Meet MGA Students


Current students and alumni from the master of global affairs program in the Keough School of Global Affairs represent more than 50 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; Haiti; Honduras; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Mali; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Morocco; Nepal; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Pakistan; Palestine; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Korea; Taiwan; Tajikistan; Trinidad and Tobago; Turkey; Ukraine; Uganda; the United Kingdom; the United States; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; 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.



Helina Haile

Helina Haile

International Peace Studies, 2020

United States

Helina Haile served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda, where she taught English and led after-school youth development groups for boys and girls. She also spent time with American Refugee Committee Rwanda as a program development volunteer. Helina later worked on racial equity issues with AmeriCorps VISTA and the City of Minneapolis for the Obama Promise Zone Initiative, and served as a legal assistant for the Minnesota AIDS Project. She holds a BA in political science and international studies from Northern Michigan University, and speaks Amharic and is conversant in Kinyarwanda. As a master of global affairs student, Helina was the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.

Feature: MGA student works with first-of-its-kind group addressing police violence in Chicago

Brian Hickey

Brian Hickey

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020

United States

Brian Hickey most recently worked with migrants and refugee children in a school and center for street children in Djibouti. He also taught English literature and leadership at a Palestinian high school in the West Bank, served as a volunteer at the Indiana State Prison for several years, and spent the summer of 2015 in South Africa and Zambia working with a local nongovernmental organization. Brian holds a BS in business management and a minor in political science from Valparaiso University, where he was a student-athlete. As a master of global affairs student, he was the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Seiko Kanda

Seiko Kanda

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020

Japan

Seiko Kanda studied Spanish and global studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Japan. As a recipient of the Mexico-Japan Governments Strategic Partnership Program Scholarship, he also studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in Mexico City. He worked for two years as a treasury and market specialist at MUFG Bank (Mexico) while volunteering at a local nonprofit organization that served homeless, at-risk adolescents. He is fluent in Japanese and Spanish. Seiko’s research interests include Latin American religion and society, the religious and ideological underpinnings of socially oriented activities, and multinational collaborative efforts pertaining to economic development. As a master of global affairs student, he was the recipient of an Ansari Institute Fellowship.

Mukhlisa Khudayberganova

Mukhlisa Khudayberganova

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020

Uzbekistan

Mukhlisa Khudayberganova studied international relations at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. She gained experience in the fields of national branding, journalism, and public relations through various internships and jobs. She is interested in national branding by not just promoting a country, but by resolving urgent public policy issues within that country. As a master of global affairs student, Mukhlisa was the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Gizem Korun

Gizem Korun

International Peace Studies, 2020

Turkey

Gizem Korun majored in international studies and graduated with honors from Sabanci University in Istanbul. She has worked on several youth mobility activities. Most recently, she worked as a project manager at International Blue Crescent, a Turkey-based nongovernmental organization. Gizem was involved with several projects related to healthcare access, educational services, social entrepreneurship, and capacity-building, working closely with refugees and international organizations. As a master of global affairs student, she was the recipient of a Nanovic Institute Fellowship.

Novita Liangga Kumala

Novita Liangga Kumala

International Peace Studies, 2020

Indonesia

Novita is a licensed Indonesian advocate and environmental activist. Throughout her career, she has worked in variety of sectors including banking and finance, corporate law, social enterprise, and environmental policy. Her current research interests focus on conflict resolution for land, natural resources, and environmental conflicts. She has worked for World Resources Institute Indonesia, Indonesia’s national agency on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), and a corporate law firm in Jakarta. She also volunteers with the Social Corporate Lawyer Society, a network for corporate law professionals who provide pro bono services. As a master of global affairs student, Novita was the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.

Op-Ed: Earth Day 2020: Climate crisis, carbon market and land conflict (The Jakarta Post)

Derek Lee

Derek Lee

Sustainable Development, 2020

United States/Taiwan

Derek Lee is interested in global health, culture, and sustainable agriculture, and their intersection with fair and just food systems. He has lived and worked alongside farmers in Nepal, fishing communities in the Philippines, and low-income high school students on the south side of Chicago, all with different international nongovernmental organizations. Derek is committed to living in solidarity with those he serves, and also to grassroots-level development that empowers community members to be the true owners of change. As a master of global affairs student, Derek was the recipient of a Don & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

Ahmed Makki

Ahmed Makki

Sustainable Development, 2020

Pakistan

Ahmed Makki came to the Keough School with seven years of experience working in global development, focusing on education reform. In Pakistan, he worked with a leading consulting firm and global education experts to develop tailored solutions for more than 50,000 public primary schools in Punjab. Specifically, Ahmed designed and implemented one of the world’s largest tablet-based assessment systems for measuring learning outcomes in primary school children. Ahmed also has worked in the rule of law sector, focusing on the improvement of court case management and police data collection systems. As a master of global affairs student, he was the recipient of a Kellogg Institute Fellowship.

Profile: MGA student brings Muslim perspective to refugee aid research in Uganda


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