meet the staff


Anissa Bazari

Anissa Bazari manages the Global Scholars online global awareness program as part of the professional team for Global Cities, Inc. Prior to joining Global Cities, Anissa worked as Program Director for Global Partners Junior, an international online exchange program connecting students in cities around the world based in New York City’s Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. Anissa previously worked as a teacher in a variety of contexts, including teaching creative writing at New York University and NYU Medical Center and high school English, Global Arts, and Theater at Bronx Theater High School and Discovery High School in the Bronx. Anissa holds an M.S. in English Education from Lehman College, an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University, and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University.


Laura Blackburn

Laura Blackburn manages the Global Scholars online global awareness program as part of the professional team for Global Cities, Inc. Prior to joining Global Cities, Laura was Associate Education Editor at TIME for Kids, TIME’s current-events magazine for students. As such, she helped launch a digital platform for classrooms across the United States, and created the accompanying curriculum components. Prior to that, Laura served for four years as a fifth-grade teacher for the New York City Department of Education. She was a founding fifth-grade special-education teacher at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School from 2013 to 2014, and a fifth-grade special educator at P.S. 42, in the Bronx, from 2010 to 2013. Laura holds an M.S. in Special Education from Hunter College and a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut.


Neveen Hafez

Neveen Hafez manages the Global Scholars online global awareness program as part of the professional team for Global Cities, Inc. Prior to joining the organization, Neveen served for six years as a middle school Humanities teacher for the New York City Department of Education. She taught 8th grade Humanities at Quest to Learn in Chelsea from 2011 to 2012, incorporating game-based learning, technology integration, and learning management systems (LMS) into her classes. Neveen also taught 6th grade Humanities and an ICT (integrated co-teaching) class at Isaac Newton Middle School in East Harlem from 2006 to 2011. Neveen holds a M.A. in secondary English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in English with a minor in French from SUNY Binghamton University.


Marouh Hussein

Marouh Hussein recently became a fellow at Global Cities, Inc. and assists with the implementation and evaluation of the Global Scholars program. Prior to joining Global Cities, Marouh worked as a Program and Grant Coordinator at Project Harmony, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Harlem, NY dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship and healthy living in urban communities. She also spent three months performing environmental research at the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe in Cairo, Egypt. Marouh holds an M.P.A. in Development Practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Dance from SUNY Stony Brook University.


Colleen Khachatourians

Colleen Khachatourians manages the Global Scholars online global awareness program as part of the professional team for Global Cities, Inc. Prior to joining Global Cities, Colleen worked for two years as a Field Supervisor in the TESOL and Elementary Inclusive Education programs at Teachers’ College, Columbia University. Colleen was previously involved as a Project Coordinator and Curriculum Editor at the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Oregon. For six years, Colleen taught multiple grades at 92nd Street School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she received a grant from the USDA to lead a school-wide nutrition awareness program. Colleen received her M.Ed. in K-8 education from UCLA, with a focus on English Language Learners and urban education. She holds a B.A. in Creative Studies Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She holds teaching licenses in California and New York.


Meg Louis

Meg Louis manages the overall daily operations and programming for Global Cities, Inc. Previously, Meg was Director of Government and External Affairs for WNET/Thirteen, New York City’s PBS station where she served as the chief officer for all government and community outreach activities.  As such, she managed all government grants, policy and lobbying activities. Prior to that, Meg served as the General Counsel for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.  In this role, she managed all of the transactional programming and agency work, as well as the inter-agency policy work for. As a Media lawyer, Meg served in senior positions as a transactional, corporate and production lawyer for several media companies including Hallmark Entertainment, Miramax Films, HBO and NBC. Meg earned her J.D. from Temple University School of Law and NYU, and her B.A. in French from Mount Holyoke College. She is a member of the New York bar.


Marjorie B. Tiven

Marjorie B. Tiven is  the  founder of Global Cities, Inc., a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies, working with cities worldwide to support global awareness among the next generation through cross-national interactive educational programs. From 2002 through 2013, she served as New York City Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, representing the City on issues with foreign governments and the United States government. During this time she also served as Treasurer and Managing Director of New York City Global Partners, Inc., which convened 11 policy summits in New York attended by high-level elected officials and policymakers from international cities. Ms. Tiven serves on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund and on the board of the United Nations Development Corporation and the Citizens Union of the City of New York. She received a Public Service Award from the Jewish Community Relations   Council   (2006)   and   a   Leadership   Award   from Girl Scouts of Greater New York (2009). She holds a BA from Antioch College and MS from Columbia University School of Social Work. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Tara Welch

Tara Welch works with the Global Scholars online global awareness program as part of the professional team. Prior to joining Global Cities, Tara worked as a Chicago Public Schools teacher for 14 years. In addition to teaching sixth grade, she was the coordinator of a new teacher induction program, a professional development provider and grant writer. Previously, she spent a year teaching English at an orphanage in central Mexico. Tara also designed, launched and managed her own professional organizing business. Tara holds a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from DePaul University, an M.P.A. from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Marquette University.