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.

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.