Peace Studies Students Partner with International Organizations in the Field


Oleksii Kovalenko in Washington D.C.

In July, 16 second-year Keough School Master of Global Affairs (MGA) students departed for internships with partner organizations in Baltimore, Maryland; Bogotá, Colombia; Nairobi, Kenya; Seattle, Washington; South Bend, Indiana; and Washington, D.C.


The internships are part of an integrated field learning process that allows MGA students to deepen their identity as reflective practitioners and their professional peacebuilding experience.


Students who select the International Peace Studies concentration participate in a six-month internship with a leading organization working on peace and justice issues in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, or the United States. Throughout the two-year immersive experience, students in the IPS concentration are supported by Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies faculty and staff members Susan St. Ville, director of the IPS concentration, and Jennifer Betz, assistant director of the IPS concentration.


Students work four days per week with their organization and spend one day each week focused on field research on a topic of their choosing. This research will be the foundation of a capstone project that each student will complete during the final semester of the MGA program.


Examples of this year’s internship placements include:


In Baltimore, Maryland:

  • Dijba Soumaoro, Catholic Relief Services

In Bogotá, Colombia:

  • Maria Camila Posse Gaez, World Bank

In Nairobi, Kenya:

  • Loyce Mwera and Parusha Naidoo, Life and Peace Institute
  • Rhea Silvosa and Zhu Qing, ACT! Nairobi

In South Bend, Indiana:

  • Aminata Karim, Near Northwest Neighborhood, Inc.

In Washington, D.C.:

  • Oleksii Kovalenko, Voice of America and Alliance for Securing Democracy (housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States)
  • Malalai Habibi, International Civil Society Action Network and the Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Lamia Malik, World Bank
  • Subhiya Mastonshoeva, International Civil Society Action Network
  • Mohammed (Omar) Metwally, Global Center on Cooperative Security, The Prevention Project

A selection of this year’s student research topics include:

Img 9902 1Maria Camila Posse Gaez is completing her field placement in Bogota, Colombia.

  • how community organizing can bring positive neighborhood change in South Bend, Indiana (Aminata Karim);
  • the Afghan government’s handling of women’s inclusion in national peace processes (Malalai Habibi);
  • integration of religious leaders and young people into peacebuilding work in Mali (Djiba Soumaoro);
  • the moral and political foundations of Colombian elites as they relate to armed conflict (Maria Camila Posse Gaez);
  • district Peace Committees in Kenya and how people and institutions coalesce around the common objective of peace (Parusha Naidoo);
  • and the role that gender plays within the devolution process in Kenya (Loyce Mrewa).

You can follow students in the field by reading the Keough Insider student blog.


Learn more about the Master of Global Affairs Program and how to apply.


About the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies


The University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, is one of the world's leading centers for the study of the causes of violent conflict and strategies for sustainable peace.


Contact: Susan St. Ville, 574-631-2628,

               Hannah Heinzekehr, Director of Communications, 574-631-1808,