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Class 14 (2015-2017)

Mariana Abdalla, Brazil

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Media and Journalism

As a child and adolescent, Mariana Abdalla lived abroad from her home country, Brazil, for eight years, both in China and Colombia, where she was involved with social and voluntary work as well as multicultural and international communities. Since returning to Brazil, she has gained solid work experience in the health development and humanitarian field, working both for the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). At DNDi, a patient needs-driven, non-profit R&D organization for neglected diseases, she first started as an intern and subsequently joined core staff as the Chagas Clinical Research Platform Coordinator. Mariana then joined Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as a Benchmarking Officer in Somaliland and in Kenya. In this role she was assigned to conduct a comprehensive comparative human resources study in the field, so as to understand and guide the impact of MSF’s employment conditions and remuneration policies. This was an immense challenge for her both professionally and as a human being. After six months of field work she returned to DNDi’s office in Latin America as a Communications Analyst, organizing international events and developing publications, multimedia content and press relations.

Mariana holds a BA degree in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She is currently conducting her MA studies in Strategic Communication at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she aims to obtain the necessary tools and knowledge to better and more profoundly engage in integrated humanitarian and social communication projects in the future.

Applied Field Experience

Cycling Without Age, Copenhagen, Denmark