Alumni Profiles

Lisette Anzoategui, MA SID/COEX'15 (United States)

Program Manager, Social Impact

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, “I saw constantly the interaction between violence prevention and conflict and peacebuilding and development. That was a huge part of why I chose Heller, where I could do the dual degree in sustainable international development and coexistence and conflict to make those linkages.”

Read more about Lisette's work. 

Tarig Mohamed, MA COEX'16 (Sudan)

Regional Program Manager for Africa and the Middle East, KARAMA

"I came to Heller with lots of practical experience, but lacking the theoretical part. The subjects that I studied at the COEX program widened my knowledge very much and enabled me to understand and relate the practice to theories. The professors were so kind and welcoming and of course extremely professional and knowledgeable. The diversity at Heller and the ability to interact, study and hear cases from different countries converted my interest from focusing only on Sudan into the whole world."

Read more about Tarig's work. 

Rebecca Herrington, MA SID/COEX’14 (United States)

Developmental Evaluator, Social Impact

“At Heller, there’s the opportunity to be proactive and create your own path through the programs. I leveraged what professors had to offer with their experiences, had the experience of teaching and grading, and took advantage of being in Boston to work with NGOs there. I wanted [my master's degree] to be practitioner-focused and wanted to do both conflict management and international development. Heller was a great place to combine that.”

Read more about Rebecca's work. 

Naveed Noormal, MA COEX'16 (Afghanistan)

First Secretary, Embassy of Afghanistan, London

It took just a short negotiation class with Alain Lempereur, director of the Master’s in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program, to convince Naveed to leave his home country of Afghanistan to pursue a degree at Heller.

“I realized those were the skills I needed to be successful,” says Naveed, who was a foreign service officer for the Afghan government when Lempereur arrived in Kabul to provide training to junior diplomats. “War damaged almost everything in my country including institutions. Coming from a post-war country, it was always about bringing reform for a better future.”

Read more about Naveed's work. 

Megan Casey, MA COEX'18 (Iraq)

Communications and Operations Manager, Mediators Beyond Borders International

Topol Fellow in Nonviolence Practice 2016-2017

“When I found out about the coexistence and conflict resolution program at Heller, I thought it was out of my own imagination. It seemed created for me.” She has dedicated her career to creating dialogues, especially in communities or countries where there are limits on conversation about taboo or difficult topics.

Read more about Megan's work. 

Peter Ter, MA SID/COEX'14 (Sudan)

Peace Corps Response Volunteer

Peter values the theoretical and practical skills he acquired as a Heller student. “We go through simulations that relay real-world experiences. Our professors are respected international experts in their field — and we learn the word is mightier than guns, and that by bringing people together, they can work through their differences.”

Read more about Peter's work. 

Tessa Tompkins Byer, MA COEX'16 (United States)

Mediator and Housing Stabilization Coordinator, Just-A-Start

While attending the Heller School, she was inspired by the mediation role-plays she witnessed in professor Ted Johnson’s class, so she searched the local area for volunteer opportunities with a strong desire to apply her new skills. She trained as a mediator through the Harvard Mediation Program, a group made up of community members and Harvard law students. 

At Just-A-Start, she was hired for her conflict resolution skills. Conflicts regarding housing can be between tenants and landlords, family members, neighbors and even the housing authority. She helps residents receive federal funding if they are in the process of being evicted or need back-rent or security deposits, and prevents people from being homeless. 

Read more about Tessa's work. 

Sandra Fernandez, MA SID/COEX'16, an asylum officer, explains how her Heller degrees make her a better advocate from within the government.