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MIS Alum Recognized as NC State’s 2023 Distinguished Global Alumni

International flags fly in the Global Courtyard on main campus. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

MIS alum Daoud Ghaznawi received the 2023 Distinguished Global Alumni Award at the recent Global Engagement Exposition. NC State Global hosts this annual event to celebrate alumni who have made significant accomplishments in their careers and to faculty and staff working in global education. 

Ghaznawi has built a career by solving problems and helping the world’s most vulnerable populations. He currently serves as program director with Blumont, Inc., a nonprofit relief organization, where he directs the coordination and management of both the Al Hol and Roj refugee camps in northeast Syria. Since completing his master’s degree in international studies (MIS), Ghaznawi has worked in crisis and conflict zones around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Lao PDR, Libya, Myanmar, the Pacific, the Philippines, and the Syrian Arab Republic delivering in humanitarian and development aid. He’s also worked with Save the Children, Mines Advisory Group, Mercy Corps, the Danish Refugee Council, and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

 “It is with great gratitude that I accept this recognition,” Ghaznawi said at the spring awards ceremony as he thanked the MIS faculty who supported him during his graduate studies. “The whole experience in the international studies program was amazing and I met so many dynamic classmates. I seem to be drawn to precarious contexts, to help the displaced and people in need. Being able to do this type of work is incredibly humbling, and such a privilege to be immersed in different cultures and societies. All of this would of course not have been possible without my experience at North Carolina State University, which allowed the springboard for what has been a wondrous career.”

“Daoud truly has given his life to help the world’s most vulnerable populations, living and working at the very edge of violence and under extremely difficult conditions,” said MIS Program Director Professor Mark Nance, Ph.D., who nominated Ghaznawi for this award. “His parents are Danish and Afghani. As a child, his family fled Afghanistan in 1979 when Russia invaded.

Daoud knows what it means to run from war and be displaced. In his career, Daoud chose to run toward war and help those left in its wake. It’s a path he’s been following ever since.

Ghaznawi has also had a notable impact on NC State. Since graduating in 2004, he has been back to campus many times to share his experiences and advice with faculty and students. “The last time I had him in my Middle East class he was a star. I never had a guest speaker who elicited such a positive response from the students,” said Professor Emeritus Robert Moog.

“Daoud has epitomized the think and do spirit – and all in the service of others. His commitment to public service is a great example for current and future SPIA students. We are so happy to congratulate him for being recognized as NC State’s 2023 Distinguished Global Alumni,” said Irwin Morris, William T. Kretzer Distinguished Professor of Humanities and the Executive Director School of Public and International Affairs.