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Donya Nasser ’15C

“It gets incredibly hectic,” Donya Nasser ’15C said recently about her work as a US Public Delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The post is part of her appointment as a 2015–16 US Youth Observer to the United Nations. “I literally run from meeting to meeting throughout the day,” she said, adding, “It’s very exciting—I have the opportunity to explore the issue of women’s rights, a topic priority of mine.”

Serving as a youth observer to the UN is one of two full-time positions Nasser holds this year. She also conducts policy research as a Truman-Albright Fellow at the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy in the US Department of Health and Human Services. “Working hard is something I find fulfilling,” Nasser observed. “And it’s a quality that St. John’s helps nurture.”

Born and raised in Orlando, FL, Nasser is a first-generation college student. Inspired by her mother, who raised her alone, Nasser was determined to succeed in college. A government and politics major, she became the first St. John’s student named a Truman Scholar, Rhodes Scholarship finalist, UC Berkeley Public Policy and International Affairs Law Fellow, and a Harvard Law School Trials Scholarship recipient.

After graduation, Nasser went on to study gender issues in Iran as an intern with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Middle East Program. This past March, she participated in the Yenching Global Symposium in Beijing, China. She credits St. John’s professors with inspiring her to achieve. “I’m grateful,” she said, “for their unstinting support for all my aspirations.”