Where are they now?

Member for

1 year 7 months
Sailaja Nandigama
Sailaja Nandigama

Study programme: PhD in Development Studies
Year of graduation: 2009
Country of origin: India
Current occupation: Associate Professor (Development Studies) & Associate Dean, International Programmes and Collaborations Division (IPCD), Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, Rajasthan, India.

What made your time at ISS special?I still remember waiting at the meeting point in the Schiphol airport as if it was yesterday. The moment I entered the gates of ISS I knew that everything I had done until that point was absolutely right, as I ended up being there. The entire time I was at ISS, from May 2003 up till December 2007, was extremely illuminating on all fronts.  

I am filled with heartfelt gratitude for all the lovely people I met at ISS. ISS community members stood out for their kindness and helping nature throughout my stay. Apart from the rich cultural exchange with 80+ country participants coming from across the world, the warmth of the faculty and staff members at ISS made my PhD journey truly special and memorable. ISS has given me a PhD degree that I take pride in, and more importantly ISS gave me a life filled with possibilities and great memories of happiness and fulfillment.

What is your most memorable moment at ISS? It has to be my PhD defense on 22nd December 2009. Mine was the 100th Public defense and it also marked the integration of the ISS into the Erasmus University Rotterdam. A special group of friends from the ISS community provided the love and affection of a family away from India, and they also became instrumental in making my life at ISS holistic.

What does ISS mean to you now? ISS means life-long friendships, state-of-art academic training and endless possibilities to contribute to development in its true sense. ISS made it possible for me to bridge the gap between development theory and practice in incremental and effective ways. Being a Development Expert working in India, I am training the best young minds of the country to integrate human development concerns into their own interdisciplinary projects on a daily basis. I am confident that the cumulative value created by ISS for the world is immense and invaluable.

Hartstikke bedankt to ISS!


Cesar Guedes
Cesar Guedes

Study programme: International Relations
Year of graduation: 1990
Country of origin: Peru
Current occupation: I retired in 2021 after 30 years with the United Nations. My last appointment was UNODC Country Director for Afghanistan but I also served in Guyana, Peru, China, North Korea, Germany, Austria, Panama, Bolivia, Pakistan, Mozambique, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.

I now live in Vietnam and doing some free-lance consultancies and a plan to write a book.

What made your time at ISS special? I have wonderful memories of my colleagues and teachers, some of whom I am still in touch with. In 2015 we celebrated 25 years of graduation and a few of us met in ISS The Hague.

What does ISS mean to you now? ISS helped me catapult my knowledge and career to another level and fulfil my dream to work for the United Nations.

Mariza Dacoron
Mariza Dacoron

Study programme: Women, Gender and Development
Year of graduation: 2003
Country of origin: Philippines
Current occupation: Working as a registered nurse in Oncology/Rehabilitation unit in Leiden. I previously worked for INGO in Sri Lanka and UNDP in Bangladesh after ISS but took a career shift.

What made your time at ISS special? Meeting brilliant people from all over the world. ISS is like a mini United Nations.

What is your most memorable moment at ISS? At ISS, there was always a celebration of cultures, personal stories and knowledge. I gained great friends and some of them I still meet regularly and we reminisce our beautiful and happy memories at ISS.

What does ISS mean to you now? ISS has changed my life; you become part of a global network.

William Reuben
William Reuben

Study programme: National and International Development Diploma in 1971 and Master in Social Sciences in 1972.
Country of origin: Costa Rica
Current occupation: Commissioner General of Costa Rica Expo 2020 Dubai 2019 - Now
Previously: Minister Counselor and Consul General of Costa Rica to the United Arab Emirates 2017-2019, World Bank Senior Social Scientist 1999-2019 and University of Costa Rica Professor 1973-1999.

What made your time at ISS special? The unique possibility to engage with people from all parts of the world and to study in an environment with a multidisciplinary approach to development.

What is your most memorable moment at ISS? When I got admitted to the Master in Social Sciences Programme. It was a hard competitive bid.

What does ISS mean to you now? It means the initiation in the study and passion for social development, which have been with me since that time.