Category: Uncategorized

Title: Giving Spotlight: Ali Gara (’07)


What inspired you to study at CERES?

Like many people, I grew up through the unraveling of the Soviet Union. This transformation was both traumatizing and fascinating. As the first generation from our independent county, I wanted to understand what happened and learn how I could help the development of our community.

How did merit aid from CERES impact you?

I am grateful for the support I received from Georgetown and CERES.  My two years there were transformational and the multidisciplinary approach taught me that there is rarely black and white in life. Even though each country’s development path is unique, the forces that play out and shape it are usually familiar. I also met a lot of great people that I continue to stay in touch with today.

What is your current position? How did your studies prepare you for entering this field?

I founded MagicPort – almost 90% of global trade is carried on ships, we connect the key players in ship operations on a digital platform and provide them with software and intelligence so they can collaborate and be more efficient. Our goal is to empower the maritime community for smart and sustainable shipping.  During these years between this and my graduation from CERES – I worked in different roles at BP, Central Bank of Azerbaijan and International Finance Corporation. Things I learned at Georgetown include a global perspective, an understanding of politics and economics and most importantly, communication and diplomacy have always been useful through this journey.  I learned that trade is a key driver of development – today, I am happy to be working to make the maritime industry, the key infrastructure for global trade, more efficient, so we can seamlessly deliver prosperity for the world.

Why would you encourage people to give to CERES?

Investing in education is a great way to change the world, and it is a privilege to be able to participate in CERES’ giving program. For me, it is also an opportunity to give back.

What advice do you have for current students?

Georgetown is an amazing place to be – make the most out of it, meet new people, learn new things, as much as you can. These connections and knowledge will create opportunities throughout your life in amazing ways.


Visit our online giving page here and consider making a donation to the Angela Stent Graduate Scholarship and Fellowship Fund, which directly supports the studies of the next generation of regional experts at CERES.

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