Join Executive Director Beth Semaya and Graduate Program Director Sarah Miller-Davenport in conversation with alumni Alisa Schaible (Class of 2023) and Diya Radhakrishna (Class of 2023) about how the MA in Global Thought benefits both their professional and academic insights.

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.

Alisa Schaible: Class of 2023

Alisa is a Fellow at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Brussels, Belgium. Her programmatic focus includes initiatives on the use of technology for the public good and democratic renewal in a new geopolitical reality. She supports reinforcing International IDEA’s relations with the European Union and European partners, and contributes to increasing the EU’s focus on democratic governance.

Alisa graduated from the MA in Global Thought as a Fulbright Student with a thesis on participatory mechanisms to revitalize the digital public spheres. During her time at Columbia, she took classes in political science, international affairs, and journalism, and interned with the Columbia Global Centers in Istanbul. She holds a bachelor in Cultural Studies and Economics from University of Mannheim and has gained professional experience in federal and state ministries in Germany as well as in the private sector

Diya Radhakrishna: Class of 2023

Diya Radhakrishna (she/her) is a Program Officer in Asia Society’s Arts and Culture department in New York. She implements performing arts and museum programming (ranging from literary festivals to dance performances and panels) with the goal of creating intercultural dialogue that foregrounds Asian and Asian diasporic communities. She is also a Grant Writing Consultant at Women and Children Enslaved in War (WCEW), assisting non-profits fighting sex trafficking with applying for federal, state and local grants. She has previously also worked as a Research Analyst at The Harris Poll, and as a reviewer of independently-published books for Kirkus Indie. She graduated from Columbia’s Global Thought M.A. in 2023, and from NYU’s B.A. Global Liberal Studies program in 2021. She calls Bengaluru, India home and has often spent her summers in New York in search of good South Asian mangoes.

Beth Semaya: CGT Executive Director

Beth Semaya is the Executive Director for the Committee on Global Thought. She works with the CGT Chair, faculty members, and staff to oversee all aspects of the CGT, including operations, curriculum development, and strategic planning.

Dr. Semaya comes to the CGT from the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University, where she has held numerous positions, most recently as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; a seasoned higher-education administrator, she has led several master’s programs and developed certificate programs in both virtual and in-person formats. Prior to joining Columbia, both as a professional and graduate student, she worked in the for-profit and non-profit sectors as a program and curriculum developer and as an English teacher. Her primary research interest relates to faculty developing enhanced opportunities for students to engage in experiential, interdisciplinary learning with real-world impact.

She holds a Ph.D. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, an M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Ithaca College.

Sarah Miller-Davenport: CGT Graduate Program Director

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.