Student testimonials

Montse Ferrer
Dual Master 2017-2019


Alejandro Valerio Jiminián
Dominican Republic
Dual Master 2015-2017


Dawei Wang
Dual Master 2016-2018





Chanel Haliburton

United States of America

"When I applied to the Dual Masters program sponsored by the Graduate Institute and the Harvard Kennedy School, I had very clear expectations of what I wanted to gain from this next step in my professional development. I wanted to increase my understanding of globalization, international finance and public policy. Coming from a primarily domestic and direct service background, the variety, uniqueness and intellectually challenging course work offered at the Institute gives me the opportunity to take a deep dive into the knowledge and skills I need to launch my international career. I wanted to examine global issues from diverse perspectives, while learning how to implement innovative, scalable and human-center solutions to address these challenges. The forums and conferences hosted by the Institute give me access to discussions on current international issues and policies being implemented.  During the fall semester, I attended talks by Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, as well as other top level United Nations, NGO, government and academic experts, who gave interesting and often controversial lectures on topics ranging from world trade and immigration to climate change and Brexit.  These dialogues help keep me abreast of challenges facing the world today. Additionally, by participating in Just Innovate’s C4SI Challenge Program, I was able to use my education and experience to collaborate and create a social innovation to tackle a current real-world problem. Above all, what I believe to be the most remarkable thing about the Institute is its highly diverse student population, which provides me with daily exposure to a plethora of brilliant people and ideas, so I am inspired to take risks, stretch myself, be vulnerable and tap into my authentic leadership.  Sharing classrooms, having conversations and making connections with people from literally all over the world continues to transform my thinking, expand my perspective of the world and encourage me to appreciate my responsibilities as a global citizen. After my first semester at the Graduate Institute, I feel my expectations are not only being met, but also surpassed." 


Alejandro Valerio Jiminián

Alejandro Valerio Jiminián, a lawyer specialising in public international law, from the Dominican Republic, graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Santo Domingo, in 2003. As a Fulbright Scholar, earned his LLM in International Legal Studies from American University Washington College of Law in 2008. His professional background includes constitutional and administrative law, international public law, legislative drafting and public policy. As a Pierre Keller Scholar at the Graduate Institute, he is pursuing his Dual Master Programme with the focus on international security and geopolitics of energy.

"The Dual Master Programme between the Graduate Institute and Harvard Kennedy School is an intellectual tour de force that helps professionals like me to take their careers to a new level. The interdisciplinary approach of both masters is an extraordinary experience that provides highly specialised knowledge, new professional and technical skills, and a professional network that is sure to enhance your career.

The bulk of my studies within the dual programme is focused on international security and the geopolitics of energy, two of the most relevant areas in current international affairs. Understanding their role in states’ relations, international oil markets and geopolitical conflicts has given me another perspective on contemporary conflicts happening in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

As a mid-career professional, my expectations for the programme have been surpassed. Its quality, and the diversity of the faculty and students, have helped me to build an analytical framework to craft sound public policies for tackling pressing issues. I believe I have made the best decision, with respect to my academic and professional career, to participate in this unique programme between two of the world's finest schools on international affairs and public policy."


Ashveena Gajeelee

Graduated from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), France in 2005. Having earned her first degree in microbiology, Ms Gajeelee was recipient of the Fulbright H.Humphrey Fellowship in 2012 to further specialise in regulatory policy and management at the Boston University. Her professional background is in regulatory policy and public policy. Ashveena graduated from Harvard Kennedy School in May 2016.

"The dual master program is probably one of the few unique programs which provides an intensive exposure to international environment by giving us access to the thought leaders and apex international agencies based in Geneva. It brought together two premier institutions which strengthened my skills in policy making and strategic management. The program also aims at developing expertise in focus areas and fostering the efficient application of concepts in a world where the key to success often relies on the amalgamation of knowledge and problem solving.

The outstanding professors at IHEID and Harvard University re-skilled us not only to progress in our career but also to take ownership of things we want to change in society. At the end of the two years, there is no doubt that candidates will emerge better equipped to exercise leadership in their society."


Airene M. Robinson 

Department of Finance, Republic of the Philippines
Privatization and Office of Special Concerns - full CV

"The program is designed for people like myself who work in the government sector and dedicated to significantly contribute more. I chose it because aside from the fact that it gives you a broader perspective of public service, it is also provided by specialized institutions known to provide academic excellence in the fields of public administration (Harvard Kennedy School) and international relations (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies).

The combination of these degrees provides a global perspective of public service, which means that in resolving national issues you look at the global perspective - how will everything line up upon implementation, its effects after operationalization and not just its impact locally. Essentially more so nowadays, public service should look at what the world needs in line with how it will impact other countries and not just your own.

This is an excellent program for people who like to think out of the box and work on various resolves in order to arrive at a solution everyone can live with – with the end in mind that such solution will contribute greatly to the lives of each and every person who rely on government to do its job of providing improved public service that will redound to the benefit of its people."


Renata Zanetti

Renata completed a first class (cum laude) honours in International Relations focusing on access to medicines at the Australian National University, where she was also the Vice President of the ANU students’ association. She has worked in international development for nine years. Renata worked with IDP Education in their development services team and was an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development working on HIV prevention at UNESCO’s regional office in Thailand. Renata is a qualified trainer and facilitator and worked as the training coordinator for the Australian Council for International Development for several years. She has worked to promote inclusive communication in the Australian aid department and Foreign Affairs department and as a consultant with organizations such as UNICEF. 

"I first completed an Executive Course at the Graduate Institute in Geneva on intellectual property and access to medicines, building on my interest in global health. As an alumni, I applied to the dual program to study at an accelerated pace with two excellent institutions. The advantage of the new dual program is that it has allowed me to pursue both my academic and professional areas of interest. At the Institute I focused on global health, humanitarian and human rights law and policy and at the Kennedy School I focused on diversity, inclusive education, including health equity and communication.

Completing a dual masters means that I can think about the intersections between international affairs, trade, aid and public administration with leading professors and at Harvard with fellow mid-career students from around the world. The dual program gives you an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself to think big."