Meet MGA Students


The Keough School’s master of global affairs program includes 70 students from 30 countries:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uganda, the United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The 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.



Babajide Adebiyi

Babajide Adebiyi

Sustainable Development, 2020

Nigeria

Babajide Adebiyi is a former partner at Talentstone Africa Partners, where he led a team advising corporations, institutions, and African government officials on risk management, financial services, energy, and infrastructure financing projects. With experience in more than 25 African markets, he has served as a consultant to multilateral institutions including the African Development Bank. He also has worked as risk manager for the sub-Saharan African region for Renaissance Capital. He also played a key role in co-founding and leading nonprofit volunteering initiatives such as Slum to School and Move Back Africa Network. A chartered accountant, Babajide is the recipient of a McKenna Center Fellowship.

Niloofar Adnani

Niloofar Adnani

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2021

Iran

Niloofar Adnani holds a BSc in mechanical engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology. She also has completed graduate-level coursework in women’s studies at Allameh Tabataba’i University. While volunteering for various nongovernmental organizations, Niloofar developed analytical skills and gained an understanding of intersectional oppression and structural inequality. She has organized educational camps for students in underserved parts of Iran, raised funds for school construction projects, and supported the production of handicrafts by the Baluchi people, a nomadic minority group. She also is an active translator for Harasswatch, an Iran-based group that aims to mitigate the normalization of harassment and assault in public spaces. Niloofar’s first goal as a socialist feminist and graduate student is to stand against discrimination.

Margaret Adomako

Margaret Adomako

International Peace Studies, 2021

Ghana

Margaret Adomako recently worked at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, where she supported West African peacekeepers. She has conducted research on post-conflict reconstruction in Côte d’Ivoire and conflict between farmers and herders in Ghana. A former field officer for the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, Margaret has volunteered with the Ghana Volunteer Agency, a nonprofit network that provides volunteers to organizations in need. She is a graduate of the University of Ghana and the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Karis Ailabouni

Karis Ailabouni

International Peace Studies, 2020

United States

Karis Ailabouni is a second-generation Palestinian immigrant and refugee who was born and raised in the U.S. After graduating with a BA in music, psychology, and French from Valparaiso University, she served in Madagascar as an English teacher, co-founding an English club that equipped 200 youth with language skills for future employment. Karis then lived in Jerusalem for three years designing, implementing, and managing a study abroad program for Notre Dame. In this capacity, she formed strategic partnerships with local nongovernmental organizations, educational institutions, and religious organizations. She was also involved in grassroots resistance efforts such as Right to Movement, Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World, and the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Karis speaks Palestinian Arabic and French, and is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Abeera Akhtar

Abeera Akhtar

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020

Pakistan

Abeera Akhtar graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences, majoring in sociology and anthropology. After graduation, she was a corporate social responsibility officer at Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational company. She has led grassroots efforts for nuclear disarmament in Pakistan, working for the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated movement Global Zero. Abeera also worked to make the Sustainable Development Goals more accessible to youth, working for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Youth Initiative. She is the co-founder of FATE – From Apathy to Empathy, an organization she has represented at forums organized by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Special Operations Command, the UN, Facebook and Stanford University. Through her work, she aims to use intercultural dialogue and social entrepreneurship as a driver for social change. Abeera is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Fiana (Syeda) Arbab 

Fiana (Syeda) Arbab 

Sustainable Development, 2021

United States 

Fiana (Syeda) Arbab is a Bangladeshi Muslim American and transnational feminist who has served as a racial justice and community organizer across the United States. Most recently, she conducted legislative analysis on youth justice for Georgia Shift, a nonprofit that encourages marginalized young people to participate in democracy. She is the former statewide youth organizer for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, where she worked with youth in marginalized communities. Syeda graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a BA in women’s and gender studies and psychology and a minor in sociology. As an undergraduate, she was co-founder and president of the Social Justice League and also student body president. Syeda is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.

Jaclyn Elizabeth Biedronski 

Jaclyn Elizabeth Biedronski 

Sustainable Development, 2021

United States

Jaclyn Elizabeth Biedronski served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, where she taught English, led literacy interventions, and promoted youth empowerment and gender equality in local communities. She also is a former intern with Global Mamas in Ghana. A graduate of the University of Florida who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Jaclyn holds a BA in international studies and a BS in psychology. As a student, she co-founded the journal Global Perspectives and a global studies student group. Jaclyn also has experience as a research assistant and behavioral aid for children on the autism spectrum. She is the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Belén Carriedo

Belén Carriedo

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2021

United States

Belén Carriedo graduated cum laude from Washington State University with BA degrees in criminal justice and sociology. Driven by a passion to serve, she interned at Hospicio de Huerfano in Costa Rica; the Centre for Social Action in Bangalore, India; and at Good Neighbors in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. More recently she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji, where she worked as a community youth development organizer. In Fiji she conducted several Let Girls Learn initiatives, including a Take Back the Night event to raise awareness of gender-based violence. Belén is captivated by the power of women’s participation and engagement as a catalyst for change. She is fluent in Spanish and iTaukei, a native language of Fiji, and is a recipient of a Coca-Cola Global Affairs Fellowship.


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