MA Graduate – Class of 2016

Denna TaherzadehI was born and raised in England to Iranian parents who were refugees of the 1979 Iranian revolution. In 2007, I moved to the United States and lived in Los Angeles before attending the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for my Bachelor’s degree.

Due to my family’s background, I have always held a strong passion for social justice. At UCSB, I led the Amnesty International group and interned for Direct Relief International and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington D.C.. For the past two years I have been living and working in Los Angeles for a nonprofit, fiscal sponsor.

Research Interests

I would like to further research social movements and critically analyze the role citizens, nation-states, and international organizations play in the democratization of semi-periphery countries. My research interests also include how globalization can benefit and hinder communities that have been subject to colonialism and imperialism.

A potential thesis topic would be how non-governmental organizations can use cross-cultural communication in media and politics to play a more informed role in the political development of Middle Eastern countries.

After completing the M.A. in Global Thought I would like to work within a non-governmental organization or advocacy group that focuses on more critical grassroots activism and advocacy. In the future, I would like to potentially pursue a Ph.D. in a field related to globalization.

MA Thesis

“How Have Philanthropic Frameworks Helped Information Technology Companies Maximize Their Responsibility to Global Social Impact?”


  • BA, Global & International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009-2013