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Alumni & Careers

The international area centers and programs that make up SGS have influenced the career decisions of thousands of students. Our alumni are truly global. They live throughout the world, have built careers around a diverse range of interests, and value many aspects of their global education since leaving Stanford. Below, they reflect on their academic and professional careers.

Akhil Iyer

Akhil Iyer

Master's student in public policy and business administration, Harvard University

B.A. International Relations '11 

Stanford has an amazing focus on interdisciplinary studies. Some of my favorite classes were those that focused on the intersection between international relations, economics, science, and technology. I immensely enjoyed the opportunity learn from esteemed faculty that shared real-world insights and inculcated an appreciation for analyzing world problems through multiple lenses.

Lillian Rogers

Policy Manager, U.S. Information Technology Office, Beijing

B.A. International Relations, Global Studies Internship Program participant '13

“My two internships have been transformative, essentially launching my career. My first internship at the Beijing Policy Center gave me my first true taste of working in China and my second internship at Caixin News provided the source material for my IR honors thesis and also landed me my current job. As a government relations consultant, I’m able to do what I love: study China’s fascinating and complex political economy while also having a real-world impact by facilitating client successes. All of this is thanks to the internships I was able to participate in because of Stanford, which gave me experience, allowed me to hone my language skills, and helped me build connections here.”

Rachel Quint

Program Fellow, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

B.A. International Relations; M.A. African Studies '11

“Immediately after graduating, I moved to Ethiopia where I first worked for an organization providing services to refugees, and then for the UN World Food Programme as a liaison to the African Union. My academic work in IR and African Studies allowed me to think critically about my contribution to international development and more responsibly engage in my work abroad. I am now working for the Hewlett Foundation, leading work on the post-2015 development agenda.”


Nathan Keegan

Senior Data Scientist, Booz Allen Hamilton

M.A. Latin American Studies '12

“Without the superior Stanford network and LAS resources I would have never acquired my first job as a speechwriter at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC. After two years there, both LAS and OIA were again instrumental in helping me win the Boren Fellowship to study Portuguese in Brazil, and I’m now fulfilling my public service as a Senior Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. I can’t say enough about LAS’ dedication to both its students and its alumni; I received intensive, personalized one-on-one feedback from a number of SGS faculty and staff, even though I was two years removed from the university. To me, LAS isn’t just a degree, but a lifelong network of resources and support.”

Robin Swearingen

Associate, Europe and Eurasian Region, Chemonics International

M.A. Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies '14

“CREEES supported me in deepening my understanding of the Eurasia region, via research into the foundations of Tajikistan’s statehood, participation in intensive Persian and Russian language classes, and in-depth study of Eastern European humanities. As an associate for the consulting firm Chemonics International, I now help manage and implement multi-million dollar USAID economic growth and trade facilitation projects in Moldova and the Central Asian Republics. In this role, I am able to continue exploring the vast former Soviet space, connect with pioneering business leaders, and foster more robust Eurasian economies.”

Andrew Gee

Director, Albright Stonebridge Group

M.A. East Asian Studies '15

“There is no better place to study Asian foreign policy and political economy than at Stanford. Taking advantage of the highly interdisciplinary nature of the M.A. program at CEAS, I was fortunate to take not only advanced foreign language and area studies courses, but also extremely useful courses at the law school, GSB, and IPS program—all of which prepared me well for my recent career growth and current role managing Asia engagements at a premier boutique consultancy that advises Fortune 100 firms on business strategy and regulatory challenges in emerging markets worldwide. In particular, the intensive foreign policy seminars I took with Condoleezza Rice, Anja Manuel, Alice Miller, Michael Armacost, and Thomas Fingar, pushed me to my intellectual limits, and forced me to develop razorsharp critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills that I now use daily in my work. Undoubtedly, my two years at Stanford offered unmatched intellectual rigor and reward—and provided far more gifts than I had ever anticipated, not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but also in terms of a global network and institutional brand name that continually open doors."

Davis Albohm

Associate Director, Global Operations, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies

M.A. African Studies '11

“My experience at CAS set my life’s trajectory. While facing both challenges and opportunities in my current work in East and West Africa, I draw on the research I conducted, the enduring relationships I made, and the amazing CAS community to influence my actions and decisions. The impact of being touched by CAS is immense… it changed my life.”


Avital Livny

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois.

Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies grant recipient; Ph.D. Political Science '14

“Islamic Studies was critical in helping me stay connected to the people and places that are the focus of my research as a political scientist, while broadening my personal and professional network within the Stanford community. Now, as I begin the next phase of my career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, I hope to be able to recreate this rich interdisciplinary experience, for myself as well as for my students.”

Zachary Witlin

M.A. Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies '12

"Since finishing my master’s with CREEES, I spent the better part of two years working in Moscow, first in education, and then in the private sector. I am now a political risk consultant for Eurasia Group, a position that depends heavily on my professional, academic, and personal knowledge and experience in the area."

Dolly Kikon

Center for South Asia, Ph.D. '13

"As an anthropologist who studies South Asia, I see area studies not as a geographically bounded domain of knowledge, but an intersection that enables theoretical questions and intellectual dialogues to connect with pressing issues such as human rights, justice, and equality."

Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Jewish Studies, Ph.D. '99

"Stanford is one of the rare universities where Jewish Studies is a subset of International Studies, which reflects its commitment to understanding and teaching Jewish history and culture as a thread in a global tapestry. This approach has continued to inform my own teaching and research as a scholar at UCLA."