Congrats Graduates

Today is our spring graduation and we wish our Korbel grads the best as they head into their careers. Here is a story about one of our recent grads and her future job at the Atlantic Council:

Passion for Kurdistan guides Korbel student’s next step

Bina Hussein came to the Korbel School after working in Iraq for the United Nations Development Program. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Bina Hussein knows she’s in good company at the University of Denver’sJosef Korbel School of International Studies, where, in addition to her classwork, she serves as a student ambassador and runs the school’s Middle East Discussion Group.

“These people are your friends, they are your network, they can become your family, and you can learn so much from them,” she says of her classmates. “These are people you’ve got to keep an eye on. Some of them are going to go very far.”

Hussein seems on track to go very far herself — she came to the Korbel School after working in Iraq for the United Nations Development Program, and her internship at the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., resulted in a job offer: She starts soon after receiving her master’s degree at the DU Commencement ceremony in June.

Hussein says she was drawn to the Atlantic Council because it is one of only a few places in Washington that focuses on the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which is where her father was born and where she worked with the UN.

“My father has always been active for Kurds in Iraq, and with the 2003 war it kind of changed our lives, because suddenly it opened up doors that weren’t there before,” says Hussein, who grew up in Amsterdam and would like to return to Iraq in the next three to five years to work in the private sector. “My father went back in 2003 to become part of the interim government in Iraq and to help rebuild his country. That Christmas, my mother and my sister and I went to join my father in Baghdad for the holidays. We went from Turkey and we drove all the way, so we actually saw half of the country during that trip, and you could see how much was needed in the country and how underdeveloped it was. I was 14 at the time, so that kind of pushed me to think about what I wanted to do.”

Hussein also cofounded Korbel’s International Student Division, in which international studies students from around the world share stories about their home countries with their peers.

“Even though it is an international studies school, we often learn and hear about the same countries in class, though there is so much more out there and so much more happening,” she says. “When students talk about their own countries, you get a very different perspective or very different story than professors will give you.”

 The graduate Commencement ceremony is at 4:30 p.m. June 6; visit the Commencement page for more information.



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