Master of Global Affairs (MGA) student and Kellogg Fellowship Recipient Sofía del Valle has been awarded the Raymond C. Offenheiser Fellowship for Active Citizenship, one of two new fellowships created by the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame to support the professional development of graduating master of global affairs students.

Del Valle, who is from Chile, was part of the inaugural class of Masters of Global Affairs students at the Keough School and received funding from the Kellogg Institute for the two-year program.

The Offenheiser Fellowship will support del Valle’s work for Oxfam, a global nonprofit organization focused on alleviating poverty and injustice.

As a student, del Valle conducted fieldwork with Oxfam in Accra, Ghana, through the Keough School’s Integration Lab. She studied cocoa farming and the cocoa supply chain, aiming to support policy that improves the lives of female cocoa farmers.

Del Valle wanted to continue her work with Oxfam because of the organization’s approach to social problems as complex issues.

“Oxfam is an organization that cares about the issues I care about, and they genuinely put people at the heart of what they do.” she said. “Their emphasis on the structural causes of poverty and inequality set them apart.”

The Offenheiser Fellowship was created in honor of Kellogg Faculty Fellow and Advisory Board Member Ray Offenheiser, director of the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD). Before joining NDIGD, also a part of the Keough School, Offenheiser served for 20 years as president of Oxfam America. Under his leadership, the agency grew eightfold and repositioned itself in the United States as an influential voice on international development, human rights and governance, humanitarianism, and foreign assistance.

The Offenheiser Fellowship is awarded to eligible Keough School graduate students following the completion of their master of global affairs degrees. Recipients work for one year at Oxfam’s offices in Boston or Washington, DC. It is one of two new fellowships to be awarded annually to subsidize employment with organizations that foster human dignity and equality. 

“These new fellowships demonstrate the Keough School’s commitment to guiding our students on a career path where they can thrive professionally and be a force for good in the world,” said Melinda Fountain, professional development specialist at the Keough School. “We’re delighted to offer them to two outstanding members of our inaugural graduating class.”

Keough student Djiba Soumaoro, from Mali, is the recipient of the second new award, the Hesburgh Global Fellowship, named for the late Notre Dame President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, who founded the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and two other international institutes at the Keough School. The fellowship provides funding for a graduate of the Master of Global Affairs program to pursue work focused on peace, justice, development, or other related fields.

The Keough School’s Master of Global Affairs program, launched in August 2017, is a two-year professional degree program that prepares students for skilled, effective leadership and careers in government, nongovernmental and civil society organizations, and the private sector. The inaugural master of global affairs class will graduate from Notre Dame on May 19, 2019.

Adapted from an article originally posted at