What We Do

The Global Partnerships & Outreach (GPO) team works in collaboration with faculty, university administrators and partners around the world to advance UConn’s global initiatives. The work of GPO comprises three functions:

  • Global Partnerships: On the global partnerships front, the GPO team promotes relationship building and collaboration among the UConn community and partner institutions around the world. This is done through providing support in drafting international agreements; sharing funding and engagement opportunities; planning outreach events; as well as collecting data and reporting on UConn's global activities.  The team works closely with the University’s Office of the General Counsel to construct specialized agreements tailored to School/College and partner programmatic needs. GPO also oversees involvement  in global networks, such as Universitas 21, as well as interaction with United Nations units/programs and subsequent reporting on such efforts.
  • Communications: GPO coordinates the communications and social media efforts for the Office of Global Affairs and provides Global Affairs’ units  and special initiatives with support in design and/or content creation for websites and marketing materials.
  • Special Initiatives: GPO manages the Vice President for Global Affairs' special initiatives, including but not limited to Norian Armenian Programs and Abrahamic Programs, which includes organizing outreach programs and events with global and local partners.

Meet the Team


Zahra Ali
E-mail: zahra.ali@uconn.edu

Zahra Ali became the Director of the Global Partnerships & Outreach, within the Office of Global Affairs in March 2015 after serving as Global Partnerships & Communications Coordinator since August 2013. Prior to joining UConn in August 2013 she had worked at New York University since 2008. She holds an M.Sc. in Global Affairs, with specialization in energy and environmental policy from New York University, and a B.Sc. in International Business from the University of Rhode Island.

Zahra serves on the Norian Armenian Programs Committee and the Abrahamic Programs Steering Committee.

Maz Htoo

Maz Htoo
Partnerships Specialist
E-mail: maz@uconn.edu / tin_maung.htoo@uconn.edu

Before joining the Global Partnerships & Outreach team at the University of Connecticut, Maz spent over 7 years as social enterprise consultant in Myanmar, developing and transforming various social enterprises that supported women’s empowerment and at-risk and homeless youth. He has served as an adjunct lecturer of social entrepreneurship for universities in Myanmar and Switzerland, including University of Business and International Studies in Geneva and Swiss Business School in Zurich.

Maz holds a BA in English from the University of East Yangon, a BSc (Hons.) in Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich and a MA in Business Information Systems from Australian Catholic University. He researches and writes on productivity and economic development in Myanmar.

Aniqa Islam

Aniqa Islam
Social Media Specialist
E-mail: aniqa.islam@uconn.edu

Aniqa completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut in December 2021, double-majoring in English and Communication with a concentration in Creative Writing. Throughout her undergraduate career, she managed the social media accounts of several UConn organizations, including Project Fashion and the Upsilon Charter of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Incorporated. Aniqa joined UConn Global Affairs in the summer of 2021 as a social media intern and transitioned to a full-time position upon completion of her degree. Prior to joining Global Affairs, she worked as a yearbook managing editor, writer, and designer for Nutmeg Publishing, as well as a content creator for UConn Odyssey. A fun fact about Aniqa is that she has self-published a book of poetry titled, “Everything In Between.”

Mathew Larson

Matthew Larson
Program Coordinator (Special Initiatives)
E-mail: matthew.2.larson@uconn.edu
Phone: +1 860.486.4406

Matthew joined the UConn Global Affairs’ team in May 2018. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The College of the Holy Cross (2011) in Worcester, MA, and a master’s degree in Statecraft and International Affairs from the Institute of World Politics (2017) in Washington, DC. Prior to joining UConn he worked in Washington, DC for Meridian International Center in their External Affairs office, coordinating roundtables and panel discussions convening a cross-section of public, private, and diplomatic audiences, as well as for Bipartisan Policy Center in their Development office. Most recently, he was the Senior Secretary to the Mayor in his hometown of East Hartford, Connecticut.

Laurel Pehmoeller

Laurel Pehmoeller
Digital Media & Communications Producer
E-mail: laurel.pehmoeller@uconn.edu

Laurel is a two-time alum of the University of Connecticut, where she received her BFA in Art (2016) and her MFA in Digital Media and Design (2020). During her undergraduate career she explored sculpture and performance-based video art, and spent a semester abroad studying the art of Florence, Italy. As a graduate student, Laurel focused on traditional filmmaking techniques and honed her skills in both documentary and narrative storytelling. She has held a wide variety of film production roles on a diverse range of films, which include writing, directing, and producing her master’s thesis film Late Shift.

Marisa Tatiwong

Marisa Tatiwong
Program Coordinator (Global Partnerships & Agreements)
E-mail: marisa.tatiwong@uconn.edu
Phone: +1 860.486.4112

Marisa joined UConn Global Affairs in September 2019 after working in corporate partner relations for UConn’s Center for Career Development since 2017. Prior to coming to UConn, she lived in India and Thailand since 2008, working with social enterprises and a study abroad institute to promote sustainable development initiatives and social justice.

Marisa graduated from UConn with a Master in Business Administration (2021) and B.S. in Business Administration (2008).

Graduate Assistants & Interns

Team Profile - Shreya Murthy

Shreya Murthy
Global Partnerships Graduate Assistant (Research & Database)
E-mail: shm16130work@uconn.edu

Shreya is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Political Science. She joined UConn Global Affairs in 2020 while finishing her undergraduate degrees after holding student employment positions in the Mathematics Department and the Office of Undergraduate Research. Shreya holds bachelor’s degrees in human rights, finance, and criminology and focuses her research on regulation and corporate responsibility.