Age: 27 Home Town: Stamford, CT and Vancouver, Canada Education: B.A. in History Honors and Economics (University of British Columbia); M.Phil. in Development Studies (Oxford) Specific Field Interests: Urban development, livelihoods, media and development, human rights Placement: Janaagraha, Bangalore, Karnataka Area of Focus: Urban Governance and Citizen Participation
Highlights: Alia has been drawn to India for as long as she can remember, in part because of her Gujarati heritage, but she didn't have a chance to visit until a brief family trip when she was 19. Fascinated by the informal settlements all around Mumbai, she returned to the city as a student at Oxford to conduct research for her Master's thesis on a slum dwellers' social movement for housing rights in Mumbai. Since she loved conducting interviews and digging into the political dynamics underlying the politics of housing in Mumbai, she decided she wanted to write about development and raise awareness of social justice issues as a journalist.
After graduating from Oxford, Alia worked in London at the Press Complaints Commission, the body that regulates the British Press. The following year, she was a Global Journalism Fellow at the University of Toronto, where she studied journalism and reported for the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the National Post as a specialist in international development.
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