Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Introduction by Heather Tarr
Head Coach, UW Softball
Panel Discussion Moderated by Michael Brown
Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Geography
Audience Questions Facilitated by Gretchen Sneegas
Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Geography

Small Group Discussions

Meet Our Panelists

James Alexander | Political Officer, U.S. Department of State

James Alexander works as a Senior Client Associate at Standish Management, a Venture Capital Fund administration firm. In this role, he is able to use his excel skills and working with others to support solutions that integrate services to provide an efficient and investor-friendly experience. Before attending UW, he spent more than 8 years in the US Army. After his honorable service, he took advantage of the GI Bill and attended UW as an undergraduate from 2018 to 2020. In 2020, he was honored with the Outstanding Senior Award by the faculty and staff of the Department of Geography.

Never one to rest, he used his pandemic lockdown period to enroll at the iSchool in the Master of Science in Information Management program while also enrolling in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate program offered by UW Tacoma. At the iSchool, he was honored to receive the 2021 Faculty Award for Student Excellence. His collegiate work focused on geographic genealogies and activity-based intelligence. Recently, he has accepted an offer to work for the State Department.

In his time away from the office, he enjoys time with family, cooking, and traveling.

Ashley Fent | Campaigns Researcher, HEAL Food Alliance

Ashley Fent is an ACLS Leading Edge Fellow at HEAL Food Alliance, a national multiracial coalition of over 40 organizations that works to transform our food and farming systems. At HEAL, she conducts research to inform and raise public awareness about ongoing campaigns and policy advocacy. Previously, she taught courses on environmental justice issues at Vassar College and worked as a researcher at Community Alliance for Global Justice, a small nonprofit in Seattle. She holds a PhD in Geography from UCLA, an MA in Anthropology and African Studies from Columbia University, and a BA in Geography from the University of Washington. Her work and research has taken her to numerous countries in West Africa, including Senegal, Mali, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. She has also been involved in producing short documentaries on climate finance, mangrove afforestation, and agroecology. Ashley lives in Tacoma, Washington, on the occupied land of Coast Salish peoples. When not working or chasing after her two young children, she enjoys dancing, painting, and growing food.

Hamdi Mohamed | Senior Project Manager, General Mills

Hamdi Mohamed is a Project Manager at the Boeing Company supporting Fabrication and Supply chain organization. Hamdi has twelve years of project management experience both in software development, customer relations support, and managed IT investment Portfolio growth across an organization. After graduating from University of Washington in 2008 with Bachelor’s degree in Geography, Hamdi began her career at the Boeing Company as a Business Analyst supporting the beginning stages of development of integrated systems for the Sales & Marketing organization. She then transitioned to the Mobility space, working on the development of mobile apps for the Paris & Farnborough Airshows. Hamdi moved into a Project Management role, where she managed the renovation and technology upgrades of the Customer Experience Center and supporting suite of tools for the Network & Fleet Planning team. Hamdi also pursued and graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration at University of Phoenix. She then had an opportunity to be part of the Commercial Aviation Services team to perform deployment training to international airline customers on how to utilize aircraft maintenance manuals and performance systems. Being part of that team, Hamdi greatly appreciated her valuable experience of having a geography degree. It helped her build connections with airline customers and regulatory agencies to coordinate communications and deployment plans with the customer support team. Last year, Hamdi had an opportunity in Minneapolis, MN working as project manager at General Mills where she supported the North America Food Services Sales organization. On a personal note, Hamdi is married and has a daughter (8 yrs old). She enjoys traveling with her family and loves cooking as well. 


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