Yara Zgheib, SSP'12
Yara Zgheib, a 2012 SSP graduate, was in her home country of Lebanon when she received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in the US. With a BA in international relations and having experienced war and substate violence firsthand, Yara knew that she wanted a career in security and peacebuilding. She chose Georgetown because the Security Studies Program was so strong and many great authors she read taught here. Upon arriving in the program, she enjoyed rich conversations with professors after class at the Tombs and made diverse friendships with people from different backgrounds than her own. She will never forget the opportunities she had to attend conferences and talks given by rock stars of the security field.
As she reflects on the two years spent in the program, Yara notes that she not only learned how to think critically and to widen her horizons, but she also learned resilience (a must to get through the readings and assignments of some of the courses!). Most importantly, she benefited from great mentorship: Professors Byman, Shiffman, and Bensahel all left an indelible mark on her. Since graduating from SSP, Yara has pursued a dual career as a peace and security analyst and a writer. She went on to obtain a Ph.D. in international affairs and diplomacy in Paris, and has since been working with international NGOs on projects relating to human security and countering violent extremism (CVE). In 2017, she launched, and now chairs, the humansecurityX Fellowship Programme at the Caux Forum for Just Governance for Human Security in Switzerland. She is also the author of The Girls at 17 Swann Street, a novel published by St. Martin's Press in 2019.