The below profiles reflect current students’ interests in and experiences of Eastern Mediterranean Affairs at The Fletcher School. As you will note, the students span degree programs, fields of study, and disciplines, and they have incorporated regional analysis into their academic coursework, research, summer internships, and professional paths. These profiles are updated frequently, so please check back soon! If you are a current student focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean or related topics in your Fletcher coursework, internship, or capstone, and you want to be featured on the site, please fill out this survey.


Mohsen Alateeqi

Mohsen is a second-year MALD student from Kuwait. He is a graduate of Bentley University, where he received a B.S. in Corporate Finance and Accounting. His primary interests are Middle Eastern studies, international and alternative finance, democratization and colonial studies.






Waleed Al Mutawa

Waleed is a second-year MALD student focusing on Investing for Impact, specifically in emerging markets. Prior to Fletcher, he worked at investment banks and consulting firms in Kuwait. At the Fares Center, he created a podcast titled, “Umbrellas in The Desert,” which focuses on the different aspects of the Gulf.




Zaina Basha

Zaina is a first-year student concentrating in International Security and Comparative and Regional Studies. Zaina spent the past ten years exercising her entrepreneurial skills by opening a small business that offered resources to support immigrants and newcomers with their aspirations to join the local workforce. Previously, Zaina worked as a Policy Analyst and a Researcher in the foreign policy field. Zaina has over five years of experience running projects about the Levant and the Middle East regions.


Dana Duffis

Dana is a second-year MALD student focusing on migration and refugee’s resettlement. Dana studied Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science as an undergraduate, and is originally from the Middle East (half Iraqi and half Palestinian). Dana supports the Rian Migration Center and for the International Institute of New England and loves to help non-native speakers to learn more about the Middle East and the Arabic language. Dana hopes to eventually work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


Jingjing Gao

Jingjing is a second-year MGA student and a world traveler. She spent the past four years working in Dubai; this provided her with a better understanding of the Middle East and was formative in her embracing of Arab culture. In her free time, she enjoys jazz and stand-up comedy.




Angelina Grosso

Angelina is the graphic designer for the Fares Center and is a first-year MALD student. Her fields of study are technology & international affairs and global governance & international organizations, with a specific interest in public diplomacy.




Leen Hayek

Leen is a first-year MALD student from Jordan, interested in the intersection of technology, innovation, energy, and global business. Leen has a B.S. in Engineering Sciences with focus on renewable energy. Leen worked as an advisor in the international development sector across multiple projects focusing on labor market reform, refugee capacity building, and promoting private-public partnership models in the renewable energy and ICT sectors in Jordan.



Kate Hibbert

Kate is a first-year MALD student focusing on negotiation and conflict resolution and Middle East studies. Prior to Fletcher, she managed major fundraising campaigns and events and coordinated data projects across departments at a nonprofit tuition-free middle school dedicated to serving newcomer refugee girls in Decatur, Georgia, U.S. She holds a bachelor’s degree in World Languages with a minor in TESOL from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, during which she studied in France, Argentina, and Jordan to learn French, Spanish, and Arabic. Her hometown is Ypsilanti, Michigan. Kate hopes to strengthen diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA), peacebuilding, and conflict resolution efforts in her 

career in international relations and public service.


Kasidit Jantarasombat

Kasidit is Thailand’s Foreign Ministry Scholar focusing on Middle East Studies. Prior to joining The Fletcher School, Kasidit obtained a B.A. in Arab and Islamic History from the University of Jordan. Kasidit also spent 2 years studying Fusha and Ammiya Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman. After completing his MALD, Kasidit will be working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand.




Yael Krifcher

Yael is a first-year MALD student, focusing on International Development and Human Security. Yael graduated from Wesleyan University in 2019, and has spent the last three years based in Jerusalem, where she first worked for a local human rights NGO focused on spatial planning rights for Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and then as a UN contractor working within the Palestinian energy sector. Originally from the DC area, Yael is fluent in Hebrew and proficient in Arabic, and is excited to support the work of the Fares Center this year.


Anshu Meghe

Anshu is a second-year MALD student specializing in International Security and Development studies. Prior to coming to Fletcher, he worked with the Government of Maharashtra in India in various capacities to implement multi-agency projects that promote rural livelihoods, financial inclusion, and women entrepreneurship. He is passionate about developing approaches for economic policy implementation in conflict-prone communities that accommodate culture and diversity to bring them to the economic forefront.


Ciara Moezidis

Ciara is the social media coordinator for the Fares Center. She is a first-year MALD student also pursuing a dual degree at Harvard Divinity School. She focuses on human rights issues of ethnoreligious persecution, apartheid, and genocide in the MENA region. She is also passionate about bringing a more human-rights-centered and religiously-literate approach to U.S. foreign policy. Born and raised in California, Ciara attended Santa Clara University, where she served as student body president and held internships on Capitol Hill, at the Project on Middle East Democracy, and with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. She spent last summer in Palestine/Israel and speaks Spanish, Farsi and dabbles in Levantine Arabic.


Simran Sharma

Simran is a second-year MALD student concentrating upon security studies and international negotiations. Her academic interests include the rise of China and the strategic competition in South Asia with focus on maritime issues in the Asia-Pacific. Prior to her degree at Fletcher, she worked in the international development space in India as a Gandhi Fellow with the Piramal Foundation. She leads the Women in International Security club (WIIS) at The Fletcher School and is a weekly contributor at Foreign Brief.


Yvonne Silva

Yvonne is a MALD student focusing on International Security Studies, International Business, and International Organization & Global Governance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies with a concentration in international relations and diplomacy with a geographical focus in the Middle East and North Africa region from the University of Oregon. She studied Arabic at Princess Sumaya University for Technology in Amman, Jordan and studied Spanish Universidad de Oviedo in Oviedo, Spain. Prior to joining Fletcher, she worked for several years in civil litigation firms in the Pacific Northwest and worked for the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in Madrid, Spain. She volunteers her time in helping immigrant families in their visa application process, interpreting services, and providing resources. She speaks Spanish, English, and intermediate Arabic.



Dalila Sumani Zakari

Dalila is a first-year MALD student where she uses the power of policy and advocacy to make the life of minority better within deeply flawed systems. Her belief in policy and organizations for public good has drawn her to work in diverse sectors including IOM – UN Migration, GlobalGiving and CAMFED and many more. Dalila aspires to be a social policy analyst who develops ideas to address complex policy questions surrounding minority. Dalila’s specific fields of interests lies at the intersection of gender, migration and labour issues with a specific focus on Ghana.



Mustafa Gül

Mustafa is a second-year Januarian MALD student from Turkey with fields of study in international negotiation and conflict resolution. He has served as the Turkish Language Table Leader. He is a graduate of Bogazici University in Istanbul, where he studied Political Science and International Relations. His field While completing his undergraduate degree, Mustafa also participated in an exchange program at the American University of Beirut. Prior to beginning his studies at Fletcher, Mustafa worked as a tax analyst for Ernst & Young.  



Alexander Kochenburger

Alex is a second-year MALD student originally from Storrs, Connecticut with fields of study in human security and conflict resolution. He received his B.A. in International Studies from the College of the Holy Cross. Before attending Fletcher, Alex was an employee of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program with AMIDEAST in Washington, D.C. and also studied Arabic with the Center for Arabic Study Abroad program. His primary interests lie in international education, youth engagement, and conflict resolution. 


Miriam Israel

Miriam is in her second year as a dual-degree student at the Fletcher School and the Harvard Divinity School studying environmental policy and the role of faith communities in combatting climate change. She previously worked at a refugee resettlement agency as well as at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, supporting inclusive governance and political organizing by LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities and religious and ethnic minorities. She grew up in Maryland and speaks Hebrew, Arabic and French.


Will Crass

Will is a second-year MALD student at The Fletcher School, focusing on the Middle East with fields of study in Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization. He is originally from the Boston area and received his BA in 2019 from Dickinson College in International Studies and Arabic. Prior to his time at Fletcher, Will worked in Egypt at The American University in Cairo. He is interested in political movements and 20th-century history in the Levant and Iraq.




Nezihe Fazilet

Nezihe is a second-year Januarian MALD student from Turkey focusing on law and institutions, international development, and development economics. She received her B.A. in Economics from Bilkent University in Ankara. Prior to Fletcher, she worked as a senior legislative expert concentrating on gender equality and European Union harmonization at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara and as a foreign law consultant at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. She joined the Fares Center in Fall 2021 and leads the Turkish Language Table.