Meet MGA Students

The Keough School’s master of global affairs program includes 72 students from 32 countries:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uganda, the United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

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.

<strong>Helina Haile</strong>

Helina Haile

International Peace Studies, 2020

United States

Helina Haile served as a U.S. 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. Helina is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.

<strong>Brian Hickey</strong>

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. He is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

<strong>Seiko Kanda</strong>

Seiko Kanda

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020


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. He is the recipient of an Ansari Institute Fellowship.

<strong>Aminata Karim</strong>

Aminata Karim

International Peace Studies, 2019

Sierra Leone

Aminata Karim is a social justice and development practitioner who works with the rural and urban poor. She holds a BSc in peace and conflict studies from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Most recently, she worked with the women-led Federation of Urban and Rural Poor, a social action group. She is fluent in Mende and Krio, both Sierra Leonean languages. Aminata is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

<strong>Mojtaba Kashani</strong>

Mojtaba Kashani

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2019


Mojtaba Kashani holds an M.A. in sociology from the University of Tehran and a B.A. in mechanical engineering from Amirkabir University. As part of a research team in Iran, he analyzed electoral behavior in the 2016 parliamentary election according to religiosity and socioeconomic status. Mojtaba is the recipient of a Keough School Fellowship.

<strong>Chista Keramati</strong>

Chista Keramati

Sustainable Development, 2019


Chista Keramati worked as a translator and research assistant in Tajikistan from 2015-16. While in Tajikistan, she also volunteered as an English tutor. She holds a BA in English literature and an MA in linguistics, and is interested in education and women’s issues in the Global South. At home in Iran, Chista is part of the minority Sunni community. She is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

<strong>Mukhlisa Khudayberganova</strong> 

Mukhlisa Khudayberganova 

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2020


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. Mukhlisa is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

<strong>Kathleen Kollman</strong>

Kathleen Kollman

Global Affairs + Specialization, 2019

United States

Kathleen Kollman lived and worked with refugee and immigrant women at a Catholic Worker house in Houston. She also volunteered with the Maryknoll community in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she worked with incarcerated women and young people with HIV. As an undergraduate, she spent a semester in Jerusalem studying at Bethlehem University and Hebrew University. She holds a BA in theology and international peace studies from Notre Dame. Kathleen is the recipient of a Donald & Marilyn Keough Fellowship.

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