Two College Masters Students Inaugural Recipients of Georgetown’s Graduate Certificate in Gender, Peace and Security

Headshot of two winners
Ndeye Radia Mbengue (C’20) left and Emma Dorshimer (C’20) right

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Ndeye Radia Mbengue (C’20) and Emma Dorshimer (C’20) are the first students to receive Georgetown’s new graduate certificate in Gender, Peace and Security through the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GWIPS).. The certificate focuses on bringing a gender analysis to conflict, peacebuilding and stability – a crucial skill for those entering International Affairs.  

Both Dorshimer and Mbengue graduated with this certificate to complement their Masters in Conflict Resolution this past December. 

“We’re so proud of our inaugural cohort of students, including Radia and Emma,” says Melanne Verveer, executive director of GIWPS. “Their robust understanding of gender, peace and security—indicated by their achieving our certificate—makes them better qualified for future positions and ultimately more effective professionals in those roles.”

A New Perspective

Dorshimer says some people see women’s issues as a niche subject, but it’s actually a way in which to view the world.

“Being able to look at conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction through the lens of gender – recognizing that women and other marginalized groups have different experiences – allows you to do your job better and allows you to resolve conflict better and create better programming.”

Dorshimer, who has a Bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and is interested in youth leadership and programming, completed a field fellowship with the gender-based violence and emergencies team at UNICEF during her time at Georgetown.

She says this graduate certificate is special because it’s organized by GIWPS.

“We have a group of professors and scholars at our fingertips that are so knowledgeable and have so much experience.”

Career Advancement

Mbengue, who has a background in research and is trying to shift to program management, appreciated the certificate program’s emphasis on practical skills such as gender-sensitive budgeting, audits and mainstreaming. 

“I took the Gender & Security Toolbox course as I was doing a monitoring and evaluation internship with Vital Voices,” said Mbengue. “During the course we had a lot of material on monitoring and evaluation, so it helped me a lot.”

Originally from Senegal, Mbengue says she also welcomed the professors’ discussions of feminist, non-exploitative research methods, and the interesting guest speakers in the foundational course.

“I recall one interaction with an activist guest speaker who was based in Nigeria and her telling us about her experience and women’s experience with Boko Haram in general.”

Around 20 other graduate students from programs across Georgetown University are currently pursuing the graduate certificate in Gender, Peace and Security, several of whom will graduate this May.

Current or prospective Georgetown students who are interested in the graduate certificate or GIWPS courses can find more information here