M.A. in Global Thought


DECEMBER 5TH, 2022 | 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM ET


The Master of Arts in Global Thought takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring critical global issues. This academic program challenges students to engage with new concepts and generate innovative questions as they examine the complexities of our interconnected and always evolving world. Students take courses taught by members of the Committee on Global Thought, an international roster of renowned scholars from across Columbia University. Accepted students begin the program in September and graduate the following May.

Join us for a conversation between Dr. Laura Neitzel (Vice Chair of the Committee on Global Thought), Dr. Sarah Miller-Davenport (Graduate Program Director), and alumni Junjie Ren (Class of 2021) and Shagun Sethi (Class of 2020). The conversation will be followed by a Q&A.

About the Speakers

Sarah Miller-Davenport, Graduate Program Director, Committee on Global Thought

Dr. Sarah Miller-Davenport is a historian whose research and teaching focus on how the global circulation of ideas, people, and capital shaped American society in the decades after World War II, with a particular emphasis on how the local intersects with national and global scales of historical change. She is the author of Gateway State: Hawai‘i and the Cultural Transformation of American Empire (Princeton 2019). Prior to joining Columbia, Miller-Davenport was a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Sheffield, and she has held fellowships at the New York Historical Society and NYU’s Urban Democracy Lab.

Laura Neitzel, Vice Chair and Senior Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought

Dr. Laura Neitzel is Senior Fellow in Global Thought. She teaches undergraduate courses, including “Seminar in Global Thought: Inquiries into an Interconnected World,” “Global 20:Youth in an Interconnected World,” and “Histories of the Global,” as well as M.A. courses “M.A. Seminar in Global Thought” and “Local / Global Worlds.” Neitzel also directs the Youth in a Changing World project. Neitzel is a historian of modern Japan who is interested in the national and global contexts that shape the ways people envision their futures and articulate their aspirations and disappointments. She is the author of The Life We Longed For: Danchi Housing and the Middle-Class Dream in Postwar Japan (MerwinAsia, 2016). She earned a B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Washington University, and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.

Junjie Ren, Communications Manager, Global Economy and Development at The Brookings Institution

Global Thought Alum ‘21

Junjie Ren is a communications manager at the Brookings Institution Global Economy and Development program based in Washington D.C., where he oversees research publications and dissemination, public events, multi-media products, and external media relations. He devises and implements communications strategies for research scholars and teams in areas relating to sustainable development, international development finance, macroeconomic policies, trade, technology, and workforce development. In addition to general research projects, he manages the communications portfolios of the Brookings Center for Sustainable Development and the Africa Growth Initiative while being the managing editor of the Future Development Blog. Junjie received his B.A. (summa cum laude) in environment, sustainability, and policy from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University, where he was a University Young Research Fellow. 

Shagun Sethi, Director of Global Leadership at OneShared.World, Program Manager at Wedu, and Academic Research Fellow at Leading Cities

Global Thought Alum ‘20

Shagun is the Global Lead Program Manager at Wedu, where she works on programs related to women’s leadership, mentorship and development. Shagun also serves as a Director For Global Leadership for One Shared World and for her work has been recognised on India’s A-List. She is a passionate feminist, and has brought her expertise in research to Urban Design, and serves as a Research Fellow at Leading Cities, Boston USA. Shagun has been a featured speaker on many panels including for CNN International, NewsX, Doorsarshan and WARC where she shares her expertise on all things gender, inclusivity, environment, and development. She has published work including ‘Walk With Women’, ‘Agents of Change’ and ‘Prior efforts towards a metaverse constitution’, and has been an invited lecturer at Columbia University, EWHA Women’s University in South Korea, and, on panels at Brandeis and Goucher College. Shagun has a Masters in Global Affairs from Columbia University, where she studied on a merit fellowship. Prior to that, she studied Political Science and Sociology at The University of Delhi.