Nolizwe Mhlaba

I have long held a deep interest in international affairs, economic development, and education. This interest was largely shaped by childhood experiences in Zimbabwe, growing up in multicultural environments and in a home where education was highly valued.


I graduated from McGill University with a BA in Economics and I also hold an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. During this transformative experience, I engaged more critically with discourses about economic development and explored more closely the adverse impact of misplaced, context-blind policies. This growth continued in my advocacy and research work with non-governmental organizations in New York and Nairobi.


I am joining the International Education program after five deeply rewarding years at the Johannesburg-based African Leadership Academy (ALA). Throughout my time at ALA, as a member of the African Studies department, I had the privilege of teaching and learning with dynamic young people from across Africa. Moreover, the mission of ALA, to develop the next generation of African leaders, challenged me to play a more meaningful role in the improvement of lives in Africa.


Armed with this practical experience, I was motivated to pursue the International Education program to seek a better conceptual and theoretical understanding of teaching practices in formal and non-formal settings. Moreover, I intend to acquire tools that will enable me to design more culturally relevant programs that prepare communities (especially in Africa) to address challenges they face. Finally, I look forward to drawing from the knowledge and rich experiences of the faculty and my peers at CIE.

Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
5-year span: 
CIE Graduate