Peace studies MGA graduate awarded fellowship for postgraduate employment

Author: Renée LaReau

Master of Global Affairs student Rana El-Beheiry during her fall 2020 internship with Mercy Corps in Lebanon. Photo: Mercy Corps

The Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame has awarded Rana El-Beheiry the 2020 Hesburgh Global Fellowship. 

El-Beheiry graduated in 2020 with a master of global affairs degree with a concentration in international peace studies. The international peace studies concentration is administered by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. 

El-Beheiry, who is from Egypt, will work as a program officer for ICAN, the International Civil Society Action Network. ICAN supports civil society activism by promoting women’s rights, peace, and human security in countries affected by conflict, transition and closed political spaces. The organization connects activists and the policy community and supports women activists by helping them develop skills and fostering the exchange of knowledge and resources. El-Beheiry’s responsibilities will include supporting the engagement of women in peacebuilding processes in Syria, Libya, and Iraq. She also supports partner organizations in writing grant proposals. 

“I enjoy working for an organization that utilizes a bottom-up, grassroots approach,” El-Beheiry said. “We rely on a foundation of trust with our local partners, offering guidance as needed but not imposing a specific strategy or agenda.” 

In the beginning, El-Beheiry will work remotely from her home in Cairo. After the coronavirus pandemic subsides, she will relocate to ICAN’s office in Washington, DC.

As a master’s student, El-Beheiry interned for six months at Mercy Corps in Lebanon, where she focused on monitoring and evaluation. Before coming to the Keough School, she worked closely with Catholic Relief Services and interned with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, working to improve conditions for Syrian refugees in Egypt. 

In addition to this award for El-Beheiry, the Keough School also awarded Theresa Puhr, another member of the MGA Class of 2020, the Raymond C. Offenheiser Fellowship. Both fellowships, awarded annually, subsidize employment with organizations that foster human dignity and equality.

The Keough School’s Master of Global Affairs program prepares students for skilled, effective leadership and careers in government, nongovernmental and civil society organizations, and the private sector. The program integrates rigorous coursework, close engagement with policymakers, multi-disciplinary faculty and students from around the world, and extended field work around the globe.