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School of International Service, PhD

Spring 2015 Commencement

This spring the SIS PhD program celebrated six students completing their PhDs. Davina Durgana, Sheherazade Jafari, Namalie Jayasinghe, and Nicholas Smith defended their dissertations in the spring of 2015. Daniel Dye and Katherine Reese defended in the summer of 2014.

Meet our new PhDs

Davina Durgana (Spring 2014)

Dissertation: Correlates of Trafficking: Measuring the Human Insecurity of Vulnerable Minors to Human Trafficking in the United States

Committee: Joe Young (Chair); Randolph Persaud; Loubna Skalli-Hanna; Monti Datta (Univ of Richmond)


Sheherazade Jafari (Spring 2015)

Dissertation: Bridging the Secular-Religious Divide within Transnational Women's Movements? Western-Muslim Partnerships for Women's Rights

Committee: Abdul Aziz Said (Chair); Ann Tickner; Julie Mertus

Namalie Jayasinghe (Spring 2015)

Dissertation: The Gendered Impact of Natural Disasters: Cross-Level Analysis of Vulnerability and Resiliency

Committee: Vidya Samarasinghe (Chair); Ken Conca; Garrett Graddy


Nicholas Smith (Spring 2015)

Dissertation: Why Variance Matters: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Microcredit Impact Evaluation

Committee: Vidyamali Samarasinghe (Chair); Paul Winters (Econ.); David Hirschmann; Michael Goldberg (World Bank)

Durgana Hooding

Davina Durgana receives her hood at the 2015 Commencement Ceremony

Jafari Hooding

Sheherazade Jafari receives her diploma at the 2015 Commencement Ceremony

Sheherazade Jafari with Professor Said
Spring 2015 Graduate Sheherazade Jafari with Professor Abdul Aziz Said



Contact Kasey Neil Petri, the PhD Program Coordinator, at 202-885-6582 or

We encourage prospective candidates to visit the University to meet faculty members and current PhD students. To arrange a visit, contact Graduate Admissions at 202-885-1646 or