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 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.
Program Coordinator (Special Initiatives & Global Networks)
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 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.
Program Coordinator (Global Partnerships & Agreements)
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.
Marisa graduated from UConn with a B.S. in Business Administration – Finance, and is currently completing her MBA with a focus in compliance.
E-mail: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Graduate Assistants & Interns
Global Partnerships Graduate Assistant (Writing & Editing)
After a decade working in New York City civil service as an environmentalist, Kerry Carnahan currently pursues doctoral studies in English at the University of Connecticut where she is completing a translation of the Song of Songs with commentary. She is the author of the poetry chapbook The Experience of Being a Cathedral (Lettuce Run, 2021) and her poetry and criticism can be found in Boston Review, the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, and WARSCAPES.
Social Media Intern
Aniqa is on track to completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut, double-majoring in English and Communication with a concentration in Creative Writing. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has managed the social media accounts of several UConn organizations, including Project Fashion and the Upsilon Charter of Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Incorporated. Prior to joining UConn 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.”
Global Partnerships Graduate Assistant (Research & Database)
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.