Abdulaziz Alshehhi is the Academic Affairs Coordinator at the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Community Programs Department and Assistant Instructor for The Road to Net Zero class in the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Scholars Program. He received his BA from UAE University with Honors of the first degree, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Communications and Leadership.
He studied and participated in international programs and research including a program at Tsinghua University in China where he published research on Decentralized Energy Systems, and a political Science concentrated program at Philipps University in Germany. He was also trained in the Art of Negotiation and Diplomacy from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, as well as being an Alumni of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Program
for UAE Youth Ambassadors.
Aisha Hamisi is the Manager of Operations and Student Advising for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy. She organizes and coordinates recruitment events at various high schools and at NYUAD, where she presents at Summer Academy and meets all potential students. Hamisi works with the students up to and beyond their Summer Academy graduation. She guides students and alumni on their academic, personal, and professional goals. Aisha heads logistics and administration for both of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs — Summer Academy and the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program. Hamisi also worked for the Human Resource department, where she helped NYUAD during its start-up phase and through the employment of its faculty and staff. Prior to working for NYUAD, she worked for Lucent Technologies as a Resource Manager. She graduated from Portsmouth University with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration in 2004. Hamisi also holds a Master’s in business administration degree from the University of Wolverhampton Business School. In March 2019, Aisha received her certificate in CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults).
In collaboration with the Board of Trustees and her colleagues, Angela Migally leads the institutional and strategic vision of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.
She has the great joy of working with a multi-disciplinary and multi-national team to define the contours of the Foundation’s work across its strategic pillars as well as to lead on the exploration of emerging focus areas. Currently, the Foundation’s portfolio includes strategic initiatives in creative entrepreneurship, secondary education, and the UAE Integrated Storytelling Project. Although the Foundation’s portfolio is varied, its work centers on capability building, investment in the creation of UAE intellectual property, and exploration of the future of the UAE identity.
Migally came to Abu Dhabi in 2010 to join former NYU President John Sexton’s teaching team. She supported Sexton in teaching US Constitutional Law at NYU Abu Dhabi and served as Deputy Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program.
Before coming to Abu Dhabi, Migally was a constitutional litigator practicing in the areas of the First Amendment and Civil Rights. She received a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Oberlin College.
Ayan Ibrahim is the Resident Instructor for the Challenges of the New Political Economy course in the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program. As an Instructor, she supports the Scholars in strengthening their critical thinking and writing skills through group writing workshops and 1:1 meetings throughout the course of the Program. Prior to joining the SMSP team, she worked as an Associate Writing Instructor for NYU Abu Dhabi’s Writing Program and Writing Center advising undergraduates on various elements of the writing process. Ibrahim is also the Academic and Student Affairs Specialist for the SMBZ Community Programs, in which she advises and assists the SMSP Scholars and the high school Summer Academy students in establishing their educational goals in preparation for their graduate and undergraduate studies, or attaining scholarship opportunities.
Ibrahim earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Public Relations), a minor in Psychology and a Masters of Art in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, with a concentration on Reading/Language and Literacy Education, both from Georgia State University. Since receiving her Masters, she has also worked in Atlanta, Georgia as an adjunct professor instructing adult English language learners on writing and reading skills at Mercer University’s English Language Institute and as an elementary and middle grades ESOL teacher within the public school system.
Aysha Mohammed Aljaberi is the Senior Director of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs. She provides oversight of the academic and administrative functions of the department.
Dr. Aljaberi has been a certified Clinical Scientist and served in different leadership roles in Abu Dhabi Healthcare Services Company, operations, research, and academia. She was previously the Director of Disease Prevention and Screening Center. She was the Manager for the Ambulatory Health Services’ Main Laboratories in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. A few of her achievements included; increasing the service market share and growth in revenue, the expansion of services by opening new centers in Abu Dhabi and the Al Dhafra region, the standardization of disease control practices across Abu Dhabi centers, and acquiring international and local accreditations to central laboratories. Dr. Aljaberi also served as an Adjunct member of the Health Sciences Faculty at the Higher Colleges of Technology.
Dr. Aljaberi holds a Ph.D. and Master of Research in Biomedical Sciences/Biochemistry both from the Medical Schools of The University of Nottingham and Strathclyde University, and a BSc from UAE University. She had published research in the fields of cancer cell and molecular biology and is a recipient of the Sheikh Rashid Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement and Academic Excellence from The UAE Embassy in London.
Dr. Aysha Aljaberi is passionate and contributed to the case of enhancing the living quality of people of determination. She is also passionate about childhood and youth mentorship and education.
Dharini Parthasarathy is the Instructor and Learning Designer for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs. In this role, she serves as:
Prior to this role, Parthasarathy served as the Abu Dhabi-based Academic and Student Affairs Specialist and a New York-based Graduate Assistant for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs. She holds an MS in Learning Experience Design from Brandeis University, an MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University, a BS in Electrical Engineering from Miami University, and a BS in Mathematics and Statistics from Miami University. She currently resides in the United States.
Erich Dietrich researches, publishes, and teaches on the history and internationalization of higher education, equity in access to higher education, and affirmative action policies in a comparative, international context.
With a research focus on diversity and equity in higher education, Dietrich has published on affirmative action policies in Brazil and has served on the advisory board for the Institute of International Education’s International Academic Partnership Program for Brazil. He regularly teaches a graduate-level study abroad course, "Race, Class and Equity in Higher Education in Brazil." He is co-PI on a grant from the CAPES Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Education on “Access and Retention of Black Students in Higher Education: Advances and Challenges in a Comparative Perspective.”
Dietrich is co-Director with Sebastian Cherng of the SAGE (Study Away and Global Education) Research Project, which includes CASSIE, the Consortium for Analysis of Student Success through International Education, a federally funded, quantitative research project that expands the empirical evidence on international education and student outcomes with data from over 40 colleges and universities.
Dietrich serves as an Ambassador for the Magna Charta Universitatum Observatory and is a former Board Member of AIEA, the association of leaders in international higher education, and former National Chair of NAFSA's International Education Leadership Knowledge Community (IEL-KC).
From 2009-2019, Dietrich was Assistant Vice President of NYU Global Programs and Associate Dean of Global Affairs at NYU Steinhardt. He holds a PhD from New York University, a master’s from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA, magna cum laude, from Carleton College.
Dietrich is a 2022 recipient of NYU Steinhardt's Teaching Excellence Award and received a Fulbright International Education Award to India in 2016. By invitation from the US Embassy and the Greek Ministry of Education, he conducted capacity-building workshops for study abroad in Greece in 2019. Starting in 2023, he is a Fulbright Specialist for a three-year term. Dietrich also serves as an instructor for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy.
A Franciscan priest since 1983, John J. Coughlin, O.F.M., serves as Global Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and Law and affiliated faculty at the NYU School of Law. He is the founding program head of Legal Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he clerked for the Hon. Frank X. Altimari of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then completed his doctorate in canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome. A doctor utriusque iuris, Coughlin was a member of the Holy See’s delegation to the United Nations treaty conference that established the International Criminal Court
Professor Coughlin has taught at universities in New York, London, South Bend, and Rome. Among his teaching awards, his students have selected him as Professor of the Year on several occasions. In addition to teaching, he has practiced law, served in administrative positions, and been a trustee of hospital and college boards. Professor Coughlin's teaching and research interests include canon law, comparative legal systems, law and religion, legal ethics, religious studies, theology, legal philosophy and jurisprudence, human rights, and comparative religion.
Povashni Naidu is the Assistant Manager for Programming and Strategy for both the NYUAD Summer Academy and the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program. Naidu joined the Programs in 2013. Prior to this position, she successfully coordinated numerous international medical conferences for Synovetics in Abu Dhabi. Naidu began her career at Massdiscounters in South Africa, where she was a graduate associate. Thereafter, she was promoted to manage training for the retail giant. Naidu received an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of South Africa, and MSc Education from the University of Glasgow.
Reem Shraim is an Instructor with the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs. She currently serves as the Instructor for the NYUAD Summer Academy Leadership and Public Speaking course, Principal Instructor for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program Public Speaking course, and Assistant Instructor for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program Leadership course. She graduated from Zayed University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Human Services and from the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government with a Master’s degree in Public Policy. She is an alumnus of the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Scholars Program Class of 2017-2018. Shraim previously worked as a research coordinator for an autism study at Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital in Dubai, wrote articles for the Gulf News on special pieces covering psychology related matters in the UAE, and interned with Dubai Police.
Sara Aldhaheri is a Program Coordinator for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs. She acquired her BA in International Relations from Zayed University. Politics and history are subjects close to her heart. Outside of work, she enjoys spending her time with cats and learning the Russian language.
Sophia Kalantzakos is Global Distinguished Professor in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. Her research focuses on resources and power, on new spatial imaginaries that reflect the changing ways that we think of global space and interdependence, and on the new emergent patterns and avenues of possibilist thinking as a way of re-imagining geopolitics for the 21st century. Her work, for example, has examined how the strategic value of mineral deposits for the decarbonization of the global economy and the fourth industrial revolution intersects with a changing post-carbon resource map accelerating geopolitical realignments between the developing and developed world.
Her recent research unpacks the implications of the push toward the unification of Eurasia and Africa as a result of the climate emergency, China’s global aspirations illustrated through the belt and road initiative, Europe’s reckoning with a seismic push against both its normative and economic power and the US’s re-evaluation of its leadership role in the global order. Kalantzakos’ work examines how current epistemic systems will need to give way to new modes of thinking. As nation-states are turning inward in response to demands for de-globalization even while future challenges remain intensely global, her work advances the construction of dynamic, inclusive, and action-oriented responses to the greatest challenges facing our global commons. — Read her full profile