Where South Asian Studies Has Taken Me: An Alumni Panel

The South Asia Center offers several opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to gain expertise in the field of South Asian Studies. We will talk with three alums who took advantage of one or more of these opportunities while at SU and how it prepared them for careers in government service. Hear about their journeys and learn from their insights.



Brenna Dougan '08 MPA/IR graduated from Syracuse University in 2008 with two master’s degrees and no job. She used some of her precious savings to do one of her favorite things: travel internationally. Shortly thereafter, Brenna found a position as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of Labor’s international bureau, where she stayed for nine years, including postings to Guatemala and Colombia. In 2017, Brenna moved to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office of Labor Affairs. 


Sahil Jain ’13 IR is a Foreign Service Officer who is serving at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai. He began his career at the State Department in the Office of Israeli-Palestinian Affairs and subsequently with USAID. He then returned to the State Department as an Acting Branch Chief assisting on Hague Convention treaties. Sahil also worked for Congress as a Legislative Assistant. Sahil holds a master’s degree from the George Washington University and a bachelors from Syracuse University.


Nitika Sethi ’14 MPA/IR is a Program Coordinator for USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, currently dedicated to delivering assistance to crisis-affected Venezuelans.  Over the last six years, she has also focused on humanitarian response in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa, both on overseas missions and from headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Prior to joining USAID, Nitika earned a dual Master’s degree (MPA/MA-IR ’14) from the Maxwell School of Public Administration.

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For more information, please contact Emera Bridger Wilson, elbridge@syr.edu or to request accommodation arrangements, please contact Morgan Bicknell, mebickne@syr.edu.