King’s College London Postgraduate Award - Politics
Maria graduated from Columbia University with an MA in South Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary program in politics, anthropology, history, and international relations situated within the context of South Asia. Prior to this, she earned an MS in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School and specialized in long-form writing. As an editor, writer, and researcher at UN Women, Maria has authored several publications that provide policy recommendations for promoting women’s economic empowerment in the workplace and community. Maria’s passion for human rights and social justice issues led her to a career in journalism during which she reported extensively from Islamabad and also headed a newsroom in the capital city. Her interest in race, state-minority relations, and social justice movements developed during the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States in 2020 and as a grassroots worker mobilizing New York’s Muslim communities to exercise their voting rights.
As a PhD student at King’s College London, Maria will carry out a cross-cultural study of grassroots mobilizations against structural racialized violence in the United States and Pakistan. Maria is a founding board member for Sabika for Peace Foundation, a non-profit that provides scholarships to students to pursue undergraduate education. An avid follower of British period films and literature, she is excited to soak in the green landscape, historical sites, and museums of the UK.