Talia Hagerty

Talia Hagerty

MS in Global Affairs
Alumna, Class of 2012

During my first year in the MS in Global Affairs, Dr. Thomas Hill introduced me to the two ideas that amounted to a turning point in my career. First, I learned that peacebuilding was a unified field of work with a well-developed body of theory and complex technologies of practice and a goal that most find idealistic, intangible, and improbable—ending violent conflict. Second, I learned that a new subfield was emerging, which connected the economic development work I already was passionate about with peacebuilding and the data revolution: peace economics.

Dr. Hill facilitated an internship with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and their Workshop in Applied Peacebuilding. Later, I worked with Dr. Jurgen Brauer, a thought leader in peace economics, to develop IEP’s first methodology for measuring the economic costs of violence and benefits of peace.

Today, I work full time as a Research Fellow at IEP headquarters in Sydney, Australia. As a result of my study of positive peace with Dr. Hill and my thesis work on the particular types of breakdowns in peacefulness that affect Mexico, I am currently leading our research team’s efforts on positive peace and our annual Mexico Peace Index. I have had the opportunity to contribute to the Global Peace Index, the Global Terrorism Index, and a variety of our consulting projects, through which we provide the data and knowledge needed to make decisions that contribute to peacebuilding efforts worldwide.

My ability to do this work is a direct result of the analytical foundation and professional network I developed while studying at the Center for Global Affairs. I’m extremely grateful for the training and intellectual and professional development I gained from my CGA education, and I hope to be able to look back and say that the work that came of it truly made a difference.