Go to the U of M home page
25 Years

Center Administration

Karen Brown

Director, ICGC
Director of Graduate Studies and Senior Lecturer, Development Studies and Social Change Graduate Minor Program
MDP Program Co-Chair
Phone: 612-624-0255
Fax: 612-625-1879

Karen Brown is Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), where she directs a number of international and interdisciplinary education and research programs including the ICGC Scholar and Mellon Scholars fellowship programs and a partnership with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.  Dr. Brown co-chairs the Master of Development Practice degree program in international development studies with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and teaches in the ICGC Development Studies and Social Change (DSSC) Ph.D. minor program, and also serves as a Graduate Faculty member in Feminist Studies, the Human Rights Program, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Her past positions include Assistant Vice President for International Scholarship (2012-2015) in which she directed the University’s system-wide Global Spotlight grants program to support international and interdisciplinary research and Special Assistant for International Scholarship in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. Dr. Brown earned her Ph.D. in Political Science (University of Minnesota) with concentrations in International Relations and Comparative Politics. She also earned an M.A. in East Asian Studies (University of Minnesota) and a B.S. in Chinese (Georgetown University). Her academic interests focus on gender and public policy in global context, international women's and children's human rights, girls in international policy, and international research ethics and methods.

Selected publications:

“Gender and International Relations.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Sandy Maisel, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“The Rise of Interdisciplinarity:  Implications for Promoting Advanced Specialized Knowledge at Public Research Universities,” with Karri Holley, in Re-Envisioning the 21st Century Public Research University. Robert H. Bruininks, Robert J. Jones, Andrew Furco and Kateryna Kent, eds. New York:  Routledge, forthcoming.

“Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” in Restructuring World Politics:  Transnational Social Movements, Networks and Norms.  Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker, and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Courses taught:

Global Survey of Gender and Public Policy

Doctoral Research Workshop

Scholarship and Public Responsibility

Gender and Citizenship

Shereen Sabet

Assistant to the Director
Phone: 612-626-7487
Fax: 612-625-1879

Shereen Sabet is Assistant to the Director for ICGC, responsible for administrative operations of the Center and provision of support to the Center Directors in aligning administration of education, research, communications and outreach functions and fostering effective relationships with various stakeholders.  Before joining ICGC, Shereen has also worked at the University of Minnesota in two senior-level administrative offices; Academic Administration and Equity & Diversity.  Her positions have included academic program support as well as planning and implementing various initiatives including an early college awareness program for disadvantaged middle school students.  

In addition to her working relationship with the U of M, Shereen is also alumna.  She earned her B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Human Rights from the U of M and her Masters in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  She volunteers her time with The Advocates for Human Rights.  A native of Egypt, Shereen has been a community activist and served as communications director and president for the Egyptian-American Society, Inc. of Minnesota.  She is known for her cheerful attitude and positive energy.

Laura Bell

Center Administrator
Phone: 612-624-0832
Fax: 612-625-1879

Laura is ICGC's Administrative Specialist. She earned her M.A. in Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and her B.A. in Travel/Tourism from St. Cloud State University. Laura believes in a mindful and student-centered focus in academic community building, with attention on lifting the myriad of voices that make up a student/scholar body.  Her international experience comes from working in the Education Abroad Center at St. Cloud State University and the Office of Study Abroad as well as International Student Services at the University of St. Thomas. She has also lived and studied abroad in South Africa, and studied in Croatia. Laura's academic interests include gender and sexuality from an international perspective, women's rights, and LGBTQIIAA/queer and transgender issues. When not in ICGC, you can find Laura trying new restaurants all over the Twin Cities, traveling, and watching Green Bay Packer football. 

David Wilsey

Program Director, MDP Program

David Wilsey is the Program Director for the Master in Development Practice (MDP) program, which is co-administered by ICGC and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Dr. Wilsey’s research and practice focus on development of integrated natural resource conservation and livelihood programs, generally focusing on forest-and farm-based livelihood systems. He is particularly interested in the role of non-timber forest products in food and livelihood systems and the development of market-based interventions to support livelihood and lifestyle goals.

Dr. Wilsey joined the MDP program in 2013 as the program coordinator and a lecturer. Prior to joining the program, he spent five years as an associate Extension professor & educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences. His Extension work focused on three themes: natural resource based livelihood systems, non-timber forest products, and cross cultural program development. Dr. Wilsey was situated within the forestry program area, his work extended to other areas and he established productive collaborations with the small farms team, community vitality and economics, family resource management, and the American Indian leadership team, of which he was an active member. Though his interests are broad ranging, over the course of his career Dr. Wilsey primarily worked with forest–based and forest–oriented groups in the Americas: in Minnesota, several states in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. He finds the opportunity to expand this portfolio to include other themes and regions to be a great privilege of working with the MDP program.

Sara Musaifer

Fall 2021 ICGC Research Assistant

Sara Musaifer is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative and International Development Education and a graduate student fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. As a Fulbright Scholar, she received a masters of arts degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota. She also holds a bachelors of arts degree in political science from the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan. Her professional experiences are transcultural and transnational, and include policy research, cross-sectors engagement, community outreach, capacity building, reconciliation, restorative practices and international development. Her current research interests lie in the field of education and its intersection with political socialization, labor market organization and peacebuilding in the Middle East. In her doctoral studies, she plans to focus on examining non-formal education environments, particularly as they relate to youth empowerment and its role in supporting sustainable reconciliation in the region.