Student Profiles

Class of 2018

Hadya Abdul-Satar, GHD '18

Hadya Abdul-Satar’s study of Global Health and Human Rights at the University of Richmond led her to a summer-long project in Kabul, Afghanistan where she studied the effects of migration on maternal and children’s health. Upon graduation, Hadya remained passionate about women’s and immigrants’ rights and started working at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations. While in New York, she learned about diplomacy, foreign aid and public and private partnerships. She is currently working at Upwardly Global, a nonprofit agency focusing on immigrant integration and workforce development. She focuses on policy, refugee programs, and corporate citizenship. She hopes to expand her knowledge of corporate social responsibility and the role of the private sector in the developing world while at GHD. Hadya belongs to the Bonner Scholars and AmeriCorp Alumni networks.  

Shubham Adhikari, GHD '18

Shubham Adhikari was born and raised in Nepal and graduated from Saint Peters University in New Jersey, with an honors BA in economics and political science with a minor in mathematics. For his honors thesis, he compared the economic development of China and India. He also conducted comparative analysis of disaster risk resiliency of Hoboken and Jersey City for UNISDR. Upon graduation, he worked as an operations quantitative analyst at PSE&G, an energy company. Shubham’s research interests include education and energy policies in developing countries.  

Tameem Tameem Al-Talabani, GHD '18

Tameem Al-Talabani joins GHD after spending seven years with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Jordan where he taught computer skills to Iraqi refugees. In 2012, Tameem helped initiate a higher education program, Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins, for host and refugee communities with limited access to higher learning. At Georgetown, Tameem works as a research assistant exploring durable solutions for Iraqis who fled the Islamic State. Tameem looks forward to his academic program and learning from and exchanging ideas with his classmates and instructors. He hopes to take his education back home to make Iraq, and the Middle East, a safer and better place for all people.   Click here to read Tameem's Student Feature.

Milan Kaur Bala, GHD '18

Milan Bala was a fellow with Teach For India and taught in an under-resourced school in Delhi. This experience at the ground level sparked her interest in development sector. Post her Fellowship, she worked as a Product Manager at early stage startups. There she came face to face with the direct impact technology has on the lives of people. Her extensive research on lives of auto rickshaw drivers with the introduction of technology was instrumental in forming this belief. She also worked with an education startup heading its content area. Milan completed her degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi. She enjoys watching movies and reading up on trivia in her spare time.

Evan Bartlett, GHD '18

Evan Bartlett graduated from Bryant University in 2013 with a BA in history and another in political science. After graduating, she worked as a project coordinator with the 2Seeds Network, a nonprofit organization partnering with subsistence farmers in rural Tanzania. She spent a year in a remote village helping a small group of farmers to increase productivity and ultimately profitability by making strategic changes to group dynamics and planning as well as crop transportation. This experience was truly formative for her, and she has pursued a career in international development ever since. She followed up her time in Africa with an organic gardening internship in the north of India. She comes to the GHD with an enthusiasm for food security and agricultural sustainability.  

Nikunj Beria, GHD '18

Nikunj Beria joins GHD after five years of experience across organizations in the development sector. In GHD, he is pursuing a dual specialization in Finance and Energy & Environment. Most recently, he worked with a USAID funded project in Indonesia on a climate change adaptation project with Multinational corporations to build their supply chain more resilient to climate change. He started his professional career with the Teach For India fellowship where he initiated scholarship programs and a solar energy project. Nikunj aspires to work in the private sector at the intersection of technology and development. Nikunj graduated from Manipal Institute of Technology, India with a Bachelor's of Engineering in Electronics and Communication.  Click here to read Nikunj's Student Feature.

Molly Bernstein, GHD '18

Molly Bernstein graduated from Brown University in 2013 with a BA in international relations. After graduating, she moved to Cairo, Egypt and then Amman, Jordan to complete the Center for Arabic Study Abroad fellowship for a year of intensive Arabic language study. She remained in Jordan as the business-to-business manager at Jamalon, the largest online bookstore in the Middle East. There, she built the company's offline customer base in the Middle East as well as in North America and Europe. While in Jordan, Molly volunteered as an intake interviewer for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), conducting interviews with refugees living in Amman. Most recently, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey as a fellow at the Fuller Project for International Reporting where she worked on written and video journalism around topics such as Syrian girls' education in Turkey, treatment of refugee women in Europe, and Europe's response to the refugee crisis. Molly speaks Arabic and looks forward to continuing studying Spanish at Georgetown. 

Ali Blumenstock, GHD '18

Ali Blumenstock graduated from Bucknell University where she was awarded Phi Beta Kappa honors and the university’s prizes in environmental studies and Latin American studies. At Bucknell, she solidified her passion for international development through coursework and her studies in Nicaragua. After working with a public health and human rights NGO in Nicaragua that was investigating the causes of a fatal kidney disease epidemic, Ali recognized the importance of confronting environmental and justice issues from a community-based approach. Since graduating, she has worked for several domestic environmental non-profit organizations that focus on community mobilization and action, including Green Corps and the Sierra Club. Her work with environmental organizations both broadened her knowledge of environmental issues and exposed the intersection between climate change and justice. Ali aspires to work with frontline communities to develop a vision to erase the unequal burdens created by climate change, and hopes to spend her time at Georgetown exploring ways to link justice and community empowerment to environmental initiatives, particularly in Latin America.  

Yanique Campbell, GHD '18

Yanique Campbell’s interest in development management stems from professional experience addressing the socio-economic dimensions of migration through programs that advance economic development with sustainable livelihoods and social service delivery. Born and raised in Jamaica, she migrated to the U.S. where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a Spanish translation certification at American University’s School of International Service. She has worked across a variety of sectors in poverty action, most recently with the United Nations World Food Program to spearhead strategy development to improve social protection systems and build community resilience across the Latin America and the Caribbean region. She is a State Department Rangel Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar alumna. Prior to joining GHD, she worked on the FARM Bill and US foreign trade in Congress, education programs at the Organization of American States, and a variety of social programs for immigrants in Spain and Washington, DC She will focus her graduate studies on monitoring and evaluation and international migration. Yanique enjoys cooking Tasty’s latest recipes, dances salsa, and hopes her next travel adventures take her to Southeast Asia.

Gustavo Castillo, GHD '18

Gustavo Castillo graduated cum laude from the University of Mary Washington, where he received a BA in International Affairs and French. As an undergraduate student, Gustavo spent a year in Paris, France studying at the Paris-Nanterre University and the Catholic Institute of Paris. Gustavo currently works at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) as a research assistant, where he collaborates in education and child literacy projects in the Latin American region. At AIR, he cooperated in conducting a literature review on early grade reading, and conducted qualitative analysis of survey data on education and teacher training in Uganda. Last summer, he interned with UNICEF in Amman, Jordan, where he was responsible for monitoring summer school transportation services for Syrian refugees and vulnerable children, as well as designing surveys and conducting data collection trainings for UNICEF's education campaigns. Gustavo is interested in education issues and humanitarian assistance, particularly working with children. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he speaks English, Spanish, and French.  

Kelly DaleKelly Dale, GHD '18

Kelly Dale graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University where she majored in child development and community development and minored in sociology. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Kelly spent two years with the Peace Corps in Benin as a rural community health advisor, focusing on gender equality and girls’ empowerment. She was involved in the girls’ scholarship program, started a girls’ health club, led multiple girls’ camps, and collaborated with fellow volunteers on a documentary on the importance of girls’ education in Benin. For two years after the Peace Corps, Kelly worked with Jhpiego, a global health non-profit affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. As a senior program coordinator, Kelly managed the Nigeria, Rwanda, and Liberia country programs, and split her time between Washington DC and the field. At Georgetown, Kelly is specializing in gender and development both in the classroom and through her various internships. She spent the summer between her first and second years in Cote d’Ivoire with the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab, working on an impact evaluation of safe spaces for adolescent girls. During her second year, Kelly was the gender policy and aid effectiveness intern with Save the Children and is currently a research assistant at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. Kelly speaks French, is an avid traveler, and enjoys cooking.

Joseph DiSilvio, GHD '18

Joseph DiSilvio joins the GHD program after seven years as a special education teacher in low-income and immigrant communities in New York. After his BA in International Studies from the University of Washington, he joined Teach for America and has devoted his career since to closing the achievement gap between wealthy and poor children. As a teacher, he led several initiatives to improve curriculum and instruction and trained new teachers as a corps member advisor with Teach for America. After five years in the classroom, he took a yearlong sabbatical with his wife, traveling to 12 countries in the Middle East, Asia, and South America. These experiences inspired him to broaden his career to improving educational access, quality, and equity internationally. In addition to his BA, Joseph earned an MS in elementary education and students with disabilities from Pace University. He speaks Spanish and has basic working knowledge of Hindi. He spends most of his free time playing guitar and banjo or listening to live music. 

Meagan Dooley, GHD '18

Meagan Dooley graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2014 where she majored in international relations and minored in women’s studies. As an undergraduate student, she spent a semester studying in Jerusalem learning Arabic while volunteering at a Palestinian high school. This sparked her passion for the Middle East and North Africa region and for building bridges towards mutual understanding between cultures. After graduation, she spent a year in Eskisehir, Turkey as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA), teaching English to over 200 Turkish university students. As an ETA, Meagan started an afterschool a literature and drama club, and organized a student production of Our Town by Thorton Wilder, performed in English. Last year, she served as a program assistant for the Middle East Studies Program, a US-based study abroad program located in Amman, Jordan. She assisted in students’ intercultural adaptation process, facilitated student internships with local NGOs working with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and served as the program’s teaching assistant, resident advisor, and administrative assistant. Meagan is excited to join GHD, where she hopes to build on her overseas experience with new technical expertise and further area study. Meagan plans to specialize in the public sector while pursuing an Arab certificate, and hopes to look at how democratization efforts can be reimagined in an Islamic and Arab context, taking culture, religion, and history into account to create more stable and lasting governmental change in the region. 

Nadia Ilunga, GHD '18

Nadia Ilunga completed her BA at the College of William and Mary where she studied government and Africana studies. She studied abroad at the University of Cape Town where she volunteered with youth empowerment programs through Students Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO). Following graduation, Nadia began work in program management with HEAL Africa, based in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This experience spurred her interest in social enterprise initiatives and sustainable development. Nadia has also interned for IMA World Health where she contributed to a project supporting the introduction of a new human resource management tool to DRC. Nadia comes to GHD eager to deepen her understanding of the development challenges facing conflict-affected countries and the roles of self-sustaining initiatives in international development.     

John Jordan, GHD '18

John Jordan graduated from Gettysburg College in 2009 with a degree in political science and Spanish. After graduation, John served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, working with HIV clinics and local NGOs to increase awareness about HIV. After the Peace Corps, John worked for a variety of international development organizations in Central America including USAID, the Peace Corps, and projects funded by the US State Department, The Global Fund, and the United Nations Population Fund. He has experience working on projects in HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal/child health, citizen security & violence prevention, and food security. A newcomer to the DC world, John enjoys convincing his friends and roommates that pupusas are the “next big thing” in alternative currencies in a shameless attempt to get them to accept payments in the delicious Salvadorian street food.  

Gayle Martin, GHD '18

Gayle Martin is a Master’s candidate in Global Human Development at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Global Social Enterprise and Development Fellow. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a BA in political science and Spanish, Gayle spent over five years working in international development and education in Washington, DC and Latin America. Her experience includes teaching in rural Honduras, working at the Secretary of Education of the Yucatán in Mexico on a Fulbright scholarship, and supporting President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere, 100,000 Strong in the Americas. While at Georgetown, Gayle has consulted for the World Bank and spent three months in Rwanda with the Education Development Center (EDC), working on a MasterCard Foundation youth workforce development project. Gayle is currently working on her Master's capstone project with Dalberg Capital on an innovative financing mechanism to improve access to higher education for low- and middle-income students in Tanzania. Gayle speaks Spanish and is interested in exploring how to leverage innovative programmatic and financial models to improve global education and employment outcomes.

Dalia Mehiar, GHD '18

Dalia Mehiar graduated from Smith College with a BA in government and international relations and French studies. During this period, she studied abroad at the University of Geneva and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. While there, she had the opportunity to intern for a non-governmental organization that helps other NGOs in capacity building. She offered training programs on the efficient use of tools provided by the United Nations system. She also interned for a government relations firm that monitors and analyzes activities of the UN system and organizes multi-stakeholder meetings and consultation events for clients. In her native Amman, Jordan, she held internships at the Royal Hashemite Court and at several non-profits, in areas that include economic empowerment and capacity building for youth and women. Most recently, she served as a congressional liaison officer at the Jordanian Embassy in Washington DC for two years and worked to connect Embassy diplomats and Jordanian officials with U.S Congress members. She speaks Arabic, English, and French, and will be studying Spanish during her time at Georgetown. Dalia is particularly interested in the question of youth unemployment and refugee and forced displacement issues.   

Olivia Nesbit, GHD '18

Olivia Nesbit graduated magna cum laude from The George Washington University with her BA in International Development Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs. During her undergraduate career, she participated in two internships with the U.S. Department of State. After graduating from the Elliott School, Olivia spent two years serving as an English and Gender Education Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. This experience sparked her passion for gender equality as it relates to development. While in Togo, she taught middle school English and organized community outreach events and trainings focused on gender equality, malaria, hygiene and food security. Additionally, she served in leadership roles for projects such as Togo’s Women’s Wellness and Empowerment Conference, Togo’s Gender and Development Committee and the Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation Taskforce. During her first year at Georgetown in the GHD Program, she assisted the Togo Threshold Program Team at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. During the summer after her first year at Georgetown, Olivia worked as a Summer Consultant for Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Conakry, Guinea assisting with the implementation of a Strategic Delivery Unit created by the Guinean Prime Minister’s Office. She focused on monitoring and evaluation of specific, priority government programs. She is passionate about women’s and girls’ empowerment and believes that data can, and should, play a greater role in effective policy-making. Olivia enjoys exploring new places, meeting new people and training for the occasional half marathon.

Mai Nguyen, GHD '18

Mai Nguyen joins GHD after three years of experiences in international education development and project management. After graduating from Vassar College with a BA in economics and international studies, Mai was awarded the Princeton in Latin America fellowship to work at Unidad Académica Campesina – Carmen Pampa, a rural university serving indigenous communities in the Nor Yungas region of Bolivia. During this time, Mai managed the university’s external relations and coordinated several international collaboration projects to improve university infrastructure and enhance learning opportunities for students. Mai later moved to Vietnam to work in international service learning with Peacework, where she took a lead role in developing community partnerships in Vietnam and India to create projects focusing on education, public health, agriculture and sustainable energy. Most recently, Mai joined Room to Read and was responsible for implementing and monitoring girls’ education program for 520 middle-school girls in the Mekong Delta region. At GHD, she hopes to further pursue her interests in education, gender and inequality issues. Mai is from Hanoi, Vietnam and speaks Spanish and Vietnamese.

Carly Olenick, GHD '18

Carly Olenick completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California in Los Angeles with a BA in Levantine Archaeology and a minor in Geospatial Information Systems. She went on to manage geospatial data at a technology firm in San Diego before joining the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs as the 2014-2015 Human Rights and Welfare Fellow. While working for the Ministry in Jerusalem, Carly managed cases of honor-based violence in minority communities, drafted English language communications for the International Affairs Division, and prepared in-depth briefings for Israeli ministers. Upon returning to the United States, Carly joined USAID's Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance where she served on the Ethiopian Drought Response Management Team and continues to support the Africa Disaster Response Division.  

Nick Rogerson, GHD '18

Nick Rogerson was born in Texas and grew up in Massachusetts and Vermont. He attended Colorado College where he majored in Philosophy, focusing on literature and political thought. After college, he moved to Japan to teach English and stayed for almost two years before returning to pursue a graduate degree in Philosophy at the University of Toledo where he specialized on political thought, critical social theory, and the relationship between public and philosophical discourse and institutional change. He spent the next few years teaching in philosophy departments at University of Toledo, Middlebury College, and Northern Kentucky University. During this time, Nick co-founded Global Family Initiative's (GFI) Betasab Project, a nonprofit providing holistic empowerment to marginalized women and children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Through the project, 20 children are cared for in Origins Homes, 25 children have access to more affordable schooling through the Learning Lions Scholarship Program, and the SHEBA program for Women's Empowerment will launch soon. Nick likes food, travel, being outside, music, reading, and learning, and is excited to continue working on policy issues in development economics and socio-political institutional reform in challenging and enriching environments.  

Rushika Shekhar, GHD '18

Rushika Shekhar joins the GHD program with almost five years of experience in international development. Most recently, Rushika worked as a project manager at Dimagi, a social enterprise focused on leveraging mobile technology to improve last-mile service delivery. At Dimagi, Rushika lead partnerships and business development for Asia and managed a range of projects from small pilots to national scale implementations, focused primarily on India and Myanmar. Previously, Rushika worked on gender advocacy and program development with UN Women Singapore as an English teacher in rural Tanzania and with a sports for development program with the Naz Foundation in New Delhi. Rushika is originally from Singapore and graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs.

Scott Sroda, GHD '18

Scott Sroda graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a BA in both international studies and history and a certificate in African studies. During his final year in college, he interned in Uganda with CARITAS for Children, helping to develop a program to sponsor the education of young girls. After graduation, he continued with CARITAS and was stationed in Nkokonjeru, Uganda as its first African field office coordinator. Scott then moved back to the United States and was a social worker at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care in Milwaukee, an adult day care center for the elderly and adults with special needs. While there, he was promoted to director of adult day services. Scott is excited to return to the international development sector, and to re-engage his passion for educational development in sub-Saharan African countries.  

Kelsey Weber, GHD '18

Kelsey Weber joins GHD after six years of experience in nonprofit and international development. She recently returned from Liberia, where she worked for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a part of the Ebola Response, leading proposal development and grant management for early recovery health programming. Prior to her time in Liberia, Kelsey served as a Community Economic Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, where she worked closely with the National Reserve of Popenguine and a women-owned eco-lodge, improving their marketing and business practices, expanding the ecotourism network in Senegal and starting an environmental education program for local students. During her service she developed an interest in economic empowerment and gender equality. Following this passion, Kelsey joined the Women’s Protection and Empowerment Unit at the IRC, where she supported programs and trainings throughout the Middle East and Africa. At Georgetown Kelsey plans to concentrate on social enterprises and economic empowerment, as well as deepen her understanding of gender equality issues. Kelsey double majored in Anthropology and Economics at Ohio State University and speaks French and Wolof.  

Emma Willenborg, GHD '18

Emma Willenborg joins GHD after five years of working in the field of international development and exploring issues of food security, natural resource management, and economic development. She graduated from Grinnell College in 2011 with a degree in economics and global development studies. While at Grinnell, Emma pursued her interests through an internship with Tostan, a small non-profit focused on issues of women’s health and human rights, a study abroad program in Dakar, Senegal, and an independent research project assessing community-based responses to industrial fishing threats in Kayar, Senegal. She went on to a short-term position with the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa to support preparation for the 2012 World Food Prize before joining the U.S. Peace Corps in Madagascar as a Community Economic Development volunteer. In this capacity, Emma worked closely with farmers, schools, and artisan associations to design and implement community development initiatives including a school feeding program, youth empowerment camps, and trainings on microfinance, marketing, and financial and organizational management. Most recently, Emma worked at Chemonics International where she managed the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) project in 12 countries throughout West and Central Africa and Haiti, and contributed to various technical activities as well as business development efforts. Emma is fluent in French and Malagasy, and plans to complete a specialization in Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods at GHD.