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Profile Jumoke Balogun, SIS/MA '11

Jumoke Balogun, SIS/MA '11

What was one important turning point (interaction with a faculty member, course topic, event attended, internship moment, book, etc.) during my time at SIS that influenced my professional path?

I think my overall experience at SIS influenced my professional path, but I have to credit the wonderful friends I gained. During my time at SIS, a group of young Africanists organically formed an “Africa Happy Hour” group and we have all stayed in touch. I have a friend in the Peace Corps in Senegal, a friend focused on maternal health issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, another working at a boutique consulting firm focused on US-Africa trade relations, and a hosts of others doing amazing work around the world. I met all of these wonderful people at SIS and they continue to be great influence on me. I actually cofounded compareafrique.com with another SIS alum, Kizito Byenkya (SIS/MA ‘10).

Why I chose SIS?

I actually started at AU as a public history historian and was enrolled in the history program at the College of Arts Sciences, but I strolled past the DAV during my first semester and the rest is history …or I guess it wasn’t. After speaking with professors and other students, I knew that this was the place for me. Not only is SIS one of the highest ranked schools in the nation, I chose SIS because the professors and the student all seem to have the same passion as I do for “waging peace.”

How I make a difference in the world?

I think compareafrique.com is where I see myself making a difference. The website sustains a forum that encourages those who are not your “atypical wonk” in international development discourse to become active agents of change. Compareafrique.com is a forum that is open to everyone, but we are also mindful of our role as young adults who are members of the African Diaspora. I think our presence not only diversifies opinions about how development should look/work in Africa, but this forum also puts Africans in the Diaspora in a strategic position to act as bridge-builders between their respective countries and policymakers in the West.

Field of study?

Civil Society; Sub-Saharan Africa

Languages?

Yoruba; English

World issue of interest?

The proliferation of drones; unrest in Egypt and Syria; violence against women from Steubenville to Tahrir Square.

Professional role model?

Hillary Clinton; and the mother of Nigerian feminism Funmilayo Ransom Kuti (1900-1978)

Favorite book?

Ake: The Years of Childhood (Wole Soyinka); Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson; Short Stories by Guy De Maupassant

Favorite movie?

How to Marry a Millionaire; Any Nollywood movie with a linear plot

Current residence?

Washington D.C.