Mahmoud ShayyahGraduate Student

I am a Syrian refugee and recent immigrant to the US, pursuing a Master of Science in Human Ecology. I am interested in the ongoing and future rebuilding of nations recovering from war. More specifically, I want to work directly with youth and young adults in Syria and in the global Syrian diaspora whose lives have been so affected by war, with the knowledge that they are the next generation who will mend the fabric of Syrian society by rebuilding the economy, infrastructure, and culture. I am pursuing the ultimate goal of founding my own humanitarian organization with the mission of ensuring Syria and other war-torn countries build back better through education for children and young adults.

I received my undergraduate degree in English language and literature, followed by a professional certificate in education from the University of Aleppo in Syria. My original career path as an English teacher was derailed at the start of the Syrian war. I moved into humanitarian work in conflict zones in Aleppo and then moved to Turkey where I continued in the humanitarian field, working with national and international NGOs and the UN, focusing on refugees in Turkey, Syria, and neighboring countries.

I completed many emergency response trainings in Norway, Jordan, Syria, and others, including a nine-month National NGO Program on Humanitarian Leadership (NNPHL) training with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Concern Worldwide, Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. I have also delivered many technical and leadership trainings for Somalia, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Yemen, and others.

Professional photo of Mahmoud Shayaah.

Degree Program

  • MS Human Ecology


  • Capstone Certificate, Community & Nonprofit Leadership, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Professional Certificate in Education, Aleppo University (Syria)
  • Bachelor's Degree, English Literature and Language, Aleppo University (Syria)