Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development

Alumni Profiles

We believe that SID and Heller should prepare you for your dream job in development. As a Heller student, you will work closely with the Career Development Center to define your professional goals and create strategies to achieve them. Beginning with the online Career Academy the summer before orientation, you will regularly meet with career advisors, join professional development workshops and attend employer events throughout your time at Heller. 

SID students gain the knowledge, skills, and tools to bring innovative ideas and creative practice to the development sector. Furthermore, they learn about human rights, gender equity, inclusive societies and environmental sustainability—the values that we believe should guide development work, whether it's in a large multilateral organization or a small local nonprofit organization. 

Meet our alumni: 

Tenzin Jigme, MA SID'23

Tenzin Jigme, MA SID'23 (United States)

Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Johns Hopkins University

“Monitoring and evaluation brings about social justice, in my point of view. It does this through making projects, programs, processes and policies transparent and data-driven. So then, programs and policymakers are accountable . . .  Through Heller, I learned that injustice is embedded in every aspect of modern society, the historical contexts of these issues, the consequences that we face today and what is at stake for future generations. I also learned development best practices to work in the field.” 

Learn more about Jigme’s work. 

Adebanjo Adesoye, MA SID'22

Adebanjo Adesoye, MA SID'22 (United States)

Senior Product Manager, KPMG

“My interest in international development really stemmed from a deep rooted desire to make a meaningful impact on issues like poverty and economic inequality. I was already working in the banking sector in Nigeria before Heller, but over the years, I realized that I’d yet to combine my expertise to drive positive change . . . What set Heller apart was its commitment to social justice and ethical approaches to development work.”

Learn more about Adebanjo’s work. 

Madeline Cahue, MA SID'22 (United States)

Knowledge Management Officer, Indigenous Peoples Portfolio, World Food Programme

“I knew that I wanted to be in this field where I was with other people who were searching for solutions, or trying to find ways to innovate and connect on these human rights issues . . . Heller is a place that pushes beyond what we see in front of us to imagine things in a different way . . . At the end of the day, SID is for practitioners.”

Learn more about Madeline's work.

Wafaa Arbash

Wafaa Arbash, MA SID/MA COEX'17 (Syria)

Co-founder and CEO, WorkAround

"When I was young my dream was to work for the United Nations. When I got to Heller, I still had that goal. But the more I studied about international development, the more I realized that the bureaucracy would drive me crazy. I want to see direct impact. So that’s where I started thinking about this idea. I reached out to many companies that had the resources to implement my idea, but nobody wanted to do it. So I started thinking, maybe I could do it. And here we are, three years later."

Shadi Sheikhsaraf

Shadi Sheikhsaraf, MA SID/COEX'17 (Iran)

External Relations Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Public Policy and Coexistence Fellowship Recipient

Sheikhsaraf grew up in Iran during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, which raged throughout her childhood. “The trauma is still with me. But that was motivation for me to work on humanitarian activities and conflict prevention and post-conflict healing, for the betterment of people’s lives.”

“When you’re at war, you do not see the other side. It’s not easy. But I started talking to my classmates from Iraq. We became friends and understood that the fear we experienced was the same. Having classmates from all over the world helps you to get rid of some of the biases you have.”

Learn more about Shadi's work.

Rodrigo Morán, MA SID'16

Rodrigo Moran, MA SID'16 (El Salvador)

Technology for Development Manager for Central America, Creative Associates International

"I'm currently based in San Salvador, El Salvador serving as T4D Manager for Central America. In order to do my job I need a very unique mix of experiences that only a program like the SID program at Heller can provide. Youth development theory and practice, information and communication technologies for development, planning and implementation, education and conflict, and much more. My Heller cohort continues to be my extended family and professional network. I frequently reach out to individuals or groups to inquire about specific topics and I'm always amazed by the overwhelming support."

Read more about Rodrigo's work. 

Noah Steinberg-Di Stefano, MA SID'17

Noah Steinberg-Di Stefano, MA SID'17 (United States)

Program Associate for Emergency Response Operations, Lutheran World Relief

“The practicum option was attractive because international development is something that’s so dependent on experience. The opportunity to spend the second year traveling and working and getting exposure was really valuable.”

Read more about Noah's work. 

Josh Cramer-Montes, MBA/MA SID'17

Josh Cramer-Montes, MBA/MA SID'17

Founder and Principal, Hyphen Strategies Consulting

"The pressing environmental, economic and social issues of today are all interconnected and will become more so in the coming decades. Approaching them holistically will be key. Both the SID and MBA programs mix the theoretical with the practical. Together, these programs—along with the Heller staff and faculty— built upon my previous professional and educational experiences and positioned me well to get to where I am today."

Roger Perez, MBA/MA SID'16

Roger Perez, MBA/MA SID'16

Program Officer, GitLab Foundation

"Heller's curriculum, faculty, staff, and students prepared me well to work directly with senior-level financial and strategic decision makers. From the Team Consulting Project to the focus on social justice and equity, Heller bolstered my technical capacities as well as refined the interpersonal skills needed to help mission-driven organizations achieve their outcomes. The transition to my current role was smooth, as I was able to hit the ground running and contribute immediately to team efforts. I benefited greatly from internship and extracurricular activities on and off campus both in the United States and abroad."