Where are they now?

Member for

1 year 7 months
Mohamed Kemal
Mohamed Kemal

Study programme Children, Youth and Development
Year of graduation 2007
Country of origin Egypt
Current occupation Country Director of Plan International in South Sudan
What made your time at ISS special? The academic and social life. ISS is not only an institution that provides quality academic studies but also one that invests in building bridges of understanding and multi-culturalism amongst all students.
What is your best memory of ISS? When I graduated and received my diploma! I felt that I had become much more confident and passionate and more committed to the issues affecting children, girls and women.
What does ISS mean to you now? It is a platform for personal, human and professional positive change! A place where I found my heart and mind!

Libby Mella
Libby Mella

Study programme Local and Regional Development
Year of graduation 2003
Country of origin Philippines
Current occupation Gender in Emergency Advisor
What made your time at ISS special? Meeting and learning from people from diverse backgrounds. Connecting theories and practices; learning not just from books but from the actual and diverse experiences of classmates and professors. Joining class trips and Scholas-organized trips.
What is your best memory of ISS? The International Day - we danced an ethnic Filipino dance while also enjoying the presentations and food from other cultures. Intense experience joining the anti-Iraq war demonstration in Amsterdam with 2 buses of ISS students (we came out of the bus looking like a UN delegation because of our diversity).
What does ISS mean to you now? ISS provides a platform for solid academic teaching while benefiting from the great balance of interacting with diverse students and professors. 

Though located in the Netherlands, it does not present itself as a Dutch institution, rather a very global one.

In recent years, development and humanitarian sectors have started to embrace diversity, inclusion and decolonization which I think ISS has been shaping for a long time. These ideas and values contribute to the students’ consciousness and hopefully transcend to meaningful contributions towards a more equal and just world.

Hariet Kongin
Harriet Kongin

Study programme Local & Regional Development
Year of graduation 2001
Country of origin Kenya
Current occupation Policy & Strategy Adviser, United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS
What made your time at ISS special? For me, ISS was the semblance of a ‘mini- United Nations’. It brought together students from all continents and supported the further education of professionals from developing countries like mine. Apart from offering top-notch, education and having great professors and lecturers, ISS was a place to meet people from all over the world! It opened my world view and connected me to so many friends from across the globe - Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa - they were all represented! This is the place I learned to appreciate diversity! I feel nostalgic thinking of the great experience.
What is your best memory of ISS? The International Day where we all came together and displayed our diverse cultures - it was colourful and amazing how the world can come together under the ISS roof.
What does ISS mean to you now? The epitome of knowledge, diversity and practicability. The meaning of ‘think globally, act locally’ has been brought home to me!

Bijoy Kumar Barua
Bijoy Kumar Barua

Study programme Post Graduate Diploma in Rural and Agricultural Project Planning
Year of graduation 1981
Country of origin Bangladesh
Current occupation I retired in February 2006 as Additional Director General after 32 years of service with the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development. I now do freelance consultancies.
What made your time at ISS special? The whole-hearted cooperation of faculty, fellow course mates, other participants and staff made my stay at ISS special.
What is your best memory of ISS? Meeting brilliant people from all over the world and studying in a multidisciplinary approach to development studies. 
What does ISS mean to you now? ISS means life-long friendships. The endless possibilities to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the world makes it invaluable.