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 Incoming class 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 earned an M.S. in Global and International Education from Drexel University, a M.Ed in Science Curriculum and Instruction and a B.S. in Exercise Physiology, both from University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Research interests include:

  • Peace education initiatives in conflict/post-conflict societies
  • Truth and reconciliation commissions 
  • Community dialogue for collective action and restorative justice 
  • Non-violent social movements
  • Intercultural communication

Apollon Bouzerdan holds a 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.

Kathryn Butterworth holds a MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and a MS in Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She spent the 2018-2019 year in the Republic of Georgia on a Boren Fellowship, studying Georgian language and interning at a local non-profit.

Research interests include:

  • Ethnic conflict and identity
  • Comparative politics
  • Semi-frozen conflicts
  • South Caucasus  

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 alumna 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
  • 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

Daniel Ojemire Benjamin 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 a MA in Global Development and Peace studies from 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 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
 Fall 2018

Balkissa Daouda Diallo  graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and History. Upon receiving a Fulbright grant,  she pursued a double Master's degree in International Development and Environmental Studies at Ohio University. 

Research Interests Include:

  • Irregular Migrations in West Africa and Human Security
  • Water Resources Governance 
  • Regionalism and Global Governance

Meg Hassey earned a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UMass Lowell, a Master's in Education, and a BS in Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology from the University of New Hampshire.

Research Interests Include:

  • Coastal communities, citizen science, and policy
  • Intersectionality and women in global leadership
  • Education and human security 
  • Environmental Peacebuilding

Uluç Karakaş holds a BA in International Relations from Ankara University, Turkey and an MA in International Relations from Bilkent University, Turkey.

Research Interests Include:

  • Conducting research on various conceptions of human security and their uses in different cases
  • Global governance of migration and refugees
  • Syrian refugees in Turkey and their governance
  • The effects of climate change on international and human security
  • Global governance of climate change

Leena Maqsood holds a postgraduate diploma in Development Support Communication and MA in Mass Communication from University of the Punjab Pakistan, MPhil in International Development Studies from Iqra University Pakistan. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to do a MA in Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media from Michigan State University USA. 

Research Interests Include:

  • Gender and informal sector of economy
  • Prospects for rural development and hazards of urbanization in South Asian region
  • Information and communication technology for human development


Ellen Busolo holds Masters in Diplomacy from the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies at The University of Nairobi where she also earned a BA in Journalism and Media Studies.  She is Co-founder of a Community Based Sport Organization, Simama Africa, at Kariobangi area in Nairobi, Kenya.

Research Interests Include:

  • Diplomacy
  • Gender
  • International Sport Governance and Policy
  • Sub Saharan Africa with a focus on East Africa

Krystal-Gayle O'Neill is from St. Catherine, Jamaica and holds a B.Ed. (Business and Computer Studies) from the University of Technology, Jamaica, an MBA and MS in College Student Affairs (Conflict Resolution concentration) from Nova Southeastern University (Davie, Fl) and an M. Phil (Social Sciences) from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT).

Research Interests Include:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Inter/Intra group dialogues 
  • Restorative justice and mediation

Alan Zebek holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science and earned an MA in International Affairs from The New School University. His work to date has been centered on socioeconomic, political, and security developments in post-Soviet Eurasia and Eastern Europe.

Research Interests Include:

  • Natural Resource  Governance
  • Post-Soviet “frozen conflicts,” Nationalism, Geopolitics, and Ethno politics
  • Regional and Human Security in the Greater Black Sea Region 
  • OSCE's Conflict Resolution and Crisis Management Capacities 
 Fall 2017
Prince Boateng

Prince O. Boateng holds a BS in Marine Business and Commerce from New York Maritime, an MA in Transportation and Logistics Management from American Military University, and an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 

Research Interests Include:

  • U.S. national security strategy
  • Food security and sustainable agriculture
  • The interconnection between human security/food security and U.S. national security 
  • Using Realism IR theory to address human security/food security challenges
Michael J. Cole

Michael J. Cole is a Coasts & Communities IGERT Fellow with a Master’s Degree in International Relations

  • The Water-Energy-Resource Nexus
  • Distributional Climate Mitigation/Adaptation Policy Outcomes
  • Global Food Supply-Chain Governance, Wastes & Inequalities
  • State-Society Relations under Authoritarian Regimes
	 Candace Famiglietti

Candace Famiglietti holds a MS in International Studies with a focus in International Human Development, Society, and Education, as well as a BS in Finance and a minor in International Business from Oklahoma State University. She co-founded the social enterprise, EbenGroup, where she has worked as a managing partner for seven years. 

Research Interests Include:

  • Indigenous politics
  • Global environmental policy
  • Identity, intergroup conflict, and social change
  • Community-based reconciliation and the transgenerational effects of historical trauma
  • The interplay between economics, religion, and the natural environment
Nadezhda Filimonova

Nadezhda Filimonova holds a BA and MA in International Relations from St. Petersburg State University (Russia). She also holds a MA in Political Science and International Relations from Uppsala University (Sweden). Ms Filimonova has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including  the Fulbright Scholarship for Russian International Education Administrators.

Research Interests Include:

  • Geopolitics and regime-building in the Arctic
  • Arctic environmental governance
  • The Arctic policy of Russia and non-Arctic states
Mahdi Hasan

Mahdi Hasan holds MA in conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He also has a Masters degree in Sociology from University of Dhaka Bangladesh. 

Research Interests Include:

  • International Negotiation
  • Peace Agreement
  • Third party interventions 
Denise Muro

Denise Muro earned her MA in International Studies with a graduate minor in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wyoming. Her research explores policy and discourse on the integration of refugees in Germany.

Research Interests Include:

  • Refugee resettlement and integration
  • Migration and asylum policy
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Facilitating dialogue between newcomers and residents
Roberto “Nick” Rico

Roberto “Nick” Rico has a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire, Durham.

Research Interests Include:

  • International illicit economies and their relationship with legal economies
  • Drug decriminalization and legalization regimes
  • Resource politics and resource driven conflict
  • Latin America
Nancy Riordan

Nancy Riordan holds a Master of Science International Relations, University of Massachusetts Boston and a Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence, Penn State. 

Research Interests Include:

  • Geospatial analysis of violent events and their determinants: relationships between combatants, political and social groups, economies, migration, and climate related phenomena to advance human security and transition from conflict.
  • Rare earth mining and conflict
  • Global governance of earth orbital space and interplanetary futures
  • UN Security Council reform 
Mario Siddhartha Portugal-Ramírez

Mario Siddhartha Portugal-Ramírez holds a master's degree in sociology from Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO-Ecuador). He did his undergraduate studies in sociology at Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno (Bolivia).

Research Interests Include:

  • Medical sociology/anthropology
  • Medical pluralism
  • Global health policies related to intercultural health practices
  • Digital medicine 
  • Indigenous people´s political movements from Americas
Jack Whitacre

Jack Whitacre attended Kenyon College and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  He has published pieces on environmental law, fisheries, ocean clusters, and maritime security.

Research Interests Include:

  • Global environmental governance
  • Coasts and Communities
  • Human Security 
Shino Yokotsuka

Shino Yokotsuka earned her MA in Political Science & International Relations from University of Delaware and Ohio University. She also holds a Bachelor’s in International Studies from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Previously, she was a research fellow at Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C.

Research interests include:

  • Freedom of religion and human security
  • Minority rights
  • Comparative immigration and refugee policies
  • State identity and foreign policies

“As of 2019, our 15 GGHS doctoral alumni include 5 tenure track assistant professors in the US and abroad, 5 with other university positions, 2 on fellowships, 1 president & founder of an international education NGO, and 1 working in academic publishing.”

- Prof. Stacy D. VanDeveer, Graduate Program Director, Global Governance and Human Security

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 visiting scholar 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 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 Post-Doctoral Student at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Aamer Raza defended his dissertation in 2019. Dr. Raza is now an Assistant Professor of Political Science at 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.  Dr. McSparren is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow, 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 Policy making in Trinidad & Tobago 1956-2005

Theresa Sommers  defended her dissertation in 2018, and is currently working as the Project Manager for USAID One Health Workforce Project/Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sommers' dissertation title 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 a LL.M. graduate degree from the Yale Law School and another one from the University of São Paulo.

Jamie Hagen defended her dissertation in 2018 and has subsequently been awarded the prestigious James N. Rosenau Post-Doctoral Fellowship offered by the International Studies Association (ISA). The title of her dissertation research is “Queering Women, Peace and Security.” During the Spring of 2019, Dr. Hagen will also be a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics Women, Peace and Security Centre where she will continue her research. She holds a Masters in political science at Brooklyn College and has experience working at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.

Yuliya Rashchupkina defended her dissertation  Mainstreaming Climate Change in Development: The Evolution of Discourse. in 2018. Dr. Rashchupkina is currently teaching Global Politics at Babson College and she is a lecturer at the Government Department at Suffolk University. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and another graduate degree from University in Ukraine.     

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. Dr. Kang is currently Assistant Professor of Business, Mary Baldwin University (Virginia, USA). 

Jay Jinseop JangJay Jinseop Jang defended his dissertation in 2017, titled Human-Centric National Security in Strong States: South Korea's Security Relations with North Korea. Dr. Jang is founder of The Academy at Harvard Square, an accredited educational institution for global entrepreneurship and English learning. He is currently developing the research projects of human security in Northeast Asia, creating the term of “human-centric national security.”
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 MahapatraDebidatta 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. Dr. Mahapatra currently works as director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Non-Violence, Human Rights and World Peace at Hindu University of America in Orlando, Florida. 

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