Featured Alumni

Carter School alumni help create solutions and bring positive change to the world. These Game Changers offer a fresh perspective and imaginative answers, using the skills and training they received at Mason. Meet some of them.

Deborah Hersman in graduate robes speaks at lecturn

Deborah Hersman speaks at Mason's School of Public Policy Convocation 2012.

Deborah Hersman

Deborah Hersman, MS, ’00, is president and CEO of the National Safety Council, the nation’s leading safety advocate for more than 100 years. The nonprofit organization engages business, government agencies, elected officials and the public in the prevention of unintentional injuries.

Ms. Hersman previously served as chair of the National Transportation Safety Board under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

She chose to earn a degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution because the field focuses on solving problems and considering everyone’s needs when making decisions.


Portrait of Alma Jadallah
Dr. Jadallah has participated in global conferences on
conflict resolution and on women’s leadership development.

Alma Jadallah

Alma Jadallah, MAIS, ’96, PhD, ’06, is the president and managing director of Kommon Denominator, an organization that leverages social science research in the peaceful resolution of conflict.

Dr. Jadallah is an Alternative Dispute Resolution specialist, a Virginia Court Certified mediator, a skilled facilitator and executive coach.

She is an active speaker and featured guest at global conferences. She has written numerous conflict assessment studies for the U.N. and USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development), highlighting the roles of culture and gender in negotiation and mediation.

She is also a parent to three Mason alumni.

Chris Nace in front of D.C. office building
Chris Nace writes curricula that show teachers how to empower special­-needs students to find jobs, take public transportation, shop for groceries, and live independently.

Chris Nace

Chris Nace, BA, ’12, MS, ’14, is a program manager with the District of Columbia Public Schools, specializing in secondary transition, which prepares students with disabilities to make the transition to college, the workforce, and independent living. Mr. Nace is a keynote speaker on this subject and on the importance of self-advocacy for students with disabilities.

At the Carter School, he studied self-reflection, and combined coursework in special education with conflict resolution. He describes his work as “trying to change the stigma of disability in society. Mason taught me that everyone deserves a seat at the table.”


Min Zaw Oo

Portrait of Min Zaw OO speaking at lecturn
Min Zaw Oo's work in Southeast Asia’s conflict zones
includes surveys, interviews, and focus groups in high‐risk
areas among combatants. Photo by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA

Min Zaw Oo, MS, ’02, PhD, ’10, is an expert in the ongoing peace process in Myanmar. Dr. Oo played a key role in the historic ceasefire negotiations between the government of Myanmar and eight ethnic groups. Currently, he is the executive director of the Technical Secretariat Centre of the Joint Ceasefire Agreement and is an advisor to the Peace Commission that implements the government's peace policy. He has drafted policy initiatives to restore Myanmar's relationship with the United States and European nations.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Oo served as an independent consultant to the Genocide Early Warning Project, and worked with the Political Instability Task Force established under Vice President Al Gore. Dr. Oo studied at the Carter School during his years of exile from Myanmar for political activism.