International Affairs and Economic Development
B.A. June 2013 Summa cum Laude
Home College: William E. Macaulay Honors College at Hunter
Mentor: Prof. Pamela Falk, Political Science, Hunter
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
Maisha Lopa chose CUNY BA precisely because of her multidisciplinary interests. Rather than pursue a Political Science major, she designed a concentration drawing from history, culture, politics, and the economy of countries around the world. Even at the beginning of her undergraduate education, she understood the importance of an interdisciplinary degree for a career in international affairs.
She and her mentor, Pamela Falk, Distinguished Lecturer in Hunter’s Political Science Department created a program uniquely tailored to Lopa’s dream of becoming a State Department Foreign Service Officer; the curriculum was structured to correspond with Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She took courses in international law, political economy, peace and security, development and international organizations, at Hunter, City, Brooklyn and Lehman.
Lopa is a Co-Founder and Policy Director at Students for Immigrant Education Reform Initiative, which partnered the Macaulay Honors College with Arizona State Univ. to raise awareness about access to education issues faced by immigrants in urban communities in Arizona and New York. Last summer she was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Princeton University. Earlier she served as an Economic and Social Affairs intern at the U.S. Department of State. In April 2011 she spoke at the CUNY Baccalaureate Workshop on Internships and International Affairs, discussing her prior work at the Women’s World Banking and the United Nations NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security.
This past January, her interest in international development took her on a study abroad trip to China. She explored Chinese history and examined the different stages of economic development in cities as diverse as Shanghai and Xian. After graduation she hopes to continue working on national and international economic development. To be a successful student and intern, she advises to remain passionate and engaged. Her professional and academic resume testify she stays true to her message.
In the fall 2013, Lopa joined New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Center for Economic Transformation as a Project Manager. She describes it as one of the best places to work on economic development in NYC.