Zeinab Khalil, a second-year graduate student at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, has been named a 2017-2018 Presidential Fellow at the Open Society Foundations.

Every year, three students graduating from law, public policy, or business school are awarded the Fellowships out of hundreds of applicants. As an Open Society Fellow in New York City, Khalil will be exposed to the core management and strategic concerns of a complex, sophisticated global philanthropy. Fellows will work closely with the organization’s President as well as with staff, grantees, and other fellows on special initiatives that address the legal, business, policy, and organizational issues confronted by the Foundations’ various programs and projects. They will gain exposure and connections to the Open Society Foundations’ leadership and partner organizations, and cultivate knowledge about open society strategies. The fellowship also provides an opportunity to explore in depth an emerging or changing area of legal, public, or economic policy or practice. Khalil will be exploring the gendered and racialized impact of EU and US migration policies of externalization and securitization.

Founded by investor and philanthropist George Soros in 1984, Open Society focuses on the establishment of democracy through programs that advance good governance, justice, minority rights, education, public health and independent media in more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Foundations fund millions of dollars each year to hundreds of nonprofits including Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Crisis Group, the Carnegie Endowment, the Vera Institute, among others. 

Khalil will graduate from Yale in May. Her focus has been in critical development studies, global governance, and state-civil society relations. She completed her BA at the University of Michigan in International Relations, Modern Middle Eastern Studies, and Gender Studies. She previously lived in Turkey working with refugee women, and has also worked at the Arab American Association of New York as a community organizer and policy associate with a focus on immigration advocacy. She spent last summer working at the United Nations Development Program, where she focused on electoral capacity-building in Arab and African states.