Meet a few recent Yale College alumni who majored in global affairs.
Yara El-Khatib graduated from Yale College in 2021, where she received a B.A. in Global Affairs and a certificate in Global Health Studies. As an undergraduate, she grew passionate about strengthening health systems and their resilience through equitable, community-led, evidence- driven development and public health interventions. Prior to her senior year, she worked as an Associate Consultant Intern at Bain & Company, where she supported the integration of two biotech companies during COVID-19 through her role in communications and change management. She also previously served as a project management intern with VillageReach in Lilongwe, Malawi, where she helped VR transition the operations of a women’s healthcare hotline program to the Ministry of Health. Following graduation, Yara spent a year working with Population Services International in West Africa and Mozambique as a Princeton in Africa Fellow, where she supported several projects dedicated to improving awareness, access to, and voluntary uptake of sexual and reproductive health services. Yara is now a full-time associate consultant at Bain & Company, where she supports projects dedicated to social impact and healthcare.Read Full Bio
For students interested in this path, I would emphasize the importance of building a strong understanding of quantitative methods while also being able to think creatively and critically. I would also leverage your jobs and/or extra-curriculars on campus to build the “soft skills”—teamwork, leadership, communication, etc.—which are crucial to the job and not easily learned in the classroom. Finally, consider how this type of role may fit into your broader career interests—for me, I see myself learning and taking these skills to pertinent areas in global health related to research, project design, coordination, and management.
Over the next few years, I narrowed my interests to those I mentioned through a variety of academic opportunities. These included: coursework at Jackson, YSPH, and YSE; course assistantship and research at Jackson and YSPH related to humanitarian crises, diplomacy, and climate change policy; and practice experience / research through my capstone projects, Yale’s Social Enterprise in Developing Economies in Africa program, and the Clinic in Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Public Health.
Beyond these various experiences, I found great community and an academic / learning ‘home’ within the program: I built many close friendships and relationships with mentors, both whom I continued to learn and grow from throughout my time in the program.
Hailing from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, Clayton Land graduated from Yale in 2022, spending time in student government, the Yale College Council, and being among the founding members of the Rural Students Alliance at Yale. He is now a defense and security consultant for Guidehouse, a medium-sized consulting firm working in the public sector. Clayton is particularly interested in helping rural communities at home and abroad in a developmental context to bridge rural-urban gaps, voice the concerns of small towns, and advocate their case in policymaking.Read Full Bio
Gaëlle Conille is an associate program officer in the development policy and finance team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She works to identify gaps in the area of gender-sensitive macroeconomic policy and supports partners in evidence building and policy advocacy. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Gaëlle worked at the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab (AGIL) where she supported research uptake efforts focusing on agriculture and land rights, social norms, and adolescent girls programming. Gaëlle also worked as a senior policy associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL Global), where she conducted policy outreach for evidence dissemination and managed a funding initiative focused on taking evidence to scale.
After receiving her B.A. from Jackson in 2018, Gaëlle completed a master’s degree in development management at the London School of Economics and Political Science. At Jackson, she undertook a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, focusing on political science, ethnicity, race, and migration, and African and Latin American studies, and interned with Kepler in identifying barriers to low-cost tertiary education for female refugees in Rwanda. Gaëlle has also worked with UN Women in resource mobilization and with ActionAid in conducting a gender analysis of employment policies.Read Full Bio
My advice to anyone pursuing a career in international development is to be flexible. You are at Jackson because you are intellectually curious and interested in solving problems at a global scale. But there is no defined path, and your work can look so different from one year to the next. When thinking about a specific role, it’s also important to consider the specific functions, beyond the thematic focus. Do you want to be an individual contributor? Do you want to lead and manage teams? Do you prefer an external facing or internal facing role? These are some of the questions I would ask myself, with the understanding that your thinking may change along the way.
I learned that rigorous impact evaluation can be such a valuable tool in understanding the impact of social programs and using the insights gained to improve them. But development is a politically contested process, and it isn’t enough to produce rigorous research and technical solutions — there also has to be demand for evidence. Some of the conditions that lead to evidence take-up include understanding the political economy, supporting internal champions and leveraging windows of opportunity (an election, a crisis, or another moment in time where a particular topic has become salient). I saw this in practice through supporting the Innovation in Government Initiative and that understanding has been reinforced since then.
Mason Ji is an attorney at Perkins Coie, where he practices international sanctions law, cross-border regulatory/trade law, and complex litigation (including international arbitration). He is also a lecturer of law at the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to practicing law, Mason was a delegate at the United Nations General Assembly, negotiating nuclear disarmament, climate change, and human rights treaties. Mason was also a White House Ambassador for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President Obama in 2015-2016.
Mason graduated from Yale University in 2016 with a B.A. in global affairs. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.Read Full Bio
After graduating from Yale, I studied global governance and diplomacy and public policy at the University of Oxford, directly informed by my time at Jackson. I then went on to law school to study international law and now practice in the international law space. Jackson has played an important role in shaping my career interests in the international space.
For those who are interested in working in the international law space, whether as a policymaker or a practitioner, I would advise that you try to get as much experience from different perspectives as possible. For instance, my past experience as a diplomat and working in the foreign policy space showed me the policy rationales behind changes in international law. That perspective now informs my work as a practitioner in the field. My other piece of advice would be to develop an area of expertise early on. During my time at Jackson, I focused on multilateralism and East Asian affairs, both of which inform my practice in international sanctions law to this day.