Students & Alumni

Michael Scanlon and our other students study a wide range of issues, including peacemaking, human rights, economic development, education, health, and the environment.

Our graduates are prepared to work as scholars and analysts to provide intellectual leadership as academics, researchers, or practitioners in nongovernment agencies, media, national governments, think tanks, and the private sector. Check out this list of our doctoral student publications 

Click here for Alumni Profiles 

Meet Our PhD Students:

  Welcoming Fall 2022 Cohort

Abiodun Baiyewu holds an LLM degree in International Legal Studies from Georgetown University Law Centre, with a focus on International Human Rights. Abiodun has worked with Global Rights and Negotiation and Conflict Management Group.

Research interests include:

  • The impact of the global governance system on shrinking civic spaces
  • Fragile States and Human Rights
  • Natural Resource Governance and Climate Change
  • Global Health Law
  • Corporate Accountability

Adebobola Omowon holds a B.A in History and International Studies from Osun State University and an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan. Adebobola is a Justice of the Peace, and a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator. He is the founder and Executive Director of “Wide Gate Initiative for Peace and Dispute Resolution”, a Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution based NGO in Nigeria. 

Research interests include:

  • International Diplomacy, Peace and  Peace Building
  • Conflict analysis and Resolution
  • Third Party Intervention
  • Mediation, Negotiation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms
  • Analysis of conflict on the Social Media space and its ability to lead to an actual Physical conflict
  • Early Warning and Early response systems

Ashraf Amiri holds an MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston, United States, and a BA in International Relations from Kateb University, Afghanistan. Ashraf is the recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship. He worked as a battlefield interpreter, researcher, and university lecturer in Afghanistan.

Research Interests Include:

  • Civil society, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding
  • Identity and conflict (with special focus on ethnic conflicts in Afghanistan)
  • Peace education in conflict/post-conflict societies
  • Non-state actors and global politics and security

Augustine B. Aboh holds an MA in Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security from Coventry University, United Kingdom, and a B.SC in Political Science from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. He works as a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Calabar - Nigeria, and has participated in the review and validation of some Nigeria National Security Policies and Bills such as the Small Arms and Light Weapon Control Bill 2021, and the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021.

Research Interests include:

  • Human security of Displaced Communities (IDPs &Refugees)
  • Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime
  • SALW proliferation and Armed conflict in sub-Sahara Africa
  • Geopolitics and National Security Policies
  • Intelligence, local security and resilience
  • Global Policy and Development Intervention

James Kintu is a first year PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program. He holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration and Management (M.A. PAM), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Political Science and Social Administration), and Certificate in Administrative Law. Prior to the PhD program, James worked in the Office of the President of Uganda for twenty years, rising from Assistant Secretary level to Undersecretary. He headed Administration at the Ministry of Finance, planning and Economic Development (2009 – 2012), was Senior Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of Uganda (2013 – 2016), and was head of Finance and Administration at the Ministries of: East African Community Affairs (2012 -2013), Foreign Affairs (2016 – 2018), and Local Government (2018 – 2020). James’ research interests are the governance of Climate Change and Gender for Sustainable Food Security in Uganda.

Paola Munoz-Gamboa holds a BS in Biology from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), and MS in Environmental Studies from Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Ohio University.   Paola practices conflict resolution on a daily basis as the Coordinator of High School Programs for CIEE in Costa Rica.

Research interests include: 

  • Peace building in Central America
  • International environmental policies
  • Science diplomacy
  • Sustainable forest management by Indigenous people and local communities

Rana A. Hajjaj from New York; earned a master’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Organizational Leadership and Change Management, from Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York. She has worked at Bard College, at Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in addition to serving a number of international development and humanitarian organizations, including the humanitarian diplomacy delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to the United Nations, in Manhattan, New York. 

Research interests:

  • International diplomacy and peace
  • Foreign policy and international relations 
  • Conflict transformation in the Middle East region
  • Governance role of the international community, including the UN, in mitigating and preventing conflict

Satwika Paramasatya holds a BA in International Relations and MA in Peace Studies of International Relations from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. Before joining UMass Boston, Satwika worked as a lecturer at Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia. He also works as a consultant who oversees community development through the corporate social responsibility of several state-owned enterprises in Indonesia.

Research interests include:

  • Global Health and Health Equity
  • Civil Society and Transnational Advocacy Network
  • Human Security and Community Development
  • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
  Fall 2021

Amadou B Jallow holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of The Gambia (UTG), and MA in International Studies (International Development Studies) from Ohio University.  

Research interests include: 

  • Voting Rights and Diaspora Participation in African Politics 
  • Migration and Development  
  • International Political Economy 
  • Forest Policy and Climate Change

Carl Cowan holds a MS in Healthcare Emergency Management from Boston University and a BS in Information Management & Technology from Syracuse University. 

Research interests include: 

  • Ethics and decision-making methods
  • Intersectional approaches in global crisis response
  • Multilateral humanitarian response and recovery mechanisms

Christine Turner Langevin holds an MA degree from the University of New Hampshire in Political Science with a focus on comparative politics. Christine has worked in regulatory compliance of organic agricultural and manufactured goods. 

Research interests include:

  • Non-governmental organizations in global governance
  • International relations and comparative policy analysis  
  • Organizational theory 

Fridah Dermmillah Obare holds a Master of Science in Biology of Conservation degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management degree from Moi University, Kenya. She works with Kenya Wildlife Service and is passionate about reptile conservation. Dermmillah is a member of the IUCN Species Specialised Commission - Crocodile Specialist Group.

Research interests include:

  • Economic valuation of wildlife resources
  • International policy analysis
  • Community involvement in wildlife utilisation
  • Multi Environmental Agreements

Jiedine Irene Alexandria Phanbuh from Shillong, India; earned a master’s degree in Public Policy, with distinction, from The Carsey School of Public Policy, at the University of New Hampshire. She has worked for The American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, D.C on matching military service members and immigrant families in Texas with pro bono lawyers; and for the Town of Durham, NH on census matters.

Research interests:

  • International environmental policy and relations 
  • Mitigating risk of conflict over transboundary natural resource management.
  • International diplomacy and peace
  • United Nations system for the environment and the role of international organizations in mitigating conflict

Nkasi Wodu holds a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He also holds a Law Degree from the Rivers State University, Nigeria and has been called to the Nigerian Bar. He is a certified mediation trainer and practitioner. He facilitated one of the largest peacebuilding networks in Nigeria and one of the most comprehensive early warning and early response platform in West Africa. He is a new voices fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Research Interests include:

  • Armed conflict in sub Saharan Africa
  • Fragility and resilience in conflict affected State
  • Business, peacebuilding and human rights 
  • Early warning and early response
  • Global policy and human security
  • Transnational organized crime

Pryanka Peñafiel Cevallos holds a M.Res. in International Relations with mention in Security and Human Rights from Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, Ecuador, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Hemisferios University. Before joining UMass Boston, Pryanka worked as professor and researcher in Ecuadorian universities. 

Research interests include:

  • Nonviolent Resistance
  • Latin American Foreign Policy
  • Migration and human rights
  • Peace and conflict studies
  Fall 2020

Muhammad Ali holds an MA degree in Development Management from Ruhr University, Germany, and an MBA degree from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan. He has worked in different sectors including microfinance, philanthropy, and rural development.

Research interests include:

  • Government-civil society relations
  • Closing civic space and securitization of civil society
  • Human security and human development
  • Violence, extremism, and the role of civil society


Kuntala Bandyopadhyay holds a Master in Philosophy and Master of Arts in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Kuntala has worked as a researcher in climate and energy, infrastructure financing, and governance issues. 

Research interests include:

  • Climate finance 
  • Global governance, environment, and climate change
  • Low-carbon transition of the emerging economies

Margaret Gatonye holds a BA in Mass Communication (Public Relations) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, an MA in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi, an MA in Int'l Studies (African Studies), and an M.Sc. in Environmental Studies from Ohio University. She is formerly the CEO of the Aquaculture Association of Kenya and Head of Aquaculture Projects in East Africa with Larive Group Kenya.

Research Interests Include:

  • Trade Policy, Food Safety Regulatory Frameworks, and Int'l Relations
  • Global Fisheries Governance
  • Community Development and Resiliency
  • Gender and Decision-Making Processes
  • Environmental Sustainability, Climate Change, and Food Security

Brian Harding holds a Bachelor of Arts in Botany (2002) from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Master of Science in Ethnobotany (2005) from the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. Since 2007, Brian has worked as a climate change and environmental consultant in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Pacific, and Latin America. He has worked with the United Nations and the Green Climate Fund.

Research interests include:

  • Institutional Reform and Change Management
  • Action Research
  • Climate Change Adaptation 
  • Global governance, environment, and climate change

Stephen E McAvene holds an MA in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, and a BA in History, minor in Middle Eastern Studies, from Worcester State University. 

Research interests include:

  • Non-State actors in International Relations
  • Conflict and Social Change
  • Refugee Agency and Identity

Judit Senarriaga holds a BD in Political Science and Administration from Pompeu Fabra University, and a Master in Political Analysis and Institutional Assessment from the University of Barcelona. Before joining UMass, Judit worked in a political party as a Parliamentary Advisor for the Spanish Congress and Senate, and previously as Advisor of a member of the Board of the Parliament of Catalonia and as a Community Manager.

Research interests include:

  • Decision-making process
  • Legislative analysis and comparative public policy
  • Global governance, environment, and climate change
  • Implementation of international environmental agreements and their effectiveness

Aamir Yaqoob holds an MPhil in Political Science from GC University Lahore, Pakistan, a certificate of Distinction in Community Service from Forman Christian College. He attended International Summer School 2015 on Gender Equality at the University of Oslo in Norway and International Leadership Summit 2017 in the UK. 

Research interests include:

  • Human Rights and Human Security
  • Women Rights, Gender & Development
  • Transnational Relations & Social Inclusion



Rebecca Yemo holds a Master of International Studies with a concentration in Global Governance and Sustainable Development from North Carolina State University(NC, USA) and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Spanish from the University of Ghana (Accra, Ghana)

Research interests include:

  • Human Rights Enforcement Mechanisms
  • Role of International Organizations in Global Governance
  • Human Security in Sub-Saharan Africa
  Fall 2019

Emily Anderson holds an MA in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies, and a BA in International Studies from Loyola University Chicago. 

Research interests include:

  • Politics, religion, culture, and health
  • Human security and compulsory education 
  • Global governance, environment, and climate change 
  • International migration and education  

Allyson Bachta is a PhD candidate researching violent attacks on education in conflict settings. After completing her coursework, she spent two years conducting research for Padraig O’Malley, McCormack School’s John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation for his upcoming book (in press) on Brexit’s impact on the Northern Ireland peace process. She is currently a full-time researcher at Alliance for Peacebuilding (Washington D.C.) and an associate at Essential Partners (Cambridge, MA).   

Apollon Bouzerdan holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UMass Lowell, a BA in Philosophy from Saint John’s Seminary, Boston MA, and a degree in Dental Laboratory Technology from Middlesex Community college, Lowell MA, where he has been an educator for the past fifteen years.

Research interests include:

  • Overpopulation, urban development, waste management, and the environment.
  • Effects of climate change migration on host nations.
  • Middle East conflicts and peace initiatives.
  • Refugee crisis in Lebanon.


Kate Butterworth is a Ph.D. candidate. Her research interests include sovereignty and international organizations. She holds an MA and MS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After working for the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration and on the Conflict Early Warning Analytics program at the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at UMass Boston, she will begin an internship at the Department of State.

Dennis Jjuuko holds an MSc in Security, Leadership and Society (Pass with Distinction) from King’s College London, and a BA in Ethics and Development Studies (Honors) from Uganda Martyrs University. He is an alumnus of the Peace, Security and Development Fellowship for African Scholars of the African Leadership Center at King’s College London, and a former Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg.

Research interests include:

  • Governance of security
  • Transitional and traditional justice nexus
  • Natural resources governance
  • Transactional and transformational leadership in Africa
  • Emerging powers in global leadership

Muna Killingback Holds an MPA, International Relations from UMass Boston and a BA in English and Journalism from Douglass College of Rutgers University.  Muna worked for international NGOs in Geneva for 11 years and is a former Director of Communications for the World YWCA, the headquarters of the global YWCA movement.

Research interests include::

  • Governance, structure, policy-making processes, and impact of international non-governmental and faith-based organizations
  • An intersectional analysis of organizations and public policies
  • Role and influence of media in international relations
  • Human rights, peace, and social and economic justice

Prince De Makele MOUNGUEMBOU holds a bachelor’s degree and a Masters 1 in Business Law from Marien Ngouabi University (Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo) where he graduated in 2013. In 2017, he received a Fulbright scholarship to complete a Masters in the United States. He went on to earn a Masters in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston two years later, in 2019.

Research interests include:

  • The resource-conflict nexus
  • Environmental peacebuilding and natural resource governance
  • Child soldiers
  • Global governance of migration and human security in Africa
  • Social activism in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Non-violent social movements in Africa
  • Mediation and negotiation

Benjamin Daniel Obtained a Bachelors and Master's degree in Library and information science, and Peace and conflict studies respectively both from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria

Research interests include:

  • Third-party interventions
  • Environmental justice and sustainability 
  • Human security
  • Information literacy and education 

Carlos A. Pérez-Espitia received a Law degree from St. Bonaventure University, Colombia and holds an MA in Global Development and Peace Studies from the University of Bridgeport, CT. He has taught International Law and Human Rights at La Salle University in Colombia and has been an advisor to the Office of the Inspector General of Colombia in the prevention and protection of Human Rights violations.

Research interests include:

  • International Law and Development
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Corporate accountability and International Human Rights mechanisms 
  • Transitional justice in post-conflict and fragile settings
Mahdi Hasan

Mahdi Hasan holds an MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He also has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Dhaka Bangladesh.

Research Interests Include:

  • International Negotiation
  • Peace Agreement
  • Third party interventions 

“As of 2022, our 30 GGHS doctoral alumni include 6 tenure track assistant professors in the United States and abroad, 14 with other full-time university positions, 1 on a fellowship, 3 working in NGOs focused on expanding economic and education opportunities, 1 with a career in academic publishing, 1 consultant in international development, 1 working in international development for Global Affairs Canada, and 1 working in the private sector in New York City

- Prof. Samuel Barkin, Graduate Program Director, Global Governance and Human Security 


Nadezhda Filimonova defended her dissertation “The Practice of Climate Adaptation Governance in Arctic Cities: Understanding Local Policymaking Interactions in Norway and Russia” in November 2022. Her academic work focused on the roles of state-city and city-expert interactions and the impacts of climate change as drivers for local policymaking in municipal solid waste management and urban water management in the Arctic. She is currently a research fellow at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University and an affiliated scholar at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam.

Polly A. Cegielski defended her dissertation “Security, Gender, and Power: NATO's Advising Program in Afghanistan” in September 2022. Her academic work focused on the gendered and hierarchized security notions that NATO propagates through its security advising program in Afghanistan. She is currently employed with Booz Allen Hamilton working for the U.S. Army command in Europe. Dr. Cegielski is looking forward to continuing her security research into new areas that deal with such issues as cyber security and advising in the war in Ukraine.

Shelley Brown defended her dissertation "Reframing the Silent Burden of Perinatal Mental Health in South Africa: Applying a Global Health Governance and Human Rights Perspective" in April 2022. Her work focuses on barriers in policy responses, specifically access and identification, related to perinatal mental disorders in South Africa, drawing on human rights and global governance frameworks. Dr. Brown is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University in the Department of Health Sciences, where she teaches Global Health, Health Policy, and Mental Health courses. She recently received seed funding from Boston University’s Center on Forced Displacement to support research on a collaborative project investigating health needs, barriers, and perceptions of health interventions among refugees in greater Athens, Greece.

Safiya K. St. Clair defended her dissertation “Race, Gender, and Peace: How Women’s NGOs Build Peace and Enhance Gender Justice” in Spring 2022. Her academic work focused on the strategies women use to build peace, transform cultures of violence, and create gender justice for underserved groups. She used the skills gained in the GGHS Ph.D. program to land a role as a Senior Manager, Learning and Development in the corporate sector. In June 2022, Dr. St. Clair will launch a blog to help students thrive in graduate school.

Jean-Pierre D. Murray defended his dissertation "The Migration-Security Nexus in South-South Population Flows: Securitization of Haitian Migration in the Dominican Republic" in March 2022. His work focuses on the roles of elite political actors, civil society organizations, and intergovernmental organizations in constructing or contesting narratives of migrants as security threats, and the corresponding extraordinary policy measures toward migrants. Dr. Murray has taught in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies, Mona where he was co-coordinator of the BSc./MSc. in Politics and International Cooperation, offered jointly with Sciences Po Bordeaux and Université des Antilles. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Wellesley College. In Fall 2023 he will start a new role as Assistant Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College.

Miranda V. Chase defended her dissertation "Damming Sustainability: How Social and Environmental Networks Influence the Construction and Management of Large Dams in the Amazon Basin" in March 2022. Her work focuses on how local communities in the Amazon region build coalitions with a wide array of diverse partners, and how they become a social movement capable of influencing high-level political spheres. Dr. Chase has been working in the Amazon region since 2011 and her research merges fields such as political science, international relations, political economy, sociology, and sustainability studies. She is currently a Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Diego State University.

Charla M. Burnett defended her dissertation titled Evaluating Participatory Mapping for Public Decision-making using SeaSketch in Spring 2022. She is a scholar and practitioner of participatory mapping using geospatial technologies and coordinates multilateral and bilateral international development projects. She currently supports Michigan State University's International Development Research Agenda as a USAID Proposal Development Specialist for the department of Global Innovations in Development, Engagement, and Scholarship (Global IDEAS) where she facilitates multi-college/industry program design and proposal development.

Chantal Krcmar

Chantal Krcmar defended her dissertation titled "Indian Women Construction Workers’ Social Construction of Human Security" in Fall 2021. Dr. Krcmar is currently a full time Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Simmons University. 

Kundan Mishra

Kundan Mishra defended his dissertation in October 2021 titled Distress, Dilemma, Decisons: Household Aspirations and Migration Decisionmaking in Rural India. Kundan is now a Senior Program Officer for South Asia (in Delhi) at the International Development Research Center, working in the area of Democratic and Inclusive Governance.

Sudeshna Chatterjee defended her dissertation titled 'Gendering Bare Life through Sex Work Governance in India: Rethinking Sexual Labor Precarity and Resistance from the Postcolony' in July 2021 and currently serves as the Director of Equity and Social Justice at the Town of Reading Massachusetts. Sudeshna is a scholar-practitioner in the field of gender/racial justice and inclusive governance and is active in several DEIA initiatives such as the Racial Equality Task Force at UMass Boston and Boston University's Center for Anti-Racism Research Affiliate Network Program. 


Adriana Rincon Villegas

Adriana Rincon Villegas has an MA from the University of Georgia (USA), and a law degree from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano (Colombia). Recipient of the UMB-SSRC Transdisciplinary Dissertation Proposal Development program award 2017. Her dissertation, defended in May 2021, explores the narratives of gender in the legal discourse of peace in Colombia, titled The Gender of Peace: State Power and Discourse in Colombia (1946-1991). Dr. Rincón received the GGHS Excellence in Dissertation Research Award. She currently resides in Calgary, AB (Canada), where she works as an Instructor at Athabasca University and University of Winnipeg. 

Lyndsey McMahan

Lyndsey McMahan defended her dissertation, A Top-Down Approach to Bottom-Up Development: NGO Implementation of Early Childhood Development Programs in Rwanda, in March 2021. She graduated from Boston College with a Master of Social Work in Social Innovation + Leadership and Global Practice. Additionally, she holds a Bachelors in Spanish from Oklahoma State University. Dr. McMahan currently resides in Boston, MA where she works as the Assistant Director of Global Field Education at Boston College School of Social Work

Eike Schmedt

Eike Schmedt defended his dissertation titled World Heritage Governance Assessing the Influence of Governance Factors on the Protection of Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites in March 2021. Dr. Schmedt received his BA in European ethnology and philosophy from the University of Kiel and his MA in world heritage studies at BTU Cottbus- Senftenberg in Germany. Eike served as Outreach and Funding Coordinator for the Graduate School at Illinois State University. He is currently an Executive Assistant for International Affairs at the Technical University Clausthal in Germany. 


Michael Denney defended his dissertation in 2020. His dissertation was titled Balancing the Environment and Development: Environmental Reform and Mainstreaming at the World Bank Ethiopia Country Office. Dr. Denney currently resides in Providence, RI where he works as Philanthropy Officer at Care New England hospital system.

Christopher C. Graham Christopher Graham defended his dissertation in 2019. His dissertation was titled The Political Economy of Migration Governance: How Political Actors, Networks, Institutions, and Policies Impact the Migration-Development Nexus in the Global South. Dr. Graham is currently the Academic Programs and Events Coordinator at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. He is also an Associate Adjunct Professor at Fisher College, Boston, MA, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development. 

Timothy Adivilah Balag'kutu defended his dissertation in 2019.  His dissertation was titled “From Minamata To Mines in Ghana: A Cross-Scale Study on Global Governance of Mercury Use in  Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining”.  Dr. Adivilah Balag'kutu is a Lecturer and faculty member at the Center for Peace and Security at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA). He is also a Research Fellow with Earth System Governance, as well as member of the Canadian Journal of African Studies’ Editorial Advisory Board, Future Earth Early Career Network of Networks Council, and ORCID Researcher Advisory Council (ORAC). 


Charles Brackett defended his dissertation in 2019. His dissertation was titled The Rise And Rise of The Criminal Record: Power, Order And Safety in The United States 1848-1960. Dr. Brackett is currently an Associate Director in charge of Project Management for New Ventures at Year Up, a national nonprofit serving Opportunity Youth. 

Abigail Kabandula defended her dissertation in 2019.  Her dissertation was titled The Governance of Transnational Security Threats in Fragile States: The Case of the African Union (AMISOM) 2007 – 2017. Dr. Kabandula is a Research Scientist at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures and Adjunct Professor of international politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She holds dual master’s Degrees in Global Governance and Human Security from UMass Boston, and Historical Studies from the University of Cape Town.

Bharathi Radhakrishnan defended her dissertation in 2019.  Her dissertation was titled Understanding Gender And Access to Health Care For Resettled Women In Post-war Northern Sri Lanka Through Intersectionality. Dr. Radhakrishnan is currently a Researcher for Peace, Conflict, and Governance at Mercy Corps. She was previously Program Manager for the Gender, Rights, and Resilience (GR2) Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Aamer Raza defended his dissertation in 2019. Dr. Raza is now an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Peshawar, in Peshawar Pakistan. His dissertation was titled "The Effects of Issue-Area Governance Overlap on the Institutions of Multilateral Counterterrorism Cooperation."

Jason McSparren defended his dissertation in 2019 and is currently the 2021-2022 Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College, Vice President of Research and Grant Writing at The Green Institute (, and Curriculum Advisor for this year's Schifa, titled, Science, Faith and Innovation for Human Dignity at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha ( Dr. McSparren did his Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the West Africa Research Association (WARA) at Boston University. His dissertation was titled Seeking a Nexus between Transparency, Accountability and Sustainable Development in the Extractive Industries: Analysis of the Mali Extractive Industries

Deborah McFee defended her dissertation in 2019 and is currently the Outreach and Research Officer at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies. St Augustine. Dr. McFee's dissertation was titled Global Governance and the Post-Colonial Nation State: Women, Gender, and Public Opinion in Public Policymaking in Trinidad & Tobago 1956-2005

Theresa Sommers defended her dissertation in 2018 and is currently the Senior Manager of Research on the Vaccine Acceptance and Demand Initiative at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, DC. Previously, Dr. Sommers worked as the Project Manager for USAID One Health Workforce Project/Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. The title of Dr. Sommers' dissertation is, “We Want to Be Free:” A Qualitative Examination of Migration as a Social Determinant of Health for Youth, Cross-Border Migrants in Johannesburg, South Africa 

Gabriela Bueno Gibbs defended her dissertation in 2018, which was titled The Institutional Landscape of International Forest Protection: Understanding Institutional Complexity in International Forest Governance. Dr. Gibbs is currently working as Acquisitions Assistant at The MIT Press. During her doctorate, she also worked as a managing editor for the Global Leadership Dialogues Series, published by the Center for Governance and Sustainability at UMass Boston. She holds an LL.M. graduate degree from the Yale Law School and another one from the University of São Paulo.

Jamie Hagen defended her dissertation on “Queering Women, Peace and Security” in 2018, subsequently winning the prestigious International Studies Association’s James N. Rosenau Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The following year Dr. Hagen became a Lecturer in International Relations at Queens University Belfast where she is the founding Co-Director of the Centre for Gender in Politics. Her research bridges a feminist security studies approach with queer theory to offer a more complete gender analysis of how the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions impact lesbian, gay, bisexual,  transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people living in conflict-related environments.  Her 2022-2023 British Academy Innovation Fellowship analyzes how the participation of LBTQ women can be improved in peacebuilding processes. Partners on the project include Anupama Ranawana at Christian Aid UK, Colombia Diversa and Christian Aid Colombia who together are focusing on the participation of LBTQ women in Colombia’s first WPS National Action Plan for the implementation of UN SCR 1325 in Colombia. Dr. Hagen was a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics’ Women, Peace and Security Centre in 2019 and is an affiliated scholar with the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict at Cornell University  for fall 2023. You can follow her research here.

Yuliya Rashchupkina defended her dissertation,  Mainstreaming Climate Change in Development: The Evolution of Discourse, in 2018. After teaching in the Boston area at Babson College and Suffolk University, Dr. Rashchupkina is now an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Prince Edward Island.



Modupe Oshikoya defended her dissertation in 2018titled: Exploring the impact of insurgencies on gender-based violence and the Nigerian armed forces: The Boko Haram Case. Dr. Oshikoya is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Wesleyan University.

Jeremiah O. Asaka

Jeremiah O. Asaka defended his dissertation in 2017, titled: Transformations in conservation governance and implications for human security: the case of Kenya's northern rangelands. Dr. Asaka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Security Studies at Sam Houston State University, Texas.

Jinyoung Kang

Jinyoung Kang defended her dissertation titled The Emergence of Private Governance in a Nonwestern Context: The case of South Korea in 2017. Professor Kang teaches sustainability as an assistant professor at Loyola University Maryland. 

Jay Jinseop Jang

Jay Jinseop Jang defended his dissertation titled Human-Centric National Security in Strong States: South Korea's Security Relations with North Korea. He is a senior fellow at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, UMass Boston. He is also the founder of Educational Divide Reform Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aiming to contribute to social inclusion and community development through youth education, particularly for underserved communities. He is also the President of Boston Korean Business Association as well as the Vice President of Korea Association of Military Studies.

Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy

Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy defended her dissertation in 2017 titled Environment, States and International Organizations: The Role of Global Environmental Conventions in Protecting the Environment. Dr. Escobar-Pemberthy is currently an Assistant Professor at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín (Colombia). 

Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra defended his dissertation titled “Kashmir as a Protracted Social Conflict: Examining the Role of Non-State Actors in the Policy-making Process” in 2016. His dissertation was published as a book by the Cambridge University Press. Dr. Mahapatra is currently a Professor of Political Science at Florida State College in Jacksonville. 

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