M.A. in Global Thought

Prospective Student Virtual Information Session

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2022 | 6:15 PM – 7:00 PM 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. Vishakha N. Desai (Chair of the Committee on Global Thought), Dr. Sarah Miller-Davenport (Graduate Program Director), and alumni Idil Uner (Class of 2020) and Telma Viale (Class of 2021). The conversation will be followed by a Q&A.

About the Speakers:

Idil Uner Associate Public Information Officer, United Nations     

Global Thought Alumna ‘20

Idil Uner is currently an Officer at the United Nations Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy in the Partnerships and Strategic Communications Team. Previously, she worked within the Sustainable Development Goals Integration team at the United Nations Development Programme as a Communications Consultant. Prior to UNDP, while completing her master’s degree, Idil interned at UN Peacekeeping and UNICEF USA. Idil received her B.A. from McGill University and her M.A. from Columbia University, where she researched the implications of the Temporary Protection Status for displaced Syrians in Turkey.


Telma Viale, Executive Search and Leadership Director, SRI Executive

Global Thought Alumna ‘21

Telma Viale combines an understanding of the public and the private sector, knowledge in psychology, and global thought, with over 25 years of experience supporting global leadership in international organizations. She held advocacy roles as Special Representative to the UN of the ILO, top HR leadership positions in various UN organizations, and was a Partner at Kennedy Fitch, where she designed unconscious bias training for HR leaders. Telma now leads Executive Search at SRI Executive, conducting key leadership searches in institutions that support the Sustainable Development Goals. A native of El Salvador and fluent in five languages, Telma holds an M.A. in Global Thought as well as an M.A. from Columbia University in Organizational Psychology and a B.A. from Hunter College in Psychology and Romance Languages.


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.


Vishakha N. Desai, Chair of the Committee on Global Thought

Dr. Vishakha N. Desai is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and a Senior Research Scholar for the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Dr. Desai served as President and CEO of the Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships between Asia and the U.S., from 2004 through 2012. In 2012, in recognition of Dr. Desai’s leadership in the museum field, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board.