team that designed an investment concept for the city’s tree planting initiative, which was a winner of the 2021 Bloomberg Global Mayors Challenge. In December 2021, she served as co-lead organizer of TEDxMayorOfFreetown, which highlighted the climate action of Freetown residents. Valena is interested in city-level innovation that works towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization. She is also investigating how cities can expand participatory and sustainable human settlement planning and environmental management, particularly in settings of high informality or limited urban planning. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Keough Family Fellowship.

Renée Pérez

Renée Pérez

Sustainable Development, 2024

Venezuela

Hailing from Venezuela, Renée Pérez holds a double BA in political science and economics from the University of South Florida. She currently works at the Center for Economic and Policy Research as an international program intern, where she researches and advocates for policies that promote global economic justice, with a special focus on Latin America. As a volunteer with the UN Foundation’s United to Beat Malaria campaign, she regularly meets with members of Congress and their staffers to foster support for global health programs, and she’s trained fellow volunteers on grassroots advocacy techniques at the organization’s annual leadership summits. 

Renée’s previous professional and volunteer experience include business and legal writing, project management, at-risk youth mentorship, and animal welfare work. Having grown up in the US and Venezuela, Renée is particularly interested in shifting Latin America’s economic development priorities, so success is not measured by GDP growth or the presence of multinationals, but instead measured in quality of life for all people. As a master of global affairs student, Renée is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship and a Kerrigan Family Global Fellowship.

Nyangah Rogers-Wright

Nyangah Rogers-Wright

Sustainable Development, 2024

Sierra Leone

Nyangah Rogers-Wright is a 2022 Mandela Washington Fellow, feminist, and girl’s rights advocate from Sierra Leone. For three years she has worked as a program coordinator at Purposeful, a hub for girls’ activism in Africa. She has experience in participatory grantmaking, media engagement, and the facilitation of life-skills training for girls. Nyangah managed and helped develop a youth-led participatory grantmaking program, which has provided microgrants to organizations and informal youth-led groups across Sierra Leone.

Nyangah co-hosts a weekly radio program that teaches life skills for girls and broadcasts on 32 radio stations, reaching more than 17,000 girls in Sierra Leone. She led efforts to overturn a law that kept pregnant girls out of schools and inspired a #MeToo movement in Sierra Leone by sharing her own experience of abuse. She also led efforts to center the prevention and response to rape culture in her country around the stories of survivors. Nyangah’s goal is to promote equality and create a world where girls can live freely with dignity and bodily autonomy. As a master of global affairs student, Nyangah is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Nancy Obonyo

Nancy Obonyo

Sustainable Development, 2024

Kenya

Nancy Obonyo holds a bachelor’s degree in in chemical engineering from Stellenbosch University and an MBA in international business management from Stamford International University. For the past five years, she has worked as an educator in Thailand, leading curriculum development and creating innovative methodologies for early childhood development in STEM. In addition to her work in Thailand, she also runs a scholarship program for girls in her home county of Homa Bay in southwestern Kenya. 

Before transitioning to education, Nancy worked as a market research analyst and consultant for Brainfield Asia, as well as a junior process engineer for South West Systems International. As a master of global affairs student, Nancy is the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.

Chukwuemeka Daniel Onyeanuna

Chukwuemeka Daniel Onyeanuna

Sustainable Development, 2024

Nigeria

Chukwuemeka Daniel Onyeanuna is an agricultural economist, market research analyst, and social innovator interested in food and agriculture, economic policy analysis, and climate change adaptation. He was the Nigerian Youth Delegate to the World Forum for Democracy 2019 in Strasbourg, France, where political decision-makers and activists debated solutions to key challenges for democracies worldwide. He was awarded a Sustainable Solutions Africa 30Under30 Fellow grant that allowed him to start Dcon International, an agribusiness that works to build resilient, climate-smart, and competitive food systems. 

Chukwuemeka is an alumnus of Sponsors for Educational Opportunities Africa and the president of the Agricultural Policy Makers Association. He started Afriopportunities, which has helped more than 600 Nigerians gain access to educational and professional opportunities. His goal is to bridge the gap between science, innovation, and public policy by enabling efficient strategic decision-making, leading transformational policymaking, and championing sustainable development in economically disadvantaged communities. As a master of global affairs student, he is the recipient of a Riberas Orjales Family Fellowship Fellowship.

Alexus Tucker

Alexus Tucker

Sustainable Development, 2024

United States

Alexus holds a BS in communications from Indiana State University, where as a student she served as student representative to the board of trustees. Alexus’s minor in civic leadership introduced her to the importance of civic engagement and enhanced her desire to pursue public service. She began her career working for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus as a legislative assistant, later serving as internship director and then director of legislative affairs. She also worked as special assistant to former United States Senator Joe Donnelly, handling constituent outreach related to issues and concerns that impact African Americans, and she led Donnelly’s efforts to promote the Veterans History Project, a national project by the Library of Congress to record and archive the stories of US veterans.

In 2019 Alexus transitioned into an international development role, serving in the Peace Corps as a youth development volunteer in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Her work there focused on increasing the capacity and reach of educational programming for youth on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS mitigation, employment, and life skills. As a master of global affairs student, Alexus is the recipient of a Keough Family Fellowship and a Dean’s Fellowship from the Notre Dame Graduate School.

Abdyrakhman Sulaimanov

Abdyrakhman Sulaimanov

Sustainable Development, 2024

Kyrgyzstan

Abdyrakhman Sulaimanov holds a bachelor’s in international relations from Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University and a master’s in politics and security from the OSCE Academy. Upon graduation, he joined the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo as a research fellow and was involved in several projects on sustainable development, climate change, energy security, natural resources, and international politics and economics in Central Asia. Most recently, he worked for the Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation as a project officer for the Public Service Improvement Project in Kyrgyzstan. Besides his native Kyrgyz language, he speaks Russian, Turkish, English, and has also studied Chinese. 

As a master of global affairs student, Abdyrakhman is passionate about applying interdisciplinary approaches, new methods and statistics, the mobilization of big data, and data science to the study of sustainable development. He hopes to pursue a career with international organizations focused on sustainability. Abdyrakhman is the recipient of a Carrianne and Lance McCormack Global Affairs Fellowship.


1 2 3 8