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Undergraduate and graduate students accomplish outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship in urban issues and pursue direct community engagement through Georgetown’s schools, departments, centers, programs and initiatives. The following offers insight into a few of those students and the projects, passions and service they bring to communities in D.C., the region and around the world. The Georgetown Global Cities Initiative welcomes all Georgetown programs with interests that intersect with our mission. To get involved, email globalcities[at]

Erum Haider, Government Department, Georgetown

The Department of Government is an open, dynamic, and publicly engaged community of scholars who believe in the ideal of scholarship for its own sake, but are also deeply committed to the role of cutting-edge research in informing politics and public life.  PhD candidate Erum Haider conducts research which explores service delivery and citizenship in Karachi, Pakistan.  I was born and raised in Karachi, a city of over sixteen million people. I have always been interested in local politics, and the seemingly endless iterations of power and patronage, or 'wasta', in a megacity.

Aaron Messing: Georgetown Climate Center

GCC seeks to advance effective climate and energy policies in the United States and serve as a resource to state and local communities working to cut carbon pollution and prepare for climate change. Law student Aaron Messing came to Georgetown in part because of GCC’s unique work in advising on and organizing climate policies between individua states, including electric vehicle infrastructure and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Michael Bakan: Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation

Embracing a cross-disciplinary, citizen-centric approach to building solutions for communities, the Beeck Center engages global leaders to drive social change at scale. Michael Bakaan’s research with Beeck helped him understand how non-profits, businesses and public agencies can partner to affect cities positively. As an intern for the Federal City Council, he put this knowledge to work on an innovative finance partnership which linked a public golf course to affordable housing outcomes.

Mustafa Popal: Steers Center for Global Real Estate

The Steers Center offers students unparalleled access to the real estate industry at a global level.  Mustafa Popal, MBA student and president of the Real Estate Club, worked with Steers to organize, teach and lead a workshop on commercial real estate for forty undergraduate and graduate students. He credits Steers with providing key opportunities to connect with alumni in cities around the world.

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