January 25, 2024

Center for Global Affairs Alumni Spotlight: Sameen Zehra

M.S. in Global Affairs ‘20

Concentration in Peacebuilding

Currently, Sameen works as a Youth Civic Action Coordinator for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in collaboration with the Strong Cities Network.

What makes you proud to be an alum?
I am proud to be a CGA alum because I am part of a supportive and inspiring community of people working in diverse ways to tackle some of the most complex global issues.

What are your main areas of responsibility in your current role?
In this role, I work mainly on the Strong Cities Network’s ‘Young Cities’ program where I support young people globally, most recently in Pakistan and Belgium, to build their project management and leadership skills and fund their community initiatives for social action. This includes facilitating workshops and webinars for youth activists and peacebuilders, developing training resources, managing partnerships and grants with local partners, and helping municipal governments to better support young people in their peacebuilding efforts. I also support Strong Cities’ work on fostering collaboration between local and national government and civil society actors to address challenges related to hate, extremism and polarisation.

How did your time at the CGA help prepare you for this role?
My time at CGA was critical in preparing me for the career path I’m on now. It gave me exposure to professors, peers and resources that were dedicated to finding practical solutions to complex global challenges. Being a part of this highly supportive network and environment motivated me to find my own unique path in the field of global affairs and encouraged me to be an innovative, interdisciplinary and self-aware thinker outside of the classroom. The program had a great mix of practical and theoretical courses, diverse student perspectives, and opportunities to gain hands-on experience in areas like peacebuilding and international security — through the Workshop in Applied Peacebuilding or CTED practicum, for example. I have continued to reach out to my CGA professors since graduating and gain advice from the friends I made in the program. It’s helped shaped my professional journey so far and will continue to do so in the future.

Related Articles