Students & Alumni
In the field with Democracy and Governance students and alumni
Students in the M.A. Program in Democracy and Governance enter the program with diverse experiences and interests in democracy, accountable governance, international development, public policy, and security. The program seeks to understand the foundations of democratic and responsive government, and how policymakers can create and implement policies to achieve these objectives, while preparing students for both careers and further study in these areas.
Many Democracy and Governance students and alumni are experiencing success in the field through work with the U.S. Government, non-profit organizations, academia, and for-profit consulting firms. Students and graduates credit the M.A. Program in Democracy and Governance for providing them with the knowledge and skills to make meaningful contributions in the field.
Development Alternatives, Inc.
Global consulting firm Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) works with governments, businesses, and civil society to advance development solutions and programs, and is a leading contractor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Danny Adams (’08) works in business development, Danielle Pearl (’10) supports DAI’s Thailand portfolio, Emily Siedlak (’10)
and Johanna Womer-Benjamin (’09) are field recruiters in support of USAID projects in Afghanistan, and Andrew Vasile (’09) solicits, awards, and monitors subcontracts and grants on the ground in Afghanistan. Each graduate agrees that the program taught them about the international aid community and how to think critically about U.S. foreign assistance.
The World Bank Institute
The World Bank Institute is the World Bank’s think tank, and is the principal provider of the Bank'scapacity building programs. Democracy and Governance alumnus Austan Mogharabi (’09) works with governments to improve procurement systems through oversight, electronic procurement systems, and procurement reform. Current student Marcelo Buitron (’11) works with a program to create local coalitions between civil society and members of the judiciary in Latin America to improve accountability. The Democracy and Governance Program gave Austan and Marcelo an understanding of development theory, governance, and the rule of law, as well as the relevance of institutions and stakeholders in creating coalitions and promoting reform.
National Democratic Institute (NDI)
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a leading non-profit in strengthening democracy and improving governance. Democracy and Governance graduates Melinda Haring (’10)
, Andrew Mandelbaum (’08)
, Lindsay Robinson (’10)
, and Kim Schneider (’09) support NDI programs on Eurasia, global governance, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe, respectively. The program prepared them to think critically about the issues and stakeholders involved in democracy assistance while also providing important opportunities for networking and learning from practitioners.
2009 Afghanistan Elections
In August 2009, Democracy and Governance Associate Director Barak Hoffman and graduates Austan Mogharabi (’09)
, Danielle Pearl (’10)
, Evan Smith (’08)
, and Miki Wilkins (’08) served as election observers for the presidential and provincial elections in Afghanistan with leading consulting firm Democracy International (DI). As short-term observers, Hoffman, Mogharabi, and Pearl were deployed on Election Day to specific regions to monitor polling stations for irregularities. As program officers for DI, Smith managed the firm's press operations and Wilkins served as observer coordinator in Kabul, directing deployment on Election Day and monitoring security constraints. Because of such constraints, observers could not employ many common election observation practices such as random sampling at polling places. The program prepared each graduate to think analytically about the process and value of observation, especially in a high-stakes, conflict environment like Afghanistan.
From the Democracy and Society Blog