Meet MGA Students


The Keough School’s master of global affairs program, a two-year program, includes 74 students.  Current students and MGA alumni 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; the Gambia; Ghana; Haiti; Honduras; Hungary; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Lebanon; Mali; Mexico; Mongolia; Morocco; Nepal; Nigeria; Pakistan; Palestine; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Korea; 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.



Eduardo Jose Badilla Valdivia

Eduardo Jose Badilla Valdivia

International Peace Studies, 2020

Costa Rica

Eduardo Valdivia has worked as field and verification officer with the United Nations Mission in Colombia and as policy advisor on human rights and business with the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations. Through his career he has developed and implemented community engagement strategies with civil society groups and communities in their transition from conflict to recovery, with close attention to gender, ethnic, and human rights perspectives. He believes in the importance of public participation and citizen engagement as an effective tool to support peace efforts and capacity-building at the grassroots level. Eduardo is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Nate Van Duzer

Nate Van Duzer

International Peace Studies, 2020

United States

Nate Van Duzer has worked with local policymakers and elected officials for nearly a decade, first as an aide to a Seattle city councilmember and most recently with the administration and elected school board of Seattle Public Schools. These positions allowed him to interact with advocates, constituents, and the media while pursuing legislative and policy improvements in areas ranging from criminal justice reform to early childhood education to gun safety. Nate was active in the Seattle community and volunteered with a nonprofit organization that partners with youth to help them exit street life. He holds a BA in history from Georgetown University, with a minor in Arabic and a certificate in Islam and Muslim-Christian Understanding. As a master of global affairs student, Nate was the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.

“Work–Life Intersections in Peacebuilding, Development, and Humanitarian Aid”  (Journal of Peacebuilding & Development)

Kara Venzian

Kara Venzian

Sustainable Development, 2021

United States

Kara Venzian graduated with honors from Missouri State University, earning BA degrees in anthropology and political science. As a student, she worked as a research assistant for the Department of Anthropology. She also served in leadership positions in campus organizations, gained international recognition for her work as an LGBTQ+ rights activist, and received the Outstanding Diversity Development Award. After graduation Kara served as a youth development volunteer for the Peace Corps in Fiji, working on village development, literacy training, women’s health, and grant writing. As a sftudent, Kara was the recipient of a Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship.

Clara Villatoro

Clara Villatoro

International Peace Studies, 2022

El Salvador

Clara Villatoro is a former journalist who covered breaking news in Central America on topics such as public health, environment, and economics for local and international press. During the past four years she served as the Central America Regional Human Rights and Democracy Program Coordinator in the Pulte Institute for Global Development, part of the Keough School. She holds a BA in social communication from the University of Central America “Jose Simeon Cañas” (UCA), where she was the recipient of the UCA Martyrs Scholarship. Clara also holds a master’s degree in multimedia journalism from the University of the Basque Country. As a student of this program in Spain, she was a recipient of a Foundation Carolina Fellowship. As a master of global affairs student, Clara is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

 

Mary Mumbi Wachira

Mary Mumbi Wachira

International Peace Studies, 2020

Kenya

Mary Mumbi Wachira served as the national director and coordinator of Global Unites in Kenya. She collaborated in the development and establishment of youth peace-building and conflict transformation initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Liberia. Mary enjoys teaching and mentoring young people in civic participation and character leadership. She is interested in issues related to youth, education, and migration in the global south. She holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry and a diploma in project management. As a master of global affairs student, Mary was the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

Steven Wagner

Steven Wagner

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2019

United States

Steven Wagner served with the Maryknoll China Teachers Program in Jilin, China, teaching medical English to nursing students at Beihua University. As a Maryknoll volunteer, he participated in development projects focused on China’s rural poor and HIV patients. He holds a BA from Notre Dame in political science and Chinese. As a master of global affairs student, Steven was the recipient of a Katter Family Fellowship. In 2020, he was selected as a finalist in the US Presidential Management Fellowship program.

Leah Walkowski

Leah Walkowski

Sustainable Development, 2019

United States

Leah Walkowski served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, promoting youth empowerment and gender equality among local communities. She speaks Acholi, the language of Northern Uganda, and is conversant in Kiswahili. After returning from Uganda, she worked for the YMCA to promote positive youth development in Minneapolis. She holds a BS in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a master of global affairs student, Leah was the recipient of a Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship and a Riley Fellowship.

Md. Sultan-Uz- Zaman

Md. Sultan-Uz- Zaman

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2021

Bangladesh

Md. Sultan-Uz- Zaman studied parasitology at the University of Dhaka. After graduation, he worked as a field research officer at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh. This experience enabled him to conduct clinical trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies, developing skills in sample collection, data collection, data analysis, protocol writing, and scientific writing. As a student, Sultan was the recipient of an Ortenzio Family Fellowship.


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