Sonal Marwah (’13) was recently hired as Program Officer at Project Ploughshares, a peace research organization based in Waterloo, Ontario.
Since graduating from the Global Health program, Marwah has gained valuable experience working with different humanitarian organizations focused on issues including armed conflict, forced migration, global health and human rights. Most recently, she worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Delhi.
Marwah’s decision to pursue a Master of Science in Global Health at McMaster was born from a desire to explore international development challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective.
"The elective classes were instrumental in shaping my future career,” says Marwah, who explains that “a class on global migration got me thinking about refugee issues, which sparked my thesis on refugees’ access to health care in Canada, and eventually led me to work with UNHCR in India." Marwah’s thesis was published by the Wellesley Institute and Access Alliance, and covered in theToronto Star.
In addition to an MSc in Global Health, Marwah holds a Masters in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. While studying in Switzerland, she worked with the Small Arms Survey, a research organization focusing on armed conflict and violence. Her role involved leading an evidence-based study to map and assess the impacts of armed conflict across India.
“My biggest achievement is that the study continues to be a key tool for policy-makers working on security and armed violence prevention in India,” Marwah says, noting that her real-world experience in different countries has reinforced what she learned in the Global Health program: that there is a need for better evidence-driven policies.
“Evidence-based policies supported by credible research are the way to design development programs to provide sustainable and effective ways to assist vulnerable populations,” says Marwah, who plans to continue working in international development with a focus on applied research and program development.